Social science research teaches that the way we understand our intelligence and abilities deeply impacts our success.
When our daughter Samantha was 8 years old, she started taking ballet classes. We quickly realized that she had a passion for dancing when we saw that nothing could stand in the way of ballet. One year, she even decided to forgo her own birthday party as she simply could not miss her ballet class. By the time she was a junior in high school, she decided she would audition at The University of Utah School of Ballet.
I called the dean of the school to ask a few questions to better understand the process. By the time I hung up the phone I was very discouraged and wasn’t sure how I was going to tell my daughter the bad news. The dean explained that her program was rated the second best in the country and that in the spring hundreds of dancers from all over the country as well, as some international hopefuls, would travel to Utah to audition for only 30 available spots. Those that would make it into the program would be the very best and would start school in the fall. The dean said, “Your daughter is welcome to try but the chances of getting in are slim, though it is always good to try so that she can gain experience.”
After getting the mountain of paperwork ready for her application and sending it in, the day of the audition finally came. Samantha had written on sheets of paper that she placed in her room, bathroom mirror and refrigerator the words: “I WILL MAKE IT INTO THE U BALLET.” These words were in front of her daily for over a month; it’s all she though about.
But as we drove to drop her off, she felt scared, she asked her dad if he would walk her in to register and get a number that she would pin on her leotard. I stayed in the car. All I could think about, as I saw hotel shuttles unloading beautiful and talented ballerinas, was the crushing disappointment she was headed into. All I could do was pray for her to do her best. After 6 hours, we picked her up, it would be about two weeks before the letter arrived in the mail with news of the results of that day.
As Samantha held the unopened letter in her hands, I reminded her that she had done her best, that no matter what she had a bright future and all would be okay. I knew how hard she took rejection, I witnessed it when as a little girl, she didn’t get a part that she had auditioned for. But this was the audition of her life and I imagined that the disappointment this time would be monumental.
She opened her letter and read the words: “Dear Samantha, Congratulations, you have been accepted to. . .” The rest was a blur as we both screamed and cried and jumped for joy.
I think great things happen when we believe in ourselves. The subconscious picks up on our beliefs so we have to fill our mind with positive beliefs about being able to achieve our goals.
As this year comes to a close and a new year approaches, will you join me in clearing our minds of useless fear and stress of things we cannot control and filling our minds with positive thoughts, with affirmations that can have power over good and righteous goals.
Additionally, write it on paper and put your goal in places where you will see it. Repeat it over and over and most importantly, believe it. After all the hard work, you never know, a little miracle might just be around the corner.
Samantha finished her senior year of high school while at the University of Utah, the years that followed were her most difficult. Physical injuries were a way of life, the “corrections” that she was constantly given were at times harsh criticisms that hurt deeply and tore her down. But the hard things also made her a stronger person in the end.
What goals will you work towards this year?
Remember, after all you have done to get where you are, the most powerful thing you can do is believe.