It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you’re not.
You were born to win. You were designed for success. And you were created for achievement.
That’s because you were born with an incredible mind capable of doing incredible things. In fact, the brain experts and the computer experts tell us that no computer has even come close to replacing the power of the human brain.
Despite all that power, you may have been conditioned to “fail” … or at the very least, not use all your potential. You may be like most people, using but a mere fraction of your God-given potential, “failing” to achieve all you could achieve.
How can that be? How can you have so much power and so much potential and yet “fail” to use it? It’s a question I address in great detail during day 1 of my “Journey to the Extraordinary” program. But let me give you a brief answer here.
If you’re like most people, you’ve gone through a subtle, diabolic, never-ending process that has stifled your success. It started with …
PHASE 1: IGNORANCE
No one ever taught you HOW to use your conscious mind or HOW to unleash the dynamics of your subconscious mind. You may have gone all the way through grade school, junior high, senior high, and even college without receiving one single hour of training in HOW to use your mind.
That would be just as silly as buying a computer but never learning HOW to use it. The trouble is … when it comes to your mind, the results are more than silly. They’re sad and tragic.
But that’s just the beginning.
PHASE 2: EXPOSURE
Growing up, you may have been exposed to an enormous amount of negative programming. You may have heard more negative comments than positive ones, and if you heard too many negative comments, you started to doubt yourself and doubt your talents.
And it’s no wonder. According to a University of Iowa study, the average preschooler hears about 400 negative comments per day — compared to 10 positive ones. The preschooler is told, “You can’t do that … That’s not nice … That’s wrong … and … You messed up.”
Of course, parents have to set boundaries and parents have to give some loving, guidance-oriented, negative feedback. But if the communication balance is tipped too far towards the negative, the child … and later … the adult … start down the path of “being conditioned to fail.”
To make matters worse, you may have been exposed to thousands of hours of negative television programming. And what you saw … determined … to some extent … what you became. According to one study from the University of Wisconsin, people who regularly watched violence on TV acted twice as violently as those who were not exposed to it.
Add to that a possible negative work environment. I’ve spoken to hundreds of organizations and thousands of audiences over the years, and the number one job complaint continues to be the same every place I speak. People say, “You can do a hundred things right and not hear a darn thing about it. Do one thing wrong, and they’re right on your back.”
The truth is … you may have been conditioned to fail … because you’ve been exposed to too many negatives … sometime … somewhere.
But philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson stated an even bigger truth when he said, “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires…courage.” And I would add … the right programming … which I will address in next week’s issue of the “Tuesday Tip.”
Once you’ve been “exposed” to enough negative, then…
PHASE 3: ADOPTION
You may have subtly, unconsciously “adopted” the negative and acted accordingly.
That’s what counselor Bob Brown found. He discovered that 90% of all prisoners were told repeatedly by their parents, when growing up, “You’re going to jail someday.” And amazingly enough, they “adopted” that belief and ended up in prison.
You see … no child of four tells himself that 400 negative comments per day are too many. No child of five watches TV and says: “That program is sexist … That program is violent … or … That program doesn’t fit with my value system.” Whatever they’re exposed to … they tend to adopt.
And if you weren’t careful, the same thing may have happened to you as an adult. You simply “adopted” the negative influences around you, and after “adopting” enough of the negative, you may have slipped into…
PHASE 4: ADDICTION
You fed yourself more negative programming.
In other words, you got so used to hearing and seeing negatives that you began to tell yourself a series of negative comments that killed off your ability to change, grow, achieve and succeed. You began to tell yourself such things as “I can’t remember names … I can’t stick to a diet … I can’t lose weight … I’m too old to change … and … That’s just the way I was raised.” The more negatives you told yourself, the less capable you became.
You might even have let this “addiction” phase control your expectations. For example, when you get a note from your boss that says, “See me immediately,” what is your first reaction? Do you think, “Great, I’m getting my raise early this year?” Or do you think, “What did I do wrong this time?” According to one psychiatrist, 85% of the population is addicted to negative expectations.
Quite simply, your thoughts and your words have the power to create conditions in your life, and those conditions will lead to your success your failure. As one person put it:
“What you speak about, you can bring about.
“If you keep saying you can’t stand your job, you might lose your job.
“If you keep saying you can’t stand your body, your body can become sick.
“If you keep saying you’re always broke, guess what? You’ll be broke.
“If you keep saying you can’t trust a man or trust a woman, you will always find someone in your life to hurt and betray you.
“If you keep saying you can’t find a job, you will remain unemployed.
“If you keep saying you can’t find someone to love you or believe in you, your very thought will attract more experiences to confirm your beliefs.
“If you keep talking about a divorce or break up in a relationship, then you might end up with it.
“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
“Watch your words; they become actions.
“Watch your actions; they become habits.
“Watch your habits; they become character.
“Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
There’s an old Latin proverb that says, “What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.” So true … because it is your thoughts and your words that will have the biggest impact on your future success.