Recently there was the very sad news that basketball legend, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. Being from the UK and not knowing much about basketball, where our football is soccer in the USA, I have to admit I had not heard of him before. However, as I heard different news reports about his life, I really was taken back at how inspirational his life had been. This was someone who had goals in life and nothing was going to stop him. Even when once asked when he knew he was going to get to the top, his answer was that he had known all along. Even when he had injuries that would bench (if that is the correct word for basketball!) other players, Kobe Bryant would keep going. He had a self belief that drove him to success and meant that nothing could stop him.
When I perform as a mentalist or 'magician for hire', something I love if that the performances I do often start to challenge the beliefs of the audience. Even experienced scientists and academics who would totally dissmiss the concept of mind reading under normal circumstances ask me how I managed to read their minds (even after I start a performance dissmissing psychic powers!). The nature of the performance and context of entertainment seems to help people suspend disbelief and opens them up to new possibilities.
The thing with self belief is that it is great if you have it, but if you don't you have a bigger struggle in life. Often people form beliefs that limit them because of negative programming from parents or other people around them, and they end up feeling like they won't succeed in anything.
However, in magic we see that things that people normally believe are challenged and people open up to new ways of thinking. And that can be a powerful demonstration with people who believe they are unable to be successful. Once a belief is challenged and people start to question something, even whether magic or mind reading is possible, they can also start to question limiting beliefs about themselves and consider whether the negative things they used to believe about themselves may also not be true.
Of course, it is not always an easy process, but I think what I love about magic is the power to help people open their minds to new possibilities.
Not everyone has the powerful self belief demonstrated by Kobe Bryant, but hopefully it is something more people can start to develop. There are so many people who are filled with potential and the only thing that stops them is self belief. With that self belief developing there could be new stars developing in every area of life.