Sunday word BY PROSPER TINGINI
Very often we incapacitate ourselves by our own thinking. We limit ourselves to our own set boundaries. What we think of ourselves is what we become. There is a saying that tells us that the sky is the limit, yet a few of us subscribe to that line of thinking. We self-destruct by placing self-imposed barriers in our own paths. Putting some measurements upon ourselves inhibits our potential for growth in whatever direction we can possibly pursue. It’s common to tell ourselves we can’t do or achieve certain things because of our perceived limitations. Yet, before God, nothing is impossible.
The biblical David was originally just an ordinary shepherd. He believed in himself and in the impossible and went on to slay the giant, Goliath. To him, there were no barriers in front of him. It was a matter of timing, patience and self-belief. Despite his humble beginnings, he proceeded to become one of the greatest kings of all time.
There are a few examples of people known to each one of us who have achieved great things beyond our expectations. Despite lacking the usual life spring-boards like money, education and social support, these people somehow managed to excel in whatever area, beyond the imaginations of their peers. They saw no barriers in their journeys in fulfilling what they wanted to achieve. Whatever shortcomings they had, did not prevent them from achieving the success they desired.
As children, we always build up an inner ambition based on what we see around us. Centred on those views, we then measure ourselves to see if we can fit in and achieve particular common destinies. The environment we grow up in can limit or expand our own scope of thinking. Those who take charge of themselves to vigorously determine who they want to be are more likely to excel ahead of others. Don’t let what you see around you become your pattern, otherwise you will just end up settling within what you think is the norm. Those who think bigger and outside the box tend to distinguish themselves from the rest.
We should not focus on our disadvantages or dwell on the inadequacies around us. If your mind tells you that you can’t succeed because of a limitation, then you are most likely not to succeed in whatever you would want to pursue. Likewise, if you tell yourself that you are a failure, you will fail. What we might see on the surface as an impediment may not translate to a definite obstacle. We should not hold on to our defects and put them in front of us as barriers.
Explore opportunities using other alternative available resources around you.
Sometimes mental barriers are implanted into our minds by others. While it is good and advisable to listen to advice, let that not be the final say. Things may turn out differently if you test the waters. Fear of the unknown or of failure can prevent us from moving forward. Fear tends to paralyse our actions and we thus become our own victims. It stops us from doing things. It is a disease that incapacitates action. Those bound by fear will remain rooted in one spot. At times failure becomes an option if we haven’t tried at all because of a fear.
If we become courageous, we can break down the mental barriers caused by fear or what we may perceive as obstacles. Courage can propel people to new levels, even beyond their own imagination. It gives us the strength to go on to our intended pursuits and destinations. God often comes to the aid of people with the courage to do what seems impossible. There is a divine element attached to it, as the Lord proclaimed to Joshua in the scriptures. He tells Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage, be not frightened neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you where you go” (Joshua 1:9).
In life we always suffer some losses, whether of jobs, loved ones, opportunities etc. We may grieve of the loss but that should not mean it’s the end of the world. Being divorced, losing a husband or wife should not make us give up on life. Life goes on with or without a loved one. A job loss does not necessarily pronounce doom, as other opportunities may be waiting by the corner. A child’s failure at school or lack of enough points to enrol at university does not mean he/she has failed in life. Other avenues are plentiful as alternative routes to success. Let’s not act like harnessed horses in blinkers, looking only in one direction.
Life will always be fraught with risks and littered by some barriers that we may not overcome. We should, however, be prepared to take some risk at one point or the other. Risks will always be a permanent feature in our lives. Those who refrain from taking bold decisions will remain stagnant or remain behind while others go on to cross the finish line. In the long run, the bold will prevail. In the face of a failure, get up and walk again. Try, try and try again until you succeed. Never give up.
Faced by some rigid obstacles and by failure, surrender things to God. It’s amazing how God can turn a hopeless situation into a win. He can overturn things into your favour. Nothing is impossible before the Almighty. However, while God may assist to remove some of the burdens for us, there are times when those burdens will remain in place for specific purposes. Maybe the Lord wants you to follow a different route, or to give you a better option. It also does not mean that if you don’t achieve a certain result within a set time limit, then you have failed completely. Maybe it is just because it’s not yet your time. Try again next time and you may succeed. While we work at our own pace, God works at His own pace for specific divine time frames. He makes things happen at His own time.
In Hebrews 11: 1, Paul writes: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Having the faith means to believe both in ourselves and in the power of the Lord our God. It is through faith that we can overcome all fears and succeed in whatever we want to achieve.
We have to tune our minds into a positive mode to conquer. That is faith, and it’s a very important component to the fulfilment of our aspirations. Fear of failure is in itself a manifestation of lack of faith. Where there is a will, there will always be a way. Let’s believe in ourselves.
l Prosper Tingini is the president of the Children of God Missionary Assembly. Registration in progress for those who wish to undertake Bible Studies or train as Ministers of Religion. Contact 0771 260 195 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org