THE FOLLOWING IS AN extract from Christina Guidotti’s new book The True Believers, where she explains the importance of mastering the three superpowers of belief, conviction and commitment.
IN MY LATEST book, The True Believers, I share how to use the three superpowers of belief, conviction and commitment to reach fulfilment. And although this final step on the growth ladder may not necessarily be easy, the way to get there is simpler than you think. When we consistently work towards what we want, and persist until we arrive, we hit our target more often.
But before True Believers take aim at a target, they stop and start at the beginning. They start with deciding why they want to hit their chosen target. Without a strong ‘why’ many miss hitting their target. Finding clarity by getting super-clear about their ‘why’ is what brings stamina, drives productivity, fuels discipline and leads them to their desired destination.
True Believers are loyal and dedicated to a cause they truly believe in. True Believers commit to finish and as a result deliver on the promises they make to themselves. They attract other True Believers who live with the same sense of purpose and fulfilment. When these tribes form, the collective contribution creates a powerful increase in consciousness, turning cultures and communities around.
How do you become a True Believer?
I’m a believer in the idea that anything’s possible. I think your life is like a blank canvas, and if you want to bridge the gap between the life you have and the life you want you need to paint your own masterpiece.
As you begin to create the life you choose there are lots of people who will tell you that you can’t, you won’t, and you shouldn’t.
But the bottom line is that you have to be a True Believer in the life you want to create. You should also surround yourself with other True Believers. It’s your frame; you can own it, and true belief is how you create it. Those who choose this path are True Believers.
Have you ever met a True Believer? I’m not talking about the religious or political type. I’m talking about a person with so much confidence, courage, conviction and resilience, so much commitment aligned to their values, that they barely waver. These people know their true north. True Believers know that life is like a marathon. In sprints it’s about who crosses the finish line first, but in marathons it’s about finishing. True Believers may or may not cross the finish line first, but they do finish marathons!
I’ve been studying True Believers for over 30 years. As a little kid at school I would observe those who stood up and led and those who didn’t. I studied those – either with or without authority – who later went on as adults to turn cultures, companies and communities around. I try to be one myself, but more than anything, I have learned from them. I want to share what it takes to be a True Believer.
TRUE BELIEVERS MAY MAKE SUCCESS LOOK EASY
Success may look easy. But we know that success is not always easy to come by and takes discipline and commitment. There is often an interesting back story to someone’s success that involves a lot of hard work. While it may look simple to the onlooker there is rarely an easy road to success.
So how do True Believers make success look easy?
- They get on with it rather than talking about it.
- They get the things done that really matter.
- They take responsibility and stay out of drama.
- They stay focused on a clear path ahead. What’s really going on? Five facts that matter.
- THE QUALITY OF LIFE IS GOING DOWN
In the Western world the standard of living is going up, but the quality of life is going down. Human stress and suffering is increasing in our homes, next door, in our businesses, and around the world. We have so many choices, and we still want more — more money, more things, more knowledge, more success, more respect. But sadly, happiness for many is an epic fail.
- MENTAL WELLNESS IS CAUSING DISEASE
The World Health Organisation reports that by the year 2020 mental illness (primarily depression) is going to be the number one condition in the developed world and will be the leading cause of disability and disease. That is staggering!
- WORKING PARENTS ARE DOING IT TOUGH
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 78 per cent of mothers and 92 per cent of fathers with children aged from six to 14 years are in the paid workforce. Working parents are doing it especially tough: struggling under great pressure, juggling work and family life, being pulled physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially.
- ABSENTEEISM IS COSTLY
The cost of absenteeism in Australia has been estimated at $7 billion each year, while the cost of presenteeism, where we are at work but not fully functioning because of a medical condition, is at almost $26 billion.
- CONNECTION IS CAUSING A DISCONNECTION
I acknowledge the wonderful time-saving advantages of technology in a rapidly changing world. There are enormous gains to be had at work and in life by using ICT well. Nevertheless, the time we spend on social media, surfing the net and reading or writing emails is having an impact. It reduces the time we spend on ourselves: nurturing our health, relationships, recreation and achievements.We have to do something about these statistics now.The clock is always ticking and every precious minute counts in our personal life and in our business. True Believers have a healthy respect for time. It’s never too late to become a True Believer and to avoid becoming an unhealthy statistic.
REJECT BEING ‘FINE’!
Regardless of these five facts that matter, how many times have you said ‘I’m fine’ to describe how you are doing? The ‘I’m fine’ statement and the thinking that supports it can encourage us to avoid specific areas that need attention. By looking closely at all areas of our lives we can identify where we are fine and where we are not. There’s a risk that avoiding certain issues by using the ‘I’m fine’ mentality will lead to decline. Life goes by so fast that we can sometimes forget who’s in the driver’s seat. It’s important to press ‘pause’ or take our foot off the accelerator, check in to see what’s going on and, perhaps, update our plan of action.
Problems begin when we hide our truth and numb our pain. Numbing our psychological pain protects us from feeling hurt. In the short term this cover- up provides some relief; but long term the effects of anaesthetising what’s really going on can be harmful.
Fear is often the reason for the masquerade; disguising problems prevents us from finding solutions. Concealing what is really going on and how we are truly feeling is damaging to our wellbeing. When we are not fulfilled we can turn in frustration to addictions in order to feel good. The journey from problem to solution gets interrupted with short-term relief and this masks the truth. Relief includes drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. It also includes avoidance techniques like procrastination, denial, overeating, oversleeping, over- socialising and overworking.
The first step to a better quality of life is to uncover our truth, unmask the problem causing the pain and then treat it. We then have a chance of avoiding the interruption of the numbing addictions that prevent us finding solutions to create fulfilment. Uncovering the truth is where fulfilment begins and it’s what True Believers do. Uncovering the truth is where the magical tipping points can be found.