July 2003 Issue --> Success Article
Achieving Self-Mastery
By: Randy Gage


How do you achieve self-mastery?
Mastery comes from confidence. Confidence comes from experience. Experience comes from practice. Practice comes from commitment. And commitment comes from vision.
Please read that last paragraph again. Then do the arithmetic backward and you have a roadmap to success. And notice that it all starts with vision.
Every thing that manifests in your life is a result of the vision you have for yourself. Everything. One of the common mistakes people make is to say things, like, “But I don’t really have a vision.” Au contraire . . .
EVERYONE has a vision. Now it might be a positive vision, it could be a negative one, or it may be a neutral one.
Now you may wonder, how you transform a neutral or negative vision into a positive one . . .
Glad you asked. First, and you knew I was going to say this, programming is important. If you’re watching three hours of sitcoms on TV every night, it’s highly unlikely that you’re ever going to believe in a positive vision for yourself. Likewise if you’re reading the daily newspapers, hanging around with victims and attending a church that beats you up every week. So of course you need to be exposed to positive programming, in the form of uplifting stories, positive reinforcement, spiritual nourishment, mental and physical challenges and the like.
Next, you must make your goals real to you.
And this can be easier than you may think. If your goal is to be the number one producer in your company, just having a chart showing that on your Dream Board will go a long way toward making that the case. Every time you walk past it, your subconscious mind sees you listed in the number one slot. After enough times, that doesn’t seem so audacious anymore. In fact, it starts to seem quite normal.
If you don’t own the audiotape album “Crafting Your Vision,” get it today! It a collection of twelve different experts, all sharing their thoughts on vision and goal setting. I’m one of the contributors, as is Mastermind Council member Lisa Jimenez. This album is simply a “must own” for anyone who is serious about manifesting great things in their life. I mention it now because of a very relevant technique you’ll learn from Richard Brooke in his tape.
Richard recommends that you write a movie script of the vision you want to manifest in your life.
So going back to our earlier example, you would write a script about you becoming the number one producer in your company. It might be the day of the company convention where you are given the award. The key in writing this is to involve as many senses as possible.
So you might talk about the birds chirping when you woke up, and the roar of the crowd as you are introduced. You could mention the smell of the tea you sip in the morning and the lilacs that are drifting in your window. You might write about the delicious taste of the lunch you ate on the way to the convention hotel. You would describe the huge hall where the convention is being held, and the details on the stage. You would describe the heaviness of the trophy you are handed, and the warmth of the handshake from the company president as she awards you the honor.
Once you write this script, you carry it around in your planner, purse or briefcase. Then when you have a few minutes on the Metro, in line or on your lunch hour, you read a little of it. Because so many senses are involved, it resonates with you deeper. And the deeper it does, the more of an imprint it makes on your consciousness.
Once you have a vision really anchored with you, you just naturally want to achieve it. So you commit to doing the things that make it happen.
Along the way to Mastery, I’ve discovered two insights that seem to hold true in the pursuit of Mastery in all fields and at all levels. Once you accept and integrate them into your plan, you are well on the road to Mastery. Here they are . . .
Number one, practice is the time to think, and plan, and analyze. Not in the Championship game. You practice because you build “muscle memory.” Think about soccer players. They didn’t need to think, aim, or direct their kicks on goal consciously. They see ball, kick ball. It is an instinctive reaction, built up over hundreds or even thousands of hours of practice. They don’t have fear or self-doubt; they simply do what they do best.
When you’re in the big game, you don’t want to be having to think, question or analyze. You want to be able to relax, have fun, and let your training (practice) take over.
In the case of Self-Mastery, the situation is no different. How you respond when the business deal doesn’t go your way, your marriage faces a challenge, or you’re faced with an ethical dilemma is determined well ahead of time—by the programming you’ve chosen, the wisdom you acquired, and the self-discipline you’ve developed along the way.
That’s why some of those people walking by the café seem so confident. They’ve done the work on themselves so they don’t fear life. They embrace it, celebrate it, and revel in it.
Yes, they have setbacks, challenges, and even defeats. But they have enough confidence in themselves to know that defeat is a temporary setback, and failure is never final. Unless you want it to be.
Now here is the second insight I’ve learned along the way. You can’t look good and get better at the same time. The first time you throw a baseball, ballroom dance, pronounce a new language, hammer a nail, paint a picture, build a bookcase, or serve a tennis ball you look silly! Disjointed, unsure, or even ridiculous. Good. You are starting truly at a place of learning.
The only way to be good, is to practice a lot of times while you are bad. Like I tell new speakers, the only way to be a good speaker is to do a lot of mediocre speeches. And after you do enough good ones, you will do great ones. And after you give enough great ones, you will be able to do world-class ones.
If your vision is strong, and your commitment is real, you don’t worry about looking silly in practice. You have enough belief in yourself to put up with the cuts and scrapes – or the snickers and snide comments—or the sweat and toil—to move another step closer to where you want to be.
Even when you hit the plateaus . . .
Which we all must face. It is just a reality of Mastery that you don’t move forward continuously. In fact, sometimes it’s necessary to advance a little, plateau, fall backward, go forward and plateau again—before you breakthrough to the next level. It’s a just a part of the process.
And once you’ve experienced this enough, you develop confidence. Belief. And conviction. And once you’ve got this, you are well on the road to true Mastery.
And in any area, the process is the same. You don’t end up a Master. You achieve a level of Mastery, at which you really start the higher learning. Mastery is not a place, but a process. A continuous one that includes many plateaus and setbacks along the way. In fact, if you are not facing setbacks and having some minor failures, you really can’t be moving forward.
So here are some ideas for consideration.
First, evaluate yourself. What kind of vision do you have for yourself? Be honest. Is it positive, neutral, or negative?
Do you have different types of vision for different areas of your life? Look for incongruence here. For example, you may have a vision of greatness for your bowling team, but think you will always be a low level bureaucrat all your life. Or you may see yourself as a successful CEO, but in a lifeless marriage. Or you may see yourself as active and healthy, but struggling financially.
Evaluate if the areas of Mastery you are moving forward include the way you make a living. Will Mastery of the things you’re doing, lead to prosperity in your life? In ALL areas?
Give these things some thought. And change your strategy, based upon the answers. Then you’ll be on track and on target, to achieve Mastery in the areas that matter most to you!

For more than 15 years, Randy Gage has been helping people transform self-limiting beliefs into self-fulfilling breakthroughs to achieve their dreams. Randy Gage is a modern day explorer in the field of body-mind development and personal growth. He is the author of the best-selling albums, Dynamic Development and Prosperity and director of www.BreakthroughU.com . For more resources and to subscribe to Randy’s free ezine newsletters visit www.RandyGage.com
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