These are tough times. No doubt about it. But you must not let them get to you or bring you down.
And some people are. When you ask them how they’re doing, you’ll hear such answers as “Oh, I get by … Ok, I guess … Not too bad … Things could be better … You know, another day and another dollar.”
When you ask them about how they’re going to use their God-given talents to make things better, those same semi-discouraged people tend to say there’s nothing they can do. You’ll hear such answers as “There’s nothing special about me … I’m rather average in lots of ways … That’s just the way I am … I’ve always been this way … I’ll never get ahead … and … I’m too old to change.”
Excuse my language, but those answers are pathetic. You were created for achievement. You were born to win. And you were given the talents to experience real joy and awesome success.
No matter how difficult your life has been, no matter how tough the times are around you, you still have a lot going for you. Don’t ever forget that. Remember who you are.
F.Y.I. The next session of The Champion Edge Master Class starts this Thursday, January 14th. We only have room for two more people. Click here if you would like to register.
► 2. Be yourself.
One of my favorite movies is Forrest Gump. I was especially touched when Forrest was asked the most important question anyone can be asked. Someone asked him, “What are you going to be when you grow up?”
Dumbfounded, Forrest replied, “Well, I’m going to be me, aren’t I?”
Great answer. Despite the fact that the world labeled him as “slow” or “retarded,” Forrest intuitively knew the importance of being himself. It’s a mark of self-esteem and confidence.
You see, people with poor self-esteem often try to be like somebody else. And that only leads to self-loathing.
I know. I tried that in high school and college. I was convinced no girl would ever want to date me if I simply acted like myself. So I put on an act and tried to behave the way I thought a girl would like.
But that only made my self-esteem worse. Pretending to be somebody I wasn’t got me a few dates, but each date reinforced my belief that the girl wouldn’t like me if she really knew what I was like. It was a negative, vicious downward cycle that I had to break.
You’ve got to be yourself.
Just remember: popularity and happiness is not the same thing. Popularity is when OTHER PEOPLE like you. Happiness is when YOU like yourself.
► 3. Decide to like yourself, despite your imperfections.
Liking yourself does not mean you’re perfect. Nobody is. It doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t improve. Everybody needs to. It simply means you’re valuable just the way you are.
After all, most commercials are intended to hurt your self-esteem. They want you to dislike yourself — enough — so you’ll buy their products. Their products promise to bring you beauty, wealth, love, and that ever precious self-esteem.
Forget that. At some point, you’ll have to DECIDE to like yourself just the way you are. You’ll have to realize that you’re okay because God doesn’t make junk.
You need the courage to be imperfect. You see anyone can like him/herself if he/she is perfect. It takes courage to realize you’ve got some warts and challenges — and still like yourself.
► 4. Visualize yourself as victorious.
Your mental picture of yourself is vital. What you think, what you visualize, what you imagine is, to a large degree, what you will become — just like the eagle who thought he was a chicken.
As the story goes, a young boy found an eagle’s nest while climbing in the mountains around his father’s farm. He removed an egg from the nest and placed it under a hen back at the farm. The eagle hatched along with the other chicks. All his young life he was raised among chickens. Knowing no better he came to see himself as a chicken.
Then one day an eagle flew high over the chicken coop. As he watched this great magnificent eagle flying high, the thought came to him that he too wished to soar over the mountains. With a burst of inspiration the young eagle flew to the top of the chicken coop. From there he soared to the top of a low hillside. As his confidence grew he soared higher and higher until he discovered his great self, his true nature.
In a similar sense, to have lasting self-confidence, you need to form a mental image of yourself as great and large instead of weak and small. You need to imagine yourself as the master of difficulty rather than its victim.
The professional tennis player Arthur Ashe put it this way. He said, “Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.”