You’re not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.
Henry Ford knew a great deal about automobiles and manufacturing. But he also knew a great deal about success and what it takes to achieve it. As he wisely observed, if you think you can do something or if you think you can’t, you’re right.
In other words, your thoughts are a powerful, determining factor in your success.
You must …
1. Believe in yourself.
It is one of qualities that you’ll always find in highly successful people. They have an unshakable belief in themselves and their ability to be an extraordinary success in life. And almost everyone has the capacity to do wonderful things with his or her life.
Unfortunately, most people do not believe in themselves … enough. As Louise Hays states in her book, “You Can Heal Your Life,” every one of us has some feelings of inferiority. We think we’re not as good as other people and we think we’re not good enough to acquire and enjoy the things we want in life. And some of us even think, “If the people around me really knew how little I know, I’d be in big trouble.”
You must learn to believe in yourself (and, of course, in your God). You must develop your beliefs to such an extent that they serve you and serve you well each and every day. You see … the men and women who accomplish extraordinary things are just ordinary people who developed their belief systems so well that they are able to overcome any obstacles that get in their way and keep on keeping on until they reach their goals.
In order to do that, you must…
2. Identify your self-limiting beliefs.
Self-limiting beliefs are beliefs that are NOT true … but they hold you back nonetheless.
For example, you may tell yourself that you’ll never achieve phenomenal success because you don’t have enough education. Or you’re the wrong age, race, or gender. You may tell yourself you’ll never get ahead because of problems you’re having with your family or current work relationships. Or you don’t have any money, connections, or opportunities in your field.
Baloney! All of those things may be troublesome, but they do not prohibit you from achieving success. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have been in the same situation as you … with the same problems you’re having … who accomplished great things anyway.
The only thing that can stop you is YOU and your self-limiting beliefs. As psychologist Dr. William James of Harvard University pointed out, your beliefs create your situation … because you always act in a manner consistent with your innermost beliefs. If you belief you are incapable of success, you’ll do a number of things to make sure you don’t succeed. But if you believe you are capable of accomplishing good things, you will walk and talk and act like it, and your beliefs will come to life.
And just in case you’re ready to throw this out as some new-age, pop psychology or passing fad, let me assure you that the Bible said the same thing 5000 years ago. In the book of Psalms, it says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so does he.” In other words, what you think way down deep in your subconscious mind will come out in your behavior and your results.
So take a moment to identify some of your self-limiting beliefs. What beliefs do you have that are holding you back? Think about them. Remember, most of your self-limiting beliefs have no basis whatsoever in fact. They are based on information and ideas that you accepted as true, sometimes in early childhood, and to the degree you believe them, they are holding you back.
For instance, many people believe “I don’t deserve good things. I’m not entitled to success, no matter how hard I work.” Perhaps they were told by a parent, when they were young, that “Don’t get so big headed about your accomplishment … It wasn’t that big of a deal … or … Other folks have accomplished more.”
Again, baloney! The fact is you deserve every good thing you are capable of acquiring as the result of using your God-given talents in a fair and honest way.
3. Challenge your self-limiting beliefs.
To get rid of your self-limiting beliefs, get up the courage to question them seriously. Question your basic premises. Check your assumptions. Ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about myself or my situation that might not be true?”
As personal development expert Brian Tracy proclaims, “It’s a fact that we fall in love with our excuses and our assumptions. We fall in love with our reasons for not moving forward. Even if someone comes along and challenges those reasons, even if someone tells you that you have the capacity to accomplish marvelous things, you will argue with him. If someone tells you that you can do far better than you’re doing right now, you’ll come up with reasons to dispute that person’s greater belief in your potential.”
The author Richard Bach was right. He said, “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” Very often you become the prosecuting attorney in the case against yourself. You dispute and argue and attempt to prove to yourself and others that your limitations are real. And the less proof you have to support your self-limiting beliefs, the more adamant you become in attempting to prove them to others.
In the book “The Instant Millionaire,” author Mark Fisher asks a young man who wants to be wealthy, “Do you want to be a millionaire?” The young man replies of course he would like to be a millionaire. The author then asks the young man, “Then why aren’t you?”
This is a great question to ask yourself. It will help you identify the beliefs that are getting in the way of your success. Would you like to be thin? Then why aren’t you? Would you like to be financially independent? Then why aren’t you? Would you like to be the top salesperson in your company? Then why aren’t you already? You can use this same line of questioning with regard to every part of your life and work.
Invariably, when you ask yourself this question, your favorite excuses will come to mind. Challenge them instead of falling in love with them.