Saturday, 01 October 2011 00:00

Reach for the sky!

Article as it appeared in Weigh-Less magazine. By Natasha Liviero

We all have dreams and aspirations and we are all capable of great things. It's our belief in ourselves that determines whether we fulfill our potential or not. 

Everyone needs a sense of purpose and accomplishment, often fused with a desire for success. Although success is usually measured by income and the subsequent lifestyle it buys, its authentic meaning is far deeper than material worth.

Success has no definitive definition because it’s about being the best that you can be – and only you know what that is. For some, success is about career and being the CEO of a multi-million Rand company. For others, it’s having a simple nine-to-five job that pays the bills with minimum stress and maximum family time. “It is vitally important to know that ‘success’ is a feeling, a mindset, the precursor of which is a thought generated by what you believe to be true to you,” says Brad Napier, Certified NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner and personal/life coach.

How self-worth determines success

Success cannot be divorced from self-worth. “If we want to realise our dreams we need to have good self-esteem, because it is our belief about ourselves that really impacts on what we achieve in life,” says psychologist, Claire Newton.  “Self-esteem is not necessarily based on truth or fact. It is self-perpetuating – we only see or believe what we expect to see or believe about ourselves”. Claire suggests reviewing your beliefs and re-setting them according to your current reality. You can better understand your beliefs by asking the following questions:

1. What are my strengths and weaknesses?

2. What am I capable of achieving and not achieving?

3. What should I or should I not be doing?

Godfrey Madanhire, owner of Dreamworld Promotions, exemplifies the importance of self-belief. Originally from Zimbabwe, Godfrey came to South Africa in 2000 with absolutely nothing. After managing to land a sales position at a marketing company, Godfrey worked hard to move up the ranks and ultimately start his own company, Dreamworld Promotions, a corporate training and motivation company, in 2006. He faced many challenges along his journey, including not being able to obtain financial assistance from the financial institutions, but sheer determination and self-belief helped him overcome these challenges and to succeed. Today, his company employs over 300 people! “My success is a result of a firm belief in myself, an understanding of my purpose in life and the persistence to fight for my dream. One has to appreciate the need to keep on fighting and pushing because success is a journey,” explains Godfrey.

“A dream can only turn into reality if one gathers enough courage and determination to overcome all obstacles and challenges. It will never be smooth sailing” - Godfrey Madanhire, owner of Dreamworld Promotions

Clarity & goals

So, how do you begin to fulfill your dreams? Firstly, gain some clarity on what it is you want. If, like many, you are unsure, it may help to consider what you don’t want. Alternatively, seek professional guidance. Personal/life coach, Brad Napier, explains the benefits of working with a coach: “In order to create more success one must ascertain where they are now in their life, how it’s not working for them, and from there it is easier to discern more effectively and clearly what it is they do want in order to attain and feel more success. This is best done by what we call ‘Well Formed Outcomes’ or more traditionally, ‘goals’. The difference is that in setting ‘Well Formed Outcomes’ in a coaching environment, the clients self-esteem, confidence and belief in the achievement of the goal is instilled before setting the goal and is maintained by the client with techniques via the facilitation coach. This helps to dissolve doubts about ones capability to achieve the goal/s”.

To clarify your dreams, Claire suggests writing down the following:

1. Your values - to give you direction and help make decisions.

2. Your purpose - the long term reason for doing something and your motivation.

3. Your vision - you need a vision to know where you are going and what you ultimately want to achieve with your life.

From these, you can develop a plan for your dreams and goals.

Goals give you something to focus on and to work towards.  When setting goals, ensure that they are attainable, specific and measurable. It’s also a good idea to instill a time line to ensure progress ensues. This may require setting mini-goals that lead to one ultimate goal. “All individual life journeys start with some sort of goal or goals. Without goals we would not have journeys, and without journeys we would not grow as individuals, and without growth we become stagnant and that’s where fear sets in,” concludes Brad.

Review & go with the flow

Be sure to review your goals and plans regularly. “Remember that life is dynamic, not static. You cannot commit to something forever because life is not the same forever. Review your plans to keep up to date with changes happening in your life. Be creative, be flexible and allow for change,” says Claire.

Finally, successful people are positive minded individuals who view failures with a different perspective. Trial and error, without giving up, is the name of the game. Be tenacious, soldier through challenges and most importantly, believe in yourself – and – your dreams. As Buzz Lightyear, from The Toy Story fame, so eloquently put it… to infinity and beyond…

Up for grabs!

Monique Rissen-Harrisberg’s book, Make yourself Heard: How to Talk, Act and Dress yourself to Success offers women advice for finding the appropriate voice to speak confidently and improve self-image. As founder and CEO of The Voice Clinic, Monique says: “We all have what it takes to be remarkable human beings but sometimes need a little help to harness our best traits and present them to the world to see”.

We have 5 books on offer! Send your name, address and daytime telephone number to Weigh-Less magazine/ Make yourself Heard giveaway, Private Bag X1022, Hillcrest, 3650 by 30 November 2011.

Sources: Brad Napier, Claire Newton, Godfrey Madanhire