Advice & Help

Faith : The Evidence of Things Not Seen – Part 2

What do you believe about yourself and your abilities? Do you believe you have the ability to be excellent at what you do? Do you believe you can achieve anything you set your mind to or do you believe that you are just not equipped with the tools for success? These questions all speak to the amount of faith you have in your ability to succeed. They are born of the thoughts you habitually harbor, ultimately determining your level of expectation and the results you experience.

Your Self-concept

We’ve all been programmed since birth to think and behave as we do today. Since it is impossible to behave in a manner inconsistent with our programming, this usually leads to a negative outcome in our lives. Fortunately, the programming can be changed; and with effort, you can replace your self-limiting thoughts and beliefs with self-liberating, empowering ones.

In order to live as a person of faith and begin to operate with confident expectation you must change the foundation upon which your belief is built – your self-concept. Your self-concept is the bundle of beliefs you have about yourself and about every part of your life. This set of beliefs determines your reality as each and every one of us sees the world through the prism of prejudices created by our belief structure. As we change our belief in any area of our life, we simultaneously begin to change in that area as well.

The Law of BeliefThe law of belief states that whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality. Your emotions are like a well-primed engine that provides your thoughts energy and power. The more intensely you feel something, the greater effect that thought will have on your life. Your thoughts and emotions, and hence your beliefs, can empower or restrict you depending upon how
you choose to use them. If you change your self-limiting thoughts and beliefs, you change the faulty self-concept which has been stifling your quest for success. This is probably the hardest thing you will ever have to do, but it is something that has to be done in order to live up to your full potential. As William James said, “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

All the successful men and women who have gone before us have been people of faith. They resisted doubt and fear and fought to overpower their self-limiting thoughts and beliefs – choosing to replace them with empowering ones. In the process, they developed a powerful, supportive self-concept – one which engenders faith in their ability and pushes them to persevere where others would have given up. Henry David Thoreau reminds us, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

This kind of conviction emboldens the successful ones to attempt things that others thought were impossible; and in the end they are able to achieve remarkable things against seemingly insurmountable odds without regard to the dire predictions of those around them.

Action Plan

Here are four tips that I believe will SAVE you from a life of mediocrity and help you develop a healthy, supportive self-concept and live your life as a person of faith:

1. SAY positive things to yourself everyday. Affirmations are statements of belief and as you continually affirm and reinforce these positive ideas to yourself you will begin to feel better about yourself.
2. Act as if you are the person you wish to become. A wise man once said, “Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.”
3. Visualize. You cannot be what you cannot see. Begin to visualize yourself as the ideal person you would like to be. The visual images you entertain eventually become your reality because, as Brian Tracy noted, “they intensify your desires and deepen beliefs.”
4. Emotionalize. Remember that your emotions energize your thoughts. The more intensely you feel, the greater the effect will be.

Keep on Pushing!

About the author

Devon Harris

Devon Harris was a member of the Jamaican Bobsleigh team and competed in three Winter Olympics; he later joined the army and attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. Born on Christmas Day, 1964 and raised in a violent ghetto environment in Kingston, Jamaica, the greatest gift Devon Harris ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger.A graduate of the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England, Devon received a Queen’s Commission in December 1985 and served in the officer corps of the Jamaica Defence Force until December 1992 when he retired as a Captain.At the heart of Devon’s message are the lessons he has learned of the power of persistence over all sorts of obstacles in order to live one's best life. His mission is to bring this message of how everyone can keep on pushing and working for their dreams every day of their professional as well as personal lives.Encouraged by his commanding officer, Devon tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team which competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. Their exploits inspired the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings. Devon also competed in and was captain of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France and the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.The Keep On Pushing Foundation which he founded in 2006 aims to support and enhance the education of kids in disadvantaged communities around the globe by providing practical solutions to the challenges that are preventing them from getting educated.Through the Keep on Pushing Foundation, Devon also works with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador, supporting Right to Play’s efforts in using sports and play in refugee camps around the world to enhance child development and build community capacity.As an ex-serviceman, Devon understands the commitment, sense of duty and sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve. As a private citizen he is cognizant of the fact that the freedoms he enjoys are paid for by the courage and sacrifice of these men and women. As a result he has also devoted time to visit the troops serving in the Persian Gulf.He is the author of the motivational children’s book, Yes, I Can! and the semi-auto-biographical motivational book Keep On Pushing: Hot Lesson From Cool Runnings.