Being Belief

Whether you believe that you can, or you believe that you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford understood that attitude is at the centre of our ability to achieve.   Doubt depletes motivation, doubt removes that strength of persistence which is at the core of all achievement.    Once you think that it can’t be done, the probability of you doing it falls precipitously, down to around zero.

If you really believe it can be done, you will take the time to analyze why others have failed, why you have failed in attempts to do it, question what could have been done better, then come up with considered, new and innovative approaches that offer more possibilities of achievement.

If you really believe it can be done, you will make the tradeoffs and pay the costs required to achieve, rather than holding back, deciding that you are throwing good money after bad.   It may not be able to be done at a price you can afford after all, but if you believe it cannot be done, then you can never consider what the possible price may be.

I’m pretty clear about what I believe I cannot do.   What, though, do I believe that I can do?

In the end, your choices are shaped by what you believe you can do.

The doubter is wise, the believer is happy, as the old Hungarian proverb goes.

My job in the world has been the doubter.  I doubted for my family, I doubted myself to maintain the status quo. I doubted for my people to explore and communicate the boundaries of the trans experience.

I have chosen doubt for a million good reasons, not least of which is that I am very, very good at it, showing a theological bent from an early age.

I have a birthday coming up, though, one of those rollover birthdays where a digit resets to zero, a birthday that marks me as old.

Maybe it’s it is finally my time to wear purple, to act on my beliefs rather than my doubts, to reach for some kind of unfettered happiness.

It is a joy to find someone who believes in you, but there is a reason that Bobby Morse’s character in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” sings “I Believe In You” to a mirror.   In the end, you gotta believe in yourself because people tend to reflect your own beliefs rather than to lead them.

Whether you believe that you can, or you believe that you can’t, you’re right.

Can I believe that happiness exists in the world for someone like me, as scarred and battered as I am?   Or do I continue to vest my identity in the really brilliant and useful doubting that has defined so much of my life?

My beliefs have been bounded and constrained by the beliefs of others.   Thought forms gather strength by the number of people who sign on to them, as Rachel Pollack reminds me.

If our beliefs shape our possibilities, how do we own beliefs in the modern world?

That’s a good question for the next post.

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