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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
It is believed that Abraham Lincoln always carried with him, in his coat pocket, some newspaper clippings that extolled his achievements. The most significant from the bunch was a letter written by the reformer, John Bright to an American newspaper editor, Horace Greely which spoke highly of Lincoln's leadership and his success in the re-election as President in the former year. It is believed that Lincoln used this as a tool of inner strength when things were looking dreary or when despair settled over his mind and he could reach into his pocket and find hope.
While none of us might be Abraham Lincoln, it’s fair to say that we’re going to have our dark days as well. So while we may not have newspaper clippings to tell us how good we are, what do we turn to? Here are a few pointers on how you can keep the faith:
Undying shadows of fear and doubt: Understand that shadows of fear and self-doubt are likely to lurk around often. But that doesn’t mean that you allow them to take over you or that they’re invincible. Like all of us have our strengths, so we have our weaknesses, shadows are just a reminder of the latter. So remember, don’t give them more importance than they deserve.
Embrace and accept: Want to get rid of your weaknesses? Start by accepting their presence. The more you try to keep pushing them away, the more they’ll stick like a gag around your ankles. Instead, watch them, learn about them and then decide how you can drive them away.
Conquer: Now that you’ve accepted your shadows, you’ll be a little at peace. But you still won’t be completely relaxed till you’ve overcome them. So get ready for the battle! Some people make up for their weaknesses by developing new strengths, while some people overcome them with courage, practice and perseverance. Decide which path you want to take.
Discover yourself: No matter whom you share your fears with - your shadows will always be yours alone. Understand that shadows are a kind of ‘rites de passage’ that will help you discover your black spots, vulnerabilities and weaknesses. So don’t see them as something you need to shoo away, see them as one of life’s many learnings that will help you discover yourself.
Your world view: The greatest mistake we can make is to let our shadows affect our world view. If a great disappointment came your way when you were 19 years old, don’t let it take over your mind and allow it to shape your world view when you’re 25. That way, you’re just getting stuck in the past and shutting out new things that come your way. Let it go so that you can grow.