Whatever you think of Kevin Costner, he is the star of one of my favorite movies (which, thankfully, also features James Earl Jones and Ray Liotta). In Field of Dreams, Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, hears a whispered voice that tells him: “If you build it, they will come.” Against the advice of all family members and friends, and at risk of bankruptcy, Kinsella travels thousands of miles in search of answers and invests thousands of dollars to carve a baseball field out of his cornfields, so that specters of deceased ball players can become a money-making spectacle.
Many coaches teach their clients Law of Attraction—that we all can “tap into the Universe” to “attract” what we want. They tell us that by wishing for it, being open to receiving it, visualizing ourselves having it, and then behaving as if we already have (or merit) it, it will come.
But this “Field of Dreams Myth” neglects an important aspect of Kinsella’s story. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve personally witnessed dozens of cases wherein someone wanted something miraculous so badly that it was practically dropped into his or her lap—seemingly, simply by believing it would happen.
But in each of those cases, just like Kinsella’s, there was a second key element: they built it. They prayed and visualized, but they also worked and fought for what they wanted. And while it’s true that the specific actions they took may not have been direct causes of their ultimate results, being in action was a necessary component of their successes.
Periods of doubt and disagreement are part of the human experience, especially when you’re after something BIG. When you are going through desperate times, try reaching for one of the proactive solutions below:
1. Free yourself from “shoulds” and respect the needs that increase your own sense of worth. Find out what you want, and value it. Then, take actions designed to take you where you want to be.
2. Set achievable goals first. I believe that people who set unrealistic goals can reach those, too, but start by establishing goals you can realistically achieve, and then work step-by-step to develop your fullest potential.
3. Talk to yourself positively. Your subconscious hears what you tell yourself. Is that whisper saying, “I’m an idiot,” or is it reminding you that “even very bright people make mistakes”?
4. Separate your reality from your emotional baggage. For example, you may feel stupid, anxious, and hopeless about a project, but if you think about it, you’ll conclude you probably still have the ability and ample opportunity to accomplish something with it.
5. Take chances. Expect to make mistakes, hit roadblocks, and upset others, and don’t be disappointed when these things happen. Feel good about trying something new and making progress.
6. Face and solve problems and conflicts. If you run away from problems you might be able to push through, you threaten your greatest goals.
7. Leverage your strengths, and accept your current limitations—for now. You can work on those limitations, but don’t let them lower your opinion of yourself.
8. Trust your own opinion and hard work. Entertain feedback from others, but depend on your own values and actions in making decisions. When you assert yourself, you enhance your sense of yourself, learn more, and make a greater difference in your life and the lives of others.
No matter what you yearn for, be patient. If you build it—even if you have to start up from the ground—it will come.
If it moves you, heed the words of Governor Romney’s concession speech, and give it your all, leaving “everything on the field”. Or, choose to hear the words of President Obama’s victory speech:
“[H]ope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep REACHING…”