In every case, if you want to change your performance and your results in any area of your life, you have to change your self—concept or your beliefs about yourself in that area. Fortunately, your beliefs are largely subjective. They are not always based on facts. Instead, they are based largely on information you have taken in and accepted as true, sometimes with very little evidence or proof.
The very worst beliefs you can have are self—limiting beliefs, of any kind. These are beliefs about yourself that cause you to feel somehow limited or deficient in a particular area. These beliefs are seldom true, but if you accept them as valid estimates of your ability, they become true for you, exactly as if they were correct.
The starting point of unlocking your potential, and accomplishing more than you ever have before, is for you to challenge your self-limiting beliefs. You begin this process of freeing yourself from self—limiting beliefs by imagining that, whatever they are, they are completely untrue. Imagine for the moment that you have no limitations on your abilities at all. Imagine that you could be, do or have anything you really wanted in life. Imagine that your potential is unlimited in any way.
For example, imagine that you could be earning twice as much as you are earning today. Imagine that you could be living in a bigger house, driving a better car and enjoying a more expensive lifestyle and impacting humanity.
This is how you begin changing your thinking and changing your life.
There is a rule that I have learned with experience: Never do or refrain from doing something because you are concerned about what people might think about you. The fact is that nobody is even thinking about you at all.
Of course, am not talking about criminal or anti-social behaviours. But it is amazing how many people make decisions to get into or to not get into relationships, businesses, new endeavours, adventures and other things for fear that someone else might not approve. They stay in jobs they dislike, or they turn down business opportunities for fear that someone, anyone, might criticise them. The truth is that no one cares more about your key life decisions than you do. Plan accordingly.
In Abraham Maslow‘s studies of self—actualising people, those one or two percent of men and women who are fully mature, fully functioning adults, he found a particular quality that they all had in common: They were completely honest with themselves. They were objective and clear about their own strengths and weaknesses. They did not hope or pretend that they were other than they were. This self—acceptance was a foundation stone of their self- esteem and self—respect.
Because they knew who they were, and who they were not, they did not feel that they had to continually earn the approval of others. They took the opinions of others into consideration, but then they made their own decisions. They were not overly influenced by the possible approval or disapproval of other people. You should do the same. You are the one who cares the most, and who is most affected, in any case.
Positive thoughts are life-enhancing. They empower you and make you feel stronger and more confident. Positive thinking is not just a motivational idea. It has measurable, constructive effects on your personality, your health, your levels of energy, and your creativity. The more positive and optimistic you are, the happier you will be in every area of your life.
Negative thoughts bring about the opposite. They disempower you and make you feel weaker and less confident. Whenever you think or say something negative, you give your power away. You feel angry and defensive. You feel frustrated and unhappy. Over time, negative thinking can make you physically ill, and even poison your relationships.
Positive thinking leads to great mental health and peak performance. Negative thinking leads to mental illness and decreased effectiveness. Your goal, therefore, if you want to live a wonderful life, is to cultivate positive emotions and get rid of negative emotions.
The elimination of negative emotions is the most important single step you can take toward health, happiness and personal well—being. Each time you take complete control over your thoughts and feelings and discipline yourself to keep them positive, the quality of both your inner and outer lives improves. In the absence of negative emotions, your mind automatically fills with the positive emotions that generate feelings of happiness and fulfilment.