By the time you read this article, I should have given the keynote address, “Free Your Mind”, at this year’s Possible Woman Conference in Atlanta on April 26. The Conference theme is “Imagine” and my talk kicks off the day. In preparing for the talk, I was again reminded of the importance of imagination and having a mind that is “free” if we want to build strong careers.
I have said it in other articles and I say it again: You must be able to see yourself being and doing the things you want to be and do BEFORE you can actually be or do those things. Sound corny? Maybe. But guess what? It is absolutely true!
You must be able to see yourself as a technical expert, great leader, supervisor or manager, top contributor, or highly paid executive before you make the first step in that direction.
What stops us from imagining? Why is it so hard? It was a lot easier when we were children. Don’t you remember? We could imagine a best friend, imagine we were Superman or Wonderwoman. Imagine we could fly the highest heights or swim the deepest oceans. Our minds were free and our hearts happy because no one told us we could not be or do and we believed we could.
During the height of the Black Power Movement, the battle cry was “free your mind”! It was a cry anchored in the hard realization that feet, hands, and minds were shackled during slavery. A realization that it would be much more difficult to break the shackles of the mind; shackles of self-doubt, shackles of low self-esteem and low expectations, and shackles of limited vision and small dreams.
If you are to succeed at work, I mean really succeed; you must have control of your mind and see yourself traveling roads not before traveled. So what if you have not seen anyone who looks like you or come from where you are from accomplish what you want. You be the first. Stop holding back on dreaming. Dream Big! Plan big! Work big!
Your thoughts matter and they matter big time! The mind must be protected like Fort Knox.
Those who are not your cheerleaders know when they get into your head, they get into you. They know when they control your mind, they control you.
Positive affirmations – self talk- can be a great way to counter the negative talk coming from others about what you can or cannot achieve.
Once your mind is free, help someone else break free from chains that bind the mind!