Decades ago, I worked for a caterer on Cape Cod. It was the summer of 1964. The party was on a beautiful lawn that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean.
There were probably 150 dinner guests, all dressed in their finest preppy clothes, everyone chatting in a pleasant manner. I was walking amongst them, serving appetizers. I envied them. They all seemed so together. “Surely they would all achieve their dreams,” I thought.
It was time for my break, so I walked off to the far corner of the lawn to simply watch everyone buzzing about. I felt envious. Having come from humble beginnings, this was not my usual environment.
An older lady casually walked to where I was standing, folded her arms and began watching the party guests with me. She was dressed in a pink silk summer suit and carried herself elegantly.
She looked at me, smiled and said, “Do you see all of these ambitious men and women. They all have wonderful dreams. How many do you think will fulfill on their dreams?” I said, “Most of them will.”
She proceeded to tell me that there were 158 guests, and asked me to give her a number instead of saying, “most of them.” I guessed, “145.” Quickly she responded, “Maybe 1 out of 45 at best.”
I turned and faced this woman, and gasped, “Why only 1 out of 45?” Her answer stunned me. “Because they are nervous that their contacts will fall through or their action-plans will fail. They have attended the best schools, have plenty of ambition, but they will settle for less than what they want because they don’t trust their personal judgment when it’s time to make crucial decisions.”
This blew my mind. Do you mean that even young adults from successful families and Ivy League schools often fail simply because they don’t trust their own judgment?
I didn’t do much with this conversation until a couple of decades later, but I didn’t forget it. One reason it stuck with me is because when the woman walked back to the party, I asked one of the other servers, working with me, who she was. He said it was Rose Kennedy. Oh, I forgot to tell you; we were at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, Cape Cod.
Rose Kennedy raised three successful sons – President John Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy. Apparently, she taught them to trust their own judgment during childhood rearing, and helped them to overcome any nervousness they may have had about their action-plans failing.
Now I ask you. Is that how delicate the matter becomes after hearing 60,000 N0’s between age two and six? Does the contagion of NO afflict everyone, regardless of brainpower, ambition, or drive? Is our biggest deterrent to success our fear to trust our own judgment because of the NO’s?
Fear to trust oneself, to trust one’s judgment arises out of the false personality we put together during those painful childhood moments when we hear, “NO, NO, NO!” Therefore, the fear itself is false. What if you denied those N0’s the right to impose their negative points of view on you; would you naturally stop feeling so nervous about you ability to judge correctly? The answer is a resounding, “YES!”
Here is how I got over my fear. I came up with a simple method of dealing with the NO’s. I call an MD. No, not a medical doctor, but a Marvelous Denial on the lies that say I am not smart enough or capable enough to make correct judgments.
Here’s a simple exercise that helps you call a Marvelous Denials on any lies that you hold as true about you; lies that stop you from trusting your judgment when it comes to making action-plans and acting on them.
Step 1: Sit quietly. Say to yourself, “I can never really trust myself until I trust that I can make accurate judgments.”
Step 2: Think of a time when you procrastinated, and quietly admit to yourself that you had not trusted your judgments, and that’s why you stalled. Just admit it. Don’t scold yourself; just allow yourself to come to a place of mental silence. Right there you will get smart enough to realize that the problem is within, never out there.
Step 3: At the end of your life you have to account for how you spent your life. Why not start right now? It’s time to ask yourself an important question, “How have I spent my life up to now?” Have you noticed that when you trust your judgments, you are able to turn a molehill into a mountain – a molehill of efficient action into a mountain of productive results? Have you noticed that when you don’t trust your judgments, you have a series of escape plans to prevent yourself from taking action?
Step 4: You arrive at one life-victory after another by trusting your judgments more than you trust other’s judgments of you. Speak to yourself now like a decreeing king, “I intend to trust my own judgments from now on. My wants become haunts when I don’t trust my judgment; it’s time for me to stand up and be counted for when it comes to making decisions in my life.”
Step 5: Go ahead and doubt the inner voice that says, “I cannot trust my own judgment because I am not smart enough, not capable enough, was born under an unlucky star.” Use your Power of Doubt for something useful. Doubt that inward self-talk.
Don’t let the simplicity of this exercise fool you. If you do it a few times, you will take command of the usual self-talk that stops you from acting on your plans to succeed. Your intellect and ambition are tools of success, but when you don’t trust your judgment they are useless.
Rose Kennedy revealed an astonishing secret of how to be incredibly valuable to oneself. It only took me a couple of decades to get it.
When have you trusted your judgment and succeeded? When have you mistrusted your judgment and procrastinated? Perhaps you’ll offer an example with your comment?
Thank you & blessings.
In these trying times you must realize that you possess many personal powers. New on WROAR: You Have Many Powers.
Check in every week for a new episode of WROAR: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wroar/