“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” - William James, psychologist and author, early 20th century

Imagine the scene in 1492 as Columbus sailed away from the shores of Spain. Hundreds were probably there to see him off, some laughing at his fool hardy journey, others sad that he and his sailors would soon “fall off the earth,” and still others (just a few) who sensed this journey would open new vistas for the world. Columbus himself had a vision few others held. And so, as a result of that journey, a dramatic new view of the world emerged. It’s not flat- it’s round! Revelations like this have occurred at many points in history. Galileo determined that the world is not the center of the universe, but chose to recant rather than be put to death. The Wright brothers proved that we can fly- with the right equipment! Einstein demonstrated new mathematical realities. When I bought my first computer in 1984- a portable that weighed 40 pounds- I had no idea that by 2002 there would be a vast set of connections that would link me to people all over the world instantaneously!

“Flat world” beliefs not only occur in societies, they occur in us as well. Where in your life have you suddenly discovered that a “limitation” you had accepted for yourself was only a belief, and that belief could be changed? Where in you life now do you limit yourself?

Letting go of flat world beliefs means opening to the incredible possibilities for your life! What are the dreams you have? What lofty goals do you imagine achieving? Those desires are in your heart for a reason. They are not “too big” for you, they are waiting for you to take action. As a child, I never had a specific career that I wanted, but I did want to “help the world.” That desire has unfolded in ways I couldn’t have imagined then. Earlier this year, life partner Rick and I led a workshop leader training in Florida. One morning, participants were asked (unexpectedly!) to speak in front of the group for two minutes each, introducing themselves as though they were speaking to a group back home. Most of them had the “flat world” belief before we started, “I can’t speak in front of groups!” But each one did, and they were terrific! Sometimes you need to be pushed beyond your comfort zone by others, just as a mother sparrow coaxes her babies out of the comfort and safety of the nest so they can fly.

While you are letting go of your flat world beliefs, spend time around people that are making a difference in the world. They will inspire you to go for your dreams! Quite a few years back, Mark Victor Hansen was speaking at a group Rick and I belong to, the Inside Edge (go to insideedge.org.) The first Chicken Soup for the Soul book had been out for a while. Mark asked, “how many have read the book?” Only a few hands went up! Now, if that had been me at the time, I would have been devastated that my peers were not reading the book. Instead, without missing a beat, Mark said, “Great- there’s still a market!” That is possibility thinking!

To access our own inner wisdom, try this: stand in front of a full length mirror. Look at yourself, remembering that you are unique. There has never been, and will never be, anyone exactly like you on the planet! Open your arms and say to yourself, “I am magnificent!” If that seems difficult, just keep saying it, and be willing to believe it. Then say to yourself, “The way I want to be of service in the world is…..” What comes out of your mouth? (If nothing at first, be patient, there is a special place for you to share your talents.) Then ask your “wisdom self,” still looking in the mirror, “Where do I start?” and listen for the answer. Then take some time to write down what you experienced. And then go for it!

Author's Bio: 

- Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D., is an author, international workshop leader and trainer. Her popular book, Ordering From the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations, is available on amazon.com. For information about her training program for workshop leaders, go to www.hylteachers.com.