The other night I was watching TV and a documentary about the ‘King in the Car Park’, a story about the English King Richard III. The story was about a group of historians led by Phillipa Langley from the Richard III society who believed that they had uncovered enough evidence to suggest where they thought the body of Richard III was buried.
After a series of breaks the group were able to start digging in the car park of the local council offices under the direction of the local university Archeological department.
The odds of finding the Kings bones were remote to say the least, the experts each looked at this group of amateurs almost with a touch of mad conspiracy theorist about them.
But, Langley had total belief. She was totally convinced that she would find his body. In the car park, she was filmed standing on a letter ‘R’ painted on the tarmac probably for reserved, though she joked that it was for Richard III. This is in fact the exact location that they found his body and later confirmed by DNA.
When you give up something like drinking or smoking or attempt something that all around you say is impossible, you need faith and belief in yourself. Langley displayed such belief in herself, even when faced with a group who were highly skeptical.
It took many attempts for me to give up drinking. What normally happened was that I’d give up on a Sunday morning, convinced that I had to give up. By Thursday, 4 days later, I’d have convinced myself that drinking would be OK if I limited it to 4 beers. By the next day, Friday I was planning the weekend with friends and the idea of giving up was a distant memory. This happened every few months or so, until December 21st, 2006. That Sunday was different. For whatever reason this time I had to believe myself this time. I’d reached a Mt. Everest moment in my life. It felt as though the time had come to do something positive. The difference between this time giving up and all the previous failed attempts was that for the first time I had total belief that it was right to give it up and that the moment was now. Having that belief not only got me past that first Thursday, but also the second and third.
While watching this TV documentary it struck me how similar it was when I said I’d give up. Most people had heard it all before. I could see the quizzical looks from those around Langley and recognized them from those who were around me when I publicly stated I’d drunk my last drink. Nobody believed I could do it. This just fed my strength and helped me to believe more in myself, that I could actually do it.
Belief is like a plant, you have to feed it and nurture it. When you do, it grows and gets better and better and deeper and deeper. That belief has spread across many areas of my life. I’ve increased my confidence because I’ve been able to do something that I never thought it would be possible to do.
Reading stories like this, or comments people have written here on this and other blogs, you can see the common thread in each one – belief is at the core of every success story.
If, like me you’ve failed many times to give up drinking, you need to check how much you believe you can do it. When you believe in yourself you’ll be amazed at the doors you can open that just couldn’t open before when you didn’t.