In all the lands may all the sufferings of living beings come to an end!
May the beaten be freed from blows!
May those who are threatened with death be restored to life!
May those who are in tribulations become free from all pain!
May those who suffer hunger and thirst receive food and drink in abundance!
May the blind see and deaf hear and women with children give birth painlessly!
May sounds of pain be nowhere heard in the Universe!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Believe in Yourself - 1

Believe in Yourself


BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement. Because of the importance of this mental attitude, this book will help you believe in yourself and release your inner powers.


It is appalling to realize the number of pathetic people who are hampered and made miserable by the malady popularly called the inferiority complex. But you need not suffer from this trouble. When proper steps are taken, it can be overcome. You can develop creative faith in yourself—faith that is justified.


After speaking to a convention of businessmen in a city auditorium, I was on the stage greeting people when a man approached me and with a peculiar intensity of manner asked, "May I talk with you about a matter of desperate importance to me?"


I asked him to remain until the others had gone, then we went backstage and sat down.


"I’m in this town to handle the most important business deal of my life," he explained. "If I succeed, it means everything to me. If I fail, I’m done for."


I suggested that he relax a little, that nothing was quite that final. If he succeeded, that was fine. If he didn’t, well, tomorrow was another day.


"I have a terrible disbelief in myself," he said dejectedly. "I have no confidence. I just don’t believe I can put it over. I am very discouraged and depressed. In fact," he lamented, "I’m just about sunk. Here I am, forty years old. Why is it that all my life I have been tormented by inferiority feelings, by lack of confidence, by self-doubt? I listened to your speech tonight in which you talked about the power of positive thinking, and I want to ask how I can get some faith in myself."


"There are two steps to take," I replied. "First, it is important to discover why you have these feelings of no power. That requires analysis and will take time. We must approach the maladies of our emotional life as a physician probes to find something wrong physically. This cannot be done immediately, certainly not in our brief interview tonight, and it may require treatment to reach a permanent solution. But to pull you through this immediate problem I shall give you a formula which will work if you use it.


"As you walk down the street tonight I suggest that you repeat certain words which I shall give you. Say them over several times after you get into bed. When you awaken tomorrow, repeat them three times before arising. On the way to your important appointment say them three additional times. Do this with an attitude of faith and you will receive sufficient strength and ability to deal with this problem. Later, if you wish, we can go into an analysis of your basic problem, but whatever we come up with following that study, the formula which I am now going to give you can be a large factor in the eventual cure."


Following is the affirmation which I gave him "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Ph 4:13) He was unfamiliar with these words so I wrote them on a card and had him read them over three times aloud.


"Now, follow that prescription, and I am sure things will come out all right."


He pulled himself up, stood quietly for a moment, then said with considerable feeling, "O.K., Doctor. O.K." I watched him square his shoulders and walk out into the night. He seemed a pathetic figure, and yet the way he carried himself as he disappeared showed that faith was already at work in his mind.


Subsequently he reported that this simple formula "did wonders" for him and added, "It seems incredible that a few words from the Bible could do so much for a person." This man later had a study made of the reasons tor his inferiority attitudes. They were cleared away by scientific counseling and by the application of religious faith. He was taught how to have faith; was given certain specific instructions to follow (these are given later in this chapter). Gradually he attained a strong, steady, reasonable confidence. He never ceases to express amazement at the way in which things now flow toward rather than away from him. His personality has taken on a positive, not negative, character so that he no longer repels success, but, on the contrary, draws it to him. He now has an authentic confidence in his own powers.


There are various causes of inferiority feelings, and not a few stem from childhood. An executive consulted me about a young man whom he wished to advance in his company. "But," he explained, "he cannot be trusted with important secret information and I’m sorry, for otherwise I would make him my administrative assistant. He has all the other necessary qualifications, but he talks too much, and without meaning to do so divulges matters of a private and important nature."


Upon analysis I found that he "talked too much" simply because of an inferiority feeling. To compensate for it he succumbed to the temptation of parading his knowledge. He associated with men who were rather well to do, all of whom had attended college and belonged to a fraternity. But this boy was reared in poverty, had not been a college man or fraternity member. Thus he felt himself inferior to his associates in education and social background. To build himself up with his associates and to enhance his self-esteem, his subconscious mind, which always seeks to provide a compensatory mechanism, supplied him with a means for raising his ego.


He was on "the inside" in the industry, and accompanied his superior to conferences where he met outstanding men and listened to important private conversations. He reported just enough of his "inside information" to cause his associates to regard him with admiration and envy. This served to elevate his self esteem and satisfy his desire for recognition.


When the employer became aware of the cause of this personality trait, being a kindly and understanding man, he pointed out to the young man the opportunities in business to which his abilities could lead him. He also described how his inferiority feelings caused his unreliability in confidential matters. This self knowledge, together with a sincere practicing of the techniques of faith and prayer, made him a valuable asset to his company. His real powers were released. I can perhaps illustrate the manner in which many youngsters acquire an inferiority complex through the use of a personal reference. As a small boy I was painfully thin. I had lots of energy, was on a track team, was healthy and hard as nails, but thin. And that bothered me because I didn’t want to be thin. I wanted to be fat. I was called "skinny," but I didn’t want to be called "skinny." I wanted to be called "fat." I longed to be hard-boiled and tough and fat. I did everything to get fat. I drank cod-liver oil, consumed vast numbers of milk shakes, ate thousands of chocolate sundaes with whipped cream and nuts, cakes and pies innumerable, but they did not affect me in the slightest. I stayed thin and lay awake nights thinking and agonizing about it. I kept on trying to get heavy until I was about thirty, when all of a sudden did I get heavy? I bulged at the seams. Then I became self-conscious because I was so fat, and finally had to take off forty pounds with equal agony to get myself down to respectable size.


In the second place (to conclude this personal analysis which I give only because it may help others by showing how this malady works), I was a minister’s son and was constantly reminded of that fact. Everybody else could do everything, but if I did even the slightest little thingù "Ah, you are a preacher’s son." So I didn’t want to be a preacher’s son, tor preachers’ sons are supposed to be nice and namby-pamby. I wanted to be known as a hard- boiled fellow. Perhaps that is why preachers’ sons get their reputation for being a little difficult, because they rebel against having to carry the banner of the church all the time. I vowed there was one thing I would never do, and that was to become a preacher.


Also, I came of a family practically every member of which was a performer in public, a platform speaker, and that was the last thing I wanted to be. They used to make me get up in public to make speeches when it scared me to death, even filled me with terror. That was years ago, but the twinge of it comes to me every now and then when I walk onto a platform. I had to use every known device to develop confidence in what powers the good Lord gave me.


I found the solution of this problem in the simple techniques of faith taught in the Bible. These principles are scientific and sound and can heal any personality of the pain of inferiority feelings. Their use can enable the sufferer to find and release the powers which have been , inhibited by a feeling of inadequacy.


Such are some of the sources of the inferiority complex which erect power barriers in our personalities. It is some emotional violence done to us in childhood, or the consequences of certain circumstances, or something we did to ourselves. This malady arises out of the misty past in the dim recesses of our personalities.


Perhaps you had an older brother who was a brilliant student. He got A’s in school; you made only C’s, and you never heard the last of it. So you believed that you could never succeed in life as he could. He got A’s and. you got C’s, so you reasoned that you were consigned to getting C’s all your life. Apparently you never realized that some of those who failed to get high grades in school have been the greatest successes outside of school. Just because somebody gets an A in college doesn’t make him the greatest man in the United States, because maybe his A’s will stop when he gets his diploma, and the fellow who got C’s in school will go on later to get the real A’s in life.


The greatest secret for eliminating the inferiority complex, which is another term for deep and profound self- doubt, is to fill your mind to overflowing with faith.


Develop a tremendous faith in God and that will give you a humble yet soundly
realistic faith in yourself.


The acquiring of dynamic faith is accomplished by prayer, lots of prayer, by reading and mentally absorbing the Bible and by practicing its prayer techniques. In another chapter I deal with specific formulas of prayer, but I want to point out here that the type of prayer that produces the quality of faith required to eliminate inferiority is of a particular nature. Surface skimming, formalistic and perfunctory prayer is not sufficiently powerful.


A wonderful black woman, a cook in the home of friends of mine in Texas, was asked how she so completely mastered her troubles. She answered that ordinary problems could be met by ordinary prayers, but that "when a big trouble comes along, you have to pray deep prayers."

One of my most inspiring friends was the late Harlowe B. Andrews of Syracuse, New York, one of the best businessmen and competent spiritual experts I ever knew. He said the trouble with most prayers is that they aren’t big enough. "To get anywhere with faith," said he, "learn to pray big prayers. God will rate you according to the size of your prayers." Doubtless he was right, for the Scriptures say, "According to your faith be it unto you." (Mt 9:29) So the bigger your problem, the bigger your prayer should be.
Roland Hayes, the singer, quoted his grandfather to me, a man whose education was not equal to that of his grandson, but whose native wisdom was obviously sound. He said, "The trouble with lots of prayers is they ain’t got no suction." Drive your prayers deep into your doubts, fears, inferiorities. Pray deep, big prayers that have plenty of suction and you will come up with powerful and vital faith.


Go to a competent spiritual adviser and let him teach you how to have faith. The ability to possess and utilize faith and gain the release of powers it provides are skills and, like any skills, must be studied and practiced to gain perfection.


At the conclusion of this chapter are listed ten suggestions for overcoming your inferiority pattern and for developing faith. Practice these rules diligently and they will aid you in developing confidence in yourself by dissipating your feelings of inferiority, however deeply imbedded.


At this point, however, I wish to indicate that to build up feelings of self-confidence the practice of suggesting confidence concepts to your mind is very effective. If your mind is obsessed by thoughts of insecurity and inadequacy it is, of course, due to the fact that such ideas have dominated your thinking over a long period of time. Another and more positive pattern of ideas must be given the mind, and that is accomplished by repetitive suggestion of confidence ideas. In the busy activities of daily existence thought disciplining is required if you are to re-educate the mind and make of it a power-producing plant. It is possible, even in the midst of your daily work, to drive confident thoughts into consciousness. Let me tell you about one man who did so by the use of a unique method.

(From: Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale)

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