How to Think Big (We’re Talking Oprah or Cesar BIG!)

by Stacey Curnow on · 2 comments


“It is not because things are dif­fi­cult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are dif­fi­cult.” ~ Seneca

Think­ing big — whether to cre­ate a new busi­ness or more bal­ance in your life — is great, but actu­ally tak­ing steps towards those goals can be scary because it may require you to step out of your com­fort zone.

In pre­vi­ous arti­cles I’ve sug­gested many science-based tech­niques for achiev­ing your goals, but ulti­mately you may just have to-as the ancient apho­rism suggests-feel the fear and do it anyway.

Note that I rec­om­mend that approach only if the fear is a small part of the equa­tion and the excite­ment is much greater. And how will you know?

Start by check­ing in with your emo­tional guid­ance sys­tem. Does your goal make you feel bad because you don’t feel ready and you’re afraid you’ll never be ready?

Or does it make you tin­gle with deli­cious antic­i­pa­tion? If you’re all tingly, you can just skip to the next para­graph. But if you don’t feel ready, you might want to trust your intuition.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t make progress-it just means that what­ever you’re plan­ning, you might want to take smaller steps until you feel more comfortable.

No mat­ter how you are feel­ing, if you are not tak­ing even small steps towards your dreams it is time to call in the affir­ma­tions. One of my favorite affir­ma­tions is attrib­uted to Walt Dis­ney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

But a good affir­ma­tion doesn’t have to be all pithy and mys­ti­cal like some sort of koan. Ulti­mately all you need in an affir­ma­tion is a clearly expressed thought that feels bet­ter and works for you.

That last part is cru­cial. In order to be effec­tive, that better-feeling thought must ring true for you. For exam­ple, say­ing “I’m enjoy­ing a won­der­ful love rela­tion­ship.” may be too much of a stretch. But say­ing “I’m on my way to enjoy­ing a won­der­ful love rela­tion­ship.” may work.

Lines from your favorite songs are also a good place to look for pos­i­tive mes­sages that res­onate deeply. I found one in Mary J. Blige’s Just Fine:

Hav­ing a real good time, I’m not complaining

And I’ma still wear a smile if it’s raining

I gotta enjoy myself regardless

I appre­ci­ate life, I’m so glad that it’s mine.

Affir­ma­tions that help you feel like you’re hav­ing a lit­tle fun are also great.

An affir­ma­tion I use when deal­ing with busi­ness mat­ters is “Tap your inner Oprah.” It always tick­les me and makes me feel powerful.

Oprah knows exactly what she wants and she asks for it — firmly, deci­sively, and with grace. One of the things I admire most is her curiosity.

I’ve read reports that she goes into exchanges look­ing for con­nec­tion, with­out judg­ment, and it’s obvi­ous she’s gen­uinely inter­ested in others.

If I find myself in a sit­u­a­tion that makes me feel uncom­fort­able I think about Oprah, and I become less self-conscious. I stop think­ing, “This is hard,” or “How does this make me look?” and become more inter­ested in the exchange, not the outcome.

If Oprah doesn’t ring your bells, whom do you admire? You might pre­fer to take a page from Cesar Milan, host of the fas­ci­nat­ing series, The Dog Whis­perer.

The premise of the show is that he reha­bil­i­tates “bad” dogs, but it’s pretty obvi­ous in every pro­gram that he is really train­ing the own­ers to think and behave differently.

Time after time he demon­strates that there are two ener­gies in the ani­mal king­dom: dom­i­nant and sub­mis­sive. Dom­i­nant energy is energy that is aligned with one’s inner source. It cre­ates bal­ance; it cre­ates a pos­i­tive, forward-moving direc­tion and every­one wants to align with it.

Cesar also calls dom­i­nant energy calm, assertive energy. This means you have no ten­sion or ner­vous­ness in your mind. You know that you CAN think big and you’re going to do what­ever you have to do to make your goals happen.

So if you’re con­fronted with a sit­u­a­tion where you’re tempted to aban­don your cen­ter, you might remind your­self to “Tap your inner Cesar” and get back into a calm, assertive flow.

Here’s an assign­ment: Write sev­eral affir­ma­tions for your­self — write them on sticky notes and post them all over your house, on the dash­board of your car and in your wallet.

Feel the shift every time you read them. You can also find a sym­bol that is mean­ing­ful to you. Choose an affir­ma­tion to asso­ciate with it so that when you see your sym­bol it reminds you of that affir­ma­tion. (That works for those times where you need a reminder, but can’t just put up a sticky note with the actual words posted-in your office, for example.)

Doing this assign­ment will help you cre­ate a prac­tice, almost like a rit­ual, that will form and shape your day. Those mes­sages will remind you of your inten­tions and bring you inspi­ra­tion and encour­age­ment. Even­tu­ally they’ll become a way to talk to your­self on a whole new level-perfect for when all your lit­tle steps for­ward land you on a whole new level of challenges.

By then of course, you’ll be ready: don’t be sur­prised when magic hap­pens. Please share your affir­ma­tions with me in the com­ments below!

by Stacey Curnow

Stacey is a pur­pose and suc­cess coach who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. To find your pur­pose and pas­sion, check out her FREE eBook, The Pur­pose and Pas­sion Guide­book.
Stacey Curnow
View all posts by Stacey Curnow

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David Stevens May 12, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Hi Stacey,
I simply like to use … “This can be done” . I’m not big on affirmations as a general rule, just positive thoughts. However, whatever gets you going is a good thing. Thankyou for this.
Be good to yourself
Life Coach. Listener. Solution Finder.
David Stevens´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sometimes … You just need someone to talk toMy Profile


Stacey May 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Hi David!

Thanks so much for your kind note! Yes, just like you, I’ve learned that the best affirmation is simply the thought that helps you feel better in the moment.

Take wonderful care of you!
Stacey´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Go from Unhinged to Unflappable (Your Ticket to Easy World Inside)My Profile


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