Power of positivity in the midst of adversity

RECENTLY, I was watching a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) bout and was caught by the appearance of Koffi Kingston, a Ghanaian wrestler who has made it in this top American money-spinning sport.

Robert Mandeya

It is in one of his most important bouts that Kingston asserts his prowess and confidence in beating his opponent who in this particular match was billed as the favourite to win. Kingston was coming into the bout as an underdog, but he assured his legion of fans before the fight that his positive mind was going to see him victorious. He spoke about the power of positivity, which I found quite fascinating.

Given what is happening in Zimbabwe currently in terms of the condition of our economy, coupled with the Covid-19 crisis and resultantly what people and business alike are going through, I found Kingston’s concept of positive thinking quite profound and relevant to our situation.

The concept of positive thinking has permeated our culture. It is a philosophy of faith that does not ignore life’s problems, but rather explains a practical approach to life’s full potential. It is a system of creative living based on spiritual techniques, and its operation is demonstrated in the lives of thousands of people.

True to his belief in positive thinking philosophy, I watched Kingston subdue his larger-than-life opponent, sending his fans into a frenzy of excitement and inspirational adulation. There were quite a lot of lessons in the wrestling bout.

Believing in yourself

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy. But with self-confidence you can succeed.

A sense of inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realisation and achievement. Because of the importance of his mental attitude, Kingston in some way helped many who were watching to believe in themselves and release their inner powers.

An appalling number of people are made miserable by an inferiority complex, particularly in these trying times in our country. But you need not suffer from this trouble. You can develop faith in yourself.

In business, there are so many times when we are faced with very critical hurdles to tackle.

At one of my seminars on change management last year, some senior executive approached me at tea time and asked: “May I talk with you about a matter of desperate importance to me?” We pushed a little further from the rest of the participants and he poured out his concern: “I’m in town to handle the most important business deal of my life,” he explained, “but I don’t believe I can put it over. I am discouraged and depressed.”

He lamented: “Why is it that all my life I have been tormented by inferiority feelings?”

We all at some time go through these unpleasant feelings. Issues of faith are so intricate. I am not an expert in the subject of faith, but life has taught me a lesson or two about this much-hyped concept which is synonymous with men of the cloth.

To this end, I proffered what I felt would best help this senior guy in need of help. “There are two steps,” I replied. “First, it is important to discover why you have these feelings. That requires analysis and will take time, and may require treatment. But to pull you through this immediate problem, I shall give you a formula. As you drive back home today, develop a mantra which you are going to repeat several times before your important appointment. Do this with an attitude of faith or self-belief and you will figure out the ability to deal with this problem.”

I shared with him a statement of affirmation which he was going repeat over and over again. Many a time these simple statements of affirmation coupled with that self-belief work wonders for so many people.

A peaceful mind generates power

There are two cryptic phrases for people in times of need or want — “an ear full of trouble” and “a mind full of peace”. Which do you choose? The essence of the secret lies in a change of mental attitude.

One must learn to live on a different thought basis, and even though thought change requires effort, it is much easier than to continue living in perpetual torment. The life of strain is as difficult as it is unavoidable. The chief struggle however is gaining mental peace. A physician friend of mine often tells me: “Many of my patients have nothing wrong with them except their thoughts.”

A primary method for gaining a mind full of peace is to practice emptying the mind. At least twice a day, empty your mind of fears, hates, insecurities, regrets and guilt feelings.

I know this is easier said than done. To prevent unhappy thoughts from sneaking in again, immediately fill your mind with creative and healthy thoughts.
At intervals during the day, practice thinking a carefully selected series of peaceful thoughts. We all have at one point or another gone through some very memorable moments or occasions in our lives. Let mental pictures of the most peaceful scenes you have ever witnessed run across your mind as, for example, in my case the silvery light of the sun falling upon rippling water does the trick.

Another way is repeating audibly some peaceful words. Words have profound suggestive power, and there is healing in the very saying of them. Use a word such as “serenity.” Picture serenity as you say it. Repeat it slowly and in the mood of which the word is a symbol. There are other practical ways by which you can develop serenity and calm attitudes.

Mandeya is a certified executive leadership coach, corporate education trainer and management consultant and founder of Leadership Institute of Research and Development (LiRD). — robert@lird.co.zw/ or info@lird.co.zw, Facebook: @lirdzim and Mobile/WhatsApp: +263 719 466 925.