The Power of Intention

I am a self-help junkie, admittedly, and there was a tip I read from Brian Tracy in a course that I’m taking online. He asked me to catalog my fears – and then to imagine that I didn’t have this fear. The moment you are feeling anxious or nervous about something, he said, you can simply stop and ask yourself how you would feel and behave if you were *not* afraid and if you *did* know how to do something.

If you listen, you hear an answer and then you can proceed accordingly. The idea is to simply behave as if you know what you should do. It’s really the old “Fake it ‘til you make it” advice.

And that’s a remarkable way to overcome nervousness and fear, but it becomes even more remarkable when you begin to apply this idea to traits…actual characteristics that you wish you had, as well.

My biggest obstacle to success is my tendency to feel shy. We were having a dinner party last week with some colleagues of my husband. Two wonderful, professional, polished people, both of whom are highly educated in fields I know nothing about.

And so, as I saw them walking boldly up the path to my front door, I thought to myself, “How would I act if I were not shy? How would I act if I were feeling comfortable and if making them feel comfortable and welcome were my only goal?” I thought about it for just a second or two – and I really began to see how I would act if this were so. How I would act if I were to make this trait a reality. And then it all became so natural. I was both fearless and loving that evening. Conversation flowed naturally, and I felt as though – at the end of the night – I had behaved in exactly the sort of way that I would say was my highest potential.

Since that evening, I noticed that it works in other situations, as well. When I feel like I’m about to lose my temper at one of my young children…one just spilled juice on the carpet, one’s crying because she can’t tie her shoes just right, and I’m in the midst of an allergy attack because another placed a ragweed tiara on my head…I stop myself and ask, “How would a kind, compassionate, patient mother handle this?” I watch how she would carry on. And then, without thinking about it too much, I flow forward in just that way, as well.
It’s as simple as visualizing your intention – and that intention can change from moment to moment. Whether it’s to be a bold, carefree speaker; a kind and attentive spouse; a friend who stops everything and listens.

Who will you be today?

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