When each of us was born, we were programmed to live an abundant, victorious, faith-filled life. As children, we live big, dream big, play big, and believe big. We are not intimidated or scared of anything. We believe we can do anything and we can be anything we set our mind to.
When I was growing up, my aspirations were to be a model, an airline pilot, a sports analyst and broadcaster for the NFL, and to be a professional tennis player. I dreamed big! I felt seeds of greatness inside of me and believed I was going to achieve all of my dreams. But somewhere along the way, my thinking became contaminated, and my “can” turned into “can’t”, my “will” turned into “won’t”, and my self-esteem went from high to low over time.
How did this happen? Why do we allow this to happen? We let limiting beliefs creep in and contaminate our mindset with the wrong beliefs. We allow the environment around us to tell us “we are not good enough”, “we are not attractive enough”, “we are not talented enough”, “we will never do anything great”, “we are average”, “we are not the ideal weight”, “we are not popular or cool”…and the list goes on.
My two self-esteem crushers growing up that set me on the path to making me feel inferior to my environment were (1) my junior high tennis coach constantly criticizing me and then immediately praising my teammates, and (2) all the friends I had in middle school no longer wanting to be my friend once we hit junior high, because they now hung out with the “cool kids” (the popular crowd). I tried to become friends with the “cool kids” by taking similar classes as them, joining clubs and sports, and trying to sit with them at lunch. However, none of my attempts to “fit in” worked to my favor. I also put in hours upon hours on the tennis court day-in and day-out and took drills with tennis pros to advance my tennis game and actually became one of the top players on the team. All the blood, sweat, and tears still had my coaches praising my teammates and seeing me as “average” and “not worthy of praise and acknowledgement” for my hard work, dedication and my love for the game.
What happened to those beliefs and dreams we had as children? Why do we allow the environment to contaminate our thinking? What or who programmed us to think that we are just average, will never do anything great, and to give up on our dreams?
We can compare our mind to that of a computer. The way we program our computer will determine how it functions. For instance, we can have the most powerful computer with the maximum amount of memory available (all the best hardware), but if we put the wrong software in our computer, the computer will not function as it is designed to and we may end up contaminating our computer with viruses. That same philosophy applies to our mindset. Over time, we allow viruses to contaminate our “software” (our mind). We begin to see ourselves as defective, damaged, weak, unattractive, not good enough, rather than seeing ourselves as blessed, healthy, strong, attractive, victorious, successful.
Whether it takes a moment or years, we can all get back to our original software and begin to turn those limiting beliefs and thoughts into abundant beliefs and thoughts by learning to reprogram our minds and by hitting the “delete” button anytime a negative thought comes and tries to contaminate our mind (software). We can recognize the “virus” before it tries to take control and affect how we live our life. We control the doorway to what we allow in, so rather than dwell on every negative, discouraging, and disparaging comment, we can hit the “delete” button. We need to guard our mind and understand that we are not who people say we are. We have been programmed to overcome obstacles and go places we never dreamed of. We all have seeds of greatness inside of ourselves and we are all destined to do great things, accomplish our dreams, and to leave a beautiful mark on this world. To live this abundant life, it all starts by getting rid of the viruses within our mind.