UNLEASH THE LION
Before I put each of my 3 kids to bed at night I say the same prayer with them:
- Thank you God for this amazing gift.
- Please protect them and keep them safe.
- I pray that they love You and put You first.
- I pray that they love themselves and are confident in who they are and how they are made unique and special.
- I pray that they love and serve others.
What is interesting here is that the 4th one is the longest. This 4th prayer might be the hardest and most complicated. This 4th request might be the difference in how they process failure, success, and all the challenges life throws at us.
In essence what I am asking God is that my children have self-confidence.
In the end, God has the final say, but I believe that He also gives us free-will…and one of the most powerful forms of free-will we have is our self-image – how we see ourselves. Your self-image sets the stage for what you expect out of yourself, how you let others treat you, and what you get out of life.
Here’s a story to help me explain:
One day in the jungle, a Lion, his Lioness, and their cub Ayo where out on a morning walk together. Unfortunately, a gang of hunters spotted them and went in for the kill. Seeing this the Lion picked up and threw Ayo into the bushes and he and his bride sacrificed themselves to save their boy. The cub was safe, but abandoned…Ayo cried and cried because he was scared and ached for his parents.
Luckily though, not much time had passed and a herd of sheep came by and adopted the lion cub. Ayo grew up with this herd of sheep and even came to believe that he was a sheep. Ayo ate like a sheep, baaa’d like a sheep, followed others like a sheep, and was timid like a sheep. One day several years later, the new Alpha Lion and King of the Jungle, Desta, was on the outer rim of the jungle and spotted the sheep. He ran after them, but stopped in shock when he saw another lion. All the sheep scattered and fled, including Ayo. Desta cornered Ayo and said, “What’s wrong with you?!” What are you doing with these sheep?” Ayo replied, “Please have mercy on me, please don’t kill me.”
Desta couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He even asked Ayo to roar, but all Ayo did was baaaa like a sheep. Disgusted, Desta grabbed Ayo and took him to the nearby river. He told him to look at his reflection in the water. Ayo looked down and saw a beautiful and powerful mane. He looked back at Desta, then back at the reflection, and back again several times. Desta said, “You are a Lion! Now roar like one!” Ayo puffed out his chest and tried, but all that came out was a weak growl. Desta swiftly slapped Ayo accross the face with his powerful paw and said again, “You are a Lion! The King of the Jungle!…now roar like one!” Ayo looked at his paws, saw his sharp claws; he opened his mouth and saw his enormous teeth; he looked again into the river and a flash back of his brave father came to him. Just like that, his self image change. Ayo then stood up and roared the loudest roar the jungle had ever heard. All corners of the jungle could hear this thunderous and powerful sound. Ayo’s days as a sheep were over.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF: AS A LION OR A SHEEP?
You and only you have the power to make that choice. Do you see yourself living a life in abundance or scarcity? Achieving your dreams and being the best version of you starts in the mind. Take a moment to think about all the negative thoughts you have been telling yourself; stop thinking about what the doubters or haters have said about you; flush away your past failures; dismiss thinking of a future where you are not just absolutely crushing it.
Lets take a lesson from The King himself, LeBron James and do “The Silencer.” LeBron has consistently quieted the doubters (3 rings, brought a championship to Cleveland, coming back being down 3 games to 1 vs. Golden State). Usain Bolt paid homage to the King, by winning his 3rd 100 meter and 200 meter Golds at the Rio Olympics – many didn’t believed he could do it AGAIN…then he hit ’em with The Silencer. Here are the steps (I saw this on ESPN’s Instagram last week):
- Push your hands down, while you lift your knees up (do this twice) – this represents pushing down your suppressive thoughts.
- Make a fist and pound your chest 2 times – this represents, you ringing the bell for a new era, a new you…you are pumping up your Lion Heart.
- Now, let out a roar so loud that everyone on the block can hear – Unleash the Lion Within!
Silence YOUR self doubt and often false perception of what you might think OTHERS think of you. This exercise is the first step to changing your self image. Believe that you are chosen. Know that you are loved. Trust that you are created to do something so amazing that only God could have planned it. Start raising your expectations of yourself and find someone like Desta to knock some sense into you, inspire you, and reinforce that you HAVE THE POWER!!!…my 6th prayer is that you love yourself and UNLEASH the LION inside of you. Start being the best version of you TODAY!