Leading by Believing

Judith Campbell
Published on: August 2012
Even for those who don't follow tennis, Roger Federer will most likely be a familiar name. As I watched him win his seventh Wimbledon title this month, I couldn't help but smile. His last Grand Slam win had been in Australia, in January 2010. Also that year, he lost his Numero Uno to Rafael Nadal. In interviews, Federer kept telling reporters that his goal was to recover the No.1 slot. The press scoffed and wrote him off. He was nearly 30. Didn't he know his time was OVER? With this year's Wimbledon win, Roger Federer is once again the world's top tennis player. As he said to reporters after the match, "I never stopped believing."

There's a lesson there - an important one. Probably Roger Federer was the only person who truly believed he could eventually be no. 1 again and that's all it takes to be so. If you believe deeply that you can achieve something, then it doesn't matter if 6 billion people think you're chasing a pipe dream. You will be the one having the last laugh. On the other hand, if 6 billion people believe you can achieve something and you don't have faith in yourself, then you don't stand a chance.
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When he uprooted himself from his family at the age of 13 to go to a tennis academy, Roger Federer and all the other new tennis kids were asked what their dream was. They wrote things like, "I would like to be a Top 100 player" or "I want to be a professional tennis player." Only one kid wrote, "I want to be the best tennis player in the world." No prizes for guessing who THAT was. Even at age 13, he believed. Even though he didn't stand out among his peers, he believed he had it in him. Yes, he had talent, but nobody who saw him play then believed he was anything special, far less that he would end up becoming not only the best tennis player in the world, but probably the best tennis player of all time. All that matters is that Roger believed he could do it.

Roger Federer's success is a reflection of his unwavering self-belief. So what is your belief system like? And in fact, what exactly are beliefs? Basically, they are thoughts that you hold to be true. Money doesn't grow on trees. I'm too old to start a business. Coffee keeps me awake. I'm not smart enough to write a book. I'll never find my soul mate. These statements are not facts, but we heard them so often, we ended up accepting them blindly as truisms and so they became true for us as surely as night follows day. If you believe coffee keeps you awake, then coffee is going to keep you awake. If you believe you are not smart enough to write a book, you will never even try.

Beliefs can be empowering - as in Roger Federer's case; or they can be heartbreakingly limiting, as is the case for most mortals. It is shocking to see that how tightly and how effortlessly we wrap mental chains around ourselves in the form of limiting belief systems. We become prisoners and our own minds are our jailers. How sad is that!
So how can we change a limiting belief? Simple! WE are in charge of our minds, not vice versa. As our beliefs sneaked up on us through repetition, they can be replaced by repetition so that ultimately, the new belief supersedes the old. For any belief that you want to change, choose a more empowering version of it, for example, "I believe my soul mate it out there somewhere and I am now attracting him/her into my life." Saturate your mind with this new belief, all day, every day. I usually know when I've succeeded when I find the new belief popping unbidden into my mind. Once your subconscious mind has accepted the new belief, it has no option but to act on it.

We have within us all the resources we need to achieve our aims and fulfill our potential. The first step is, like Roger Federer, believing that we can.
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