These are the third and fourth virtues of nine attributes I promised to explain. I hope you remember the previous ones; they were: Awareness and Choice. IF you have not read my article on Awareness and Choice, call me and you can get a copy. Why is willingness to honour your ability so important? You use it every day; it is what creates your life. You may never have thought about this very important connection. We actually often confuse to two. As a human Being you are fundamentally able.
Of course some restrictions due to specific circumstances, including the limitations of your body are understood, but your ability is much greater than you would believe. An ability can e a natural aptitude that you came to this life equipped with, or it can be an acquired proficiency. Your competence may not be perfect now, but you are able to learn to become competent in almost anything you choose.
You see how the previously discussed issue about choice is deeply connected to this? If you hold yourself able, then the issue of your willingness to act upon this is your choice. Ultimately, with your willingness to act upon your ability, you fuel your personal empowerment. When you also see others as able, you empower them as well whether they are your family, work, or sports team. How often do you say or think: “ I can’t”? I guess that this little phrase cruises through your mind all day long. I used to say this destructive phrase myself, and only (many years ago) through awareness did I change it and replaced it with “ I choose not to…” if I was not willing to apply my ability, or learn.
How is it with you? Just take a moment, close your eyes and think the phrase: “I can’t”. Does it sound familiar? Do you use it often? Maybe you are not sure, because we think and do so many things unconsciously. But now you can test it right away. Close your eyes again and say: “ I choose not to…” and feel how much more empowering this is when you test it against “ I can’t …”.
My mother always used to say: “I can’t” and “impossible” are a fiction of your imagination; they do not exist! Up to my early adulthood, I often doubted her, but later in life I understood how right she was.
Once you understand that your ability is directly related to your willingness to apply it, you will experience that you always have a choice. We often hide behind the words:” I can’t” because we are either too lazy to explore, or unwilling to make an effort to show up. By ‘showing up’ I don’t mean to ‘arrive’, but to take a stand for who you are and be seen instead of hiding your abilities and gifts you came into this world to develop and share.
Charlie Brown used to say, and I quote: ”There is no greater burden in life than a lot of potential”. Why do you think ‘potential’ can be seen as a burden? Because you will never feel completely empowered and content unless you have taken action and be willing to develop your potentials, which will enable you to choose your life according to your highest satisfaction. That does not mean that you should always be willing to act upon your ability; even choosing not to be willing enhances your personal power. Just compare it with “ I can’t” and you will feel the drain on your energy. It also provides you with an excuse for not risking failing, and you know from experience that excuses never feel good.
You know that in high performing teams, whether at the work place or in sports, each individual not only holds him or herself as able, but also applies it to every other team- mate no matter what degree of competence is actually there. In return everybody feels empowered and great achievements follow.
The following story comes from an old issue of “Mind” magazine that I came across on one of my “removing clutter” moments. Oh yeah, this is another big issue I will write about soon. What is clutter? Right, don’t tell me you never accumulate unnecessary stuff! But back to the story I want to share with you:
‘Two elementary school teachers were assigned carefully matched classes of students with similar history of average performance. One teacher was told that it was a class of gifted children, and the other, that the students in her class were remedial. By the end of the school year, the “gifted” students had made significant gains and were achieving well above average children of their age. The “remedial” students had lost ground, actually dropping well below average.’
The moral of this story is, that each class had lived up to the expectations of their teacher. One class was held as able and the other as unable.
You are what you think you are. You are able, but are you also willing? The choice is between: “ I can and I will…” or: “ I can’t “. Both are equally habit-forming. Always hold yourself and others as able. But also be willing to act upon and develop your abilities. It may help to recall the incredibly powerful Obama slogan: “Yes we can.“
Dr. Angelika Christie is the managing director of Radiant Health Center You can reach her at 242-352-1010 or firstname.lastname@example.org