As a high school student, I had a very special individual in my life by the name of Coach Chris Jones. He was the most enthusiastic, positive, excited, encouraging person I had ever met. I knew very little about personality styles then, but looking back, I can clearly see he was the “Inspiring” type. He was an encourager to everyone around him. At the time I could not understand why I was especially drawn to him, but now it makes perfect sense. I wanted to be like him.
One day after football practice I saw him in the gym playing basketball. He stopped playing and came up to me to tell me something. I could tell by the expression on his face and the excitement in his voice that it was going to be big news! He told me he was going to bring a rabbit to football practice the next day. I asked, “Why in the world are you going to do that?” He said that he wanted me to race the rabbit from one goal line to the other. “I am sure you can outrun the rabbit”, he said. Then he walked off and left me standing there…smiling! His belief in me made me want to run even faster!
Many times Coach Jones bragged that I could catch a football better than anyone he had ever seen in his life. As a matter of fact, one day he told me that Raymond Berry (who was the great receiver for the Baltimore Colts at that time), had just retired from pro-football and that he was sure Baltimore would draft me right out of high school to take his place! Then during softball season, he called me “Babe Rohm”, because of the way I hit the ball. Every time he was watching, I would swing harder! Can you see how his belief in me had such a strong influence in my life?
I owe a great debt of gratitude to that man! He was perhaps the first person I remember having that much belief in me. Somehow I was able to transfer his belief in me to belief in myself. What a great gift that is to give someone! I will be eternally grateful for his positive influence in my life and his strong belief in me.
Belief and influence go hand-in-hand. If someone is convinced that you do not believe in them, you will have very little influence in his or her life. As a matter of fact, they will want to avoid you. Haven’t we all heard the importance of staying away from negative, critical people? The reason is obvious. Rather than having a positive influence on us, they have a negative influence. They cause us to second guess ourselves and to doubt our own God-given abilities.
Each day we have the opportunity to show our belief in other people. The more we are able to communicate a positive belief in others, the greater the influence we will have in their lives. I am sure each of us can name people who have had either a positive or negative influence in our own lives. It is their belief in us, or lack thereof, which has made the ultimate difference.
Let me encourage you to go out of your way to express your belief in the people your life touches this week. By your words and actions, you will have a strong, positive influence on them and make an important difference in their lives.
Tip: The people who influence you most are the ones who believe in you the most!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm