Written by David H. Rosmarin
One of the great tragedies of living with anxiety is that it can destroy our vision for ourselves. By allowing anxiety to rule over one’s life decisions, great dreams and aspirations are cast aside in the face of worry and concern. If the trend continues, an anxious person’s world is gradually reduced to a narrow sliver of what it means to be human.
What can we do when our fears and hang-ups interfere with achieving the visions we have for ourselves? How does one regain ground in the greater war against anxiety? Perhaps the answer is not to start by focusing on the visions we have for ourselves, but rather by developing a Godly vision of ourselves.This means several things:
First, developing a Godly vision of oneself entails recognizing the human capacity for greatness. Although human potential is often covered up, every person off the street has incredible God-given talents, strengths, and abilities that are just waiting to be utilized. For example, in some Asian countries, school-aged children are trained to multiple three by five digit numbers in their minds without the use of a calculator or abacus. [su_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lL_b8DkfyA”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lL_b8DkfyA[/su_youtube]
More fundamentally, developing a Godly vision of oneself involves recognizing that each person has a unique and important job to do in this world. Every human being has a one-of-a-kind constellation of cognitive, behavioral, emotional, physical and spiritual characteristics that has never occurred in all of history, and will never again occur ever again in the future. As one of my mentors likes to say: “You are 1000 times more unique than your fingerprints!” That is to say: No one is superfluous or ancillary. Neither you nor anyone else is a fluke or an accident!
Perhaps most important, however, developing a Godly vision of oneself entails believing that our capacity for greatness is truly within reach. Seemingly, if every person has God-given talents and abilities, then God wants each of us to succeed in the unique Divine mission of our lives. That being the case, it must be that we inherently have the capacity for success. Put differently: Every human being is sitting on a gold mine – each of us has unfathomable Godly potential right inside of ourselves, and all we need to do to shine is start digging and refining our potential by striving to achieve our goals and dreams.
All of the above is a formidable challenge for those of us who had a Western education where standardized testing and coursework have replaced efforts to identify and bring out each student’s unique characteristics. Nevertheless, the following 1-minute exercise may be helpful in developing a Godly vision of ourselves:
1) Start by thinking about a talent that you possess. It can be something simple – like the capacity to walk, lift or drive – or something complicated like the ability to downhill ski or play an instrument. (20 seconds)
2) Now, think about a time in your life when you used your talent to make the world a better place. Perhaps you walked someone home, or helped them lift groceries into their car? Or maybe you raised someone’s spirits by playing them a song? (20 seconds)
3) And finally, envision yourself using your ability to achieve a personal goal or dream. Conjure up an image of digging deep to unleash your inner potential through your innate abilities. (20 seconds)