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

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