Feeling unempowered or powerless in a situation is an indication of a limiting belief. Feeling powerless means we perceive the situation as hopeless or helpless. Hopelessness is the belief that the world won’t allow us to succeed. We believe that circumstances control our fate. Hopelessness is usually accompanied by internal language like, “if only there was (a different circumstance), then I could have (a successful result).”
Feeling powerless also shows up as helplessness. Helplessness is the belief that we are incapable of achieving success. Instead of blaming circumstances, we blame ourselves. Helplessness is usually accompanied by the internal language “I can’t.” Both hopelessness and helplessness indicate we believe success is unobtainable. We can’t visualize success, and so we don’t even try or we try half-heartedly.
Hopelessness and Helplessness
What are the two worst beliefs we can have? They are hopelessness and helplessness. Hopelessness and helplessness are certainly dream killers. They hold us back like chains and zap our energy like a power outage. And, in the case of a chronic disease like cancer, they can actually kill you. (A study of breast cancer patients showed that patients exhibiting signs of hopelessness and helplessness regardless of the physical condition had a 50% higher mortality rate.)
There are lists and lists of different kinds of limiting beliefs. However, all limiting stem back to hopelessness and helplessness.
Now let’s flip the coin! What are the two most empowering beliefs we need to succeed? It’s not really a surprise. They are the exact opposites of hopelessness and helplessness. The following quote says it in its simplest form:
“Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.”
― David Brooks
Hope and Empowerment
Wow! It’s that simple. The future CAN be better! That’s nothing more than good ole’ optimism. In other words HOPE. That’s right. The first step to success is have hope. Hope that there can be better future. Hope that if one person can achieve the success we are looking for, then we can achieve it too.
Hope is the eternal flame of the human spirit. Hope is what keeps us alive. Hope is what helps us endure. And hope is what helps us love. Without hope, there is nothing. But with hope, anything is possible. If our heart is beating, somewhere deep in our being, there is hope. It may only be a small flame like a water heater on pilot mode. However, it only takes a spark to start a fire. All we have to do is pay attention to our hope. Allow ourselves to have hope. Thoughts have energy, and anything we think about consistently expands with energy we give it. So let’s give ourselves hope for success.
The second step of success is to believe we have the power to make it so. Just as thinking about hope can build our hope, thinking about our power to act and create expands our feeling of empowerment. Empowerment is the exact opposite of helplessness. Empowerment fills our minds and body with energy. Energy to think, to learn, to problem solve, to create and to act.
Everything that man has created was created twice. It was first a thought in someone’s mind. Then the thought became an action that turned into a result. Thoughts are things. Thoughts can either hold us like chains and kill our dreams. Or thoughts can fill us with hope and empower us to great action. While many of our thoughts come from our subconscious mind, we have the ability to consciously accept or reject them. We can choose at any moment to think hopeful and empowering thoughts. And over time, we can train our subconscious mind to think hopeful and empowering thoughts. Just like we can train an elephant to do what we want them to do.