Several years ago, I attended a "success" seminar in northern Virginia. "Think of how you'll feel when you reach your goal. Imagine you've arrived! Feel it, smell it." I don't remember the name of the seminar nor the presenter, but I have two small pieces of wood that have locked that seminar in my mind and changed my life.
If you've ever attended a motivational seminar, you may remember the presenter encouraging you to "be all you can be." You may have been convinced that you can make a million dollars or reach other dreams using their methods. This seemed like the way that seminar was headed, until someone began passing us pieces of wood, an 8 X 12 inch board three-quarters of an inch thick. "Think of how you'll feel when you reach your goal. Imagine you've arrived! Feel it, smell it. Now in one word describe the feeling." I was skeptical, not really with it. Suddenly inspiration hit-WOW! That's how I would feel. Then the presenter told us to turn the board over and write on the other side what was standing in our way. I couldn't think of anything and as he kept talking, I figured, "Well this is a waste." From out of the blue came, "not good enough." My insecurity, feeling inadequate, thinking of everyone who could do things better than I, held me back. So I wrote "not good enough" on the board, only half listening as he was explaining the next step. With our bare hand we could break through the negative idea we'd written on the board and reach our goals. "Oh, yeah," I thought. "Right." I had to be the oldest, most out of shape person in the room!
Other people rushed to the front of the room to be first in line to break the board. I sat still, looking for someone like me. People began to step up and break through the board. I measured them and compared myself to them--still thinking "not good enough" without realizing it. Then someone failed on the first try and broke through the board on the second try. That broke the ice for me. I ambled over to the end of the line.
My turn came all too quickly. There I was facing the presenter who was going to hold the board so I could hit it with one hand while I held the other hand behind my back. He explained how I should position my feet, which part of my hand to use, and what I should be thinking. I was squaring my shoulders when he stopped me. My feet weren't just right. "Let's try it now," he said. I drew back my arm and thrust it forward, breaking the board on my first try. There followed the most unexpected emotion I've ever experienced. Wonder turned into awe. How could this be? I was overwhelmed.
The attendant ushered me to the side so the next person could have a turn. I joined the group who had broken the board and stood still while a wave of emotion enveloped me. Tears came to my eyes, but I checked them. I can! I am good enough! I can never go back and hide behind that thought again. I must move forward.
I still have those two pieces of wood and when the going gets really tough, looking at them takes me back to that awesome experience. I reach deep inside, call up all the reserves I have, and carry on.
If you experience self-defeating feelings that you're just not good enough, look for a breakthrough experience. Concentrate on your accomplishments, any small or large success in your past. You are good enough for any task you want to undertake. You have an obligation to the rest of us to share your talents and be the person you were created to be.
Let your light shine!