Success Principle #5: Believe in Yourself

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Henry Ford.

We are all very familiar with this very famous quote and it is so true, but how can you create self-confidence and belief if it just isn’t there?

I have always been a very confident person and people have said that they admire my self-confidence. There are just some things that I have certainty around, like my skills and knowledge, my ability to be successful in my career choices, the faith that I have in my relationships, the loyalty of life-long friends.

Self confidence is not a characteristic that we are born with. It is something that we can develop, it is an attitude and a choice, not a trait.

Even those of us that have a good level of self-confidence find ourselves faltering at times. We all have those moments of self doubt, moments of uncertainty when things are not clear, when we enter into unchartered territory or push ourselves, or find ourselves, by no choice of our own, outside of our comfort zone.

I am currently completing a Life Visioning Quest with Michael Beckwith. It is amazing. He talks about the Dark Night of the Soul, what I describe in my workshops as brain chaos. It is the place between where we are really comfortable and certain and the place where we want to be. It is a fundamental part of the change process and our brain’s response to change.

We have taken that leap of faith and gotten into deep water and we have two choices. We can either keep swimming until we reach the new shore or turn back around and go back to where we came from, either way it is uncomfortable whilst we are in the deep water, so why not just push forward and reach a new place instead of going back and forth and exhausting yourself with all the effort?

We really do not know how near we are until we reach the shore, but that is where we will find new opportunities and something different from what we are experiencing right  now.

It is through our greatest fears and being courageous that we find our greatest rewards, but we do have to do the work to get there. We have all experienced the feeling of achieving something that we thought previously was outside of our reach and how it feels after when we attempt something similar. We have changed the set point in our brain. Once we realise something is possible we will continue to attempt other things and build up our confidence. It is the same way that we learned to walk and talk, practice really does make perfect.

INSPIRED ACTION

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Take that leap of faith, you don’t know until you try and you have already failed if you don’t try.

Change your seat point. Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone until you reach your destination, one step at a time.

Ask yourself this question. Who said I can’t do this? If it is someone else, go out and prove them wrong. If it was you, then prove yourself wrong. It is only a mindset and a mindset can be changed.

Success Principle #4: Believe It’s Possible

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. ” ~ Napoleon Hill.

We now know that the brain responds to what is going on around us with what it expects to happen next, based on past experiences. This is known as expectancy theory, so we have to expect the result that we are seeking, not one that is based on past results.

That’s a bit tricky if we have had a lot of experiences that have got similar results as we have been conditioned by these past experiences. However, as we know the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect a different outcome. 

We have all now heard of the Placebo Effect, whereby when we expect a certain outcome it comes about, showing that the power of belief alone impacts significantly on the outcome. There has been so much research in this field such as the group who were expecting to undergo knee surgery. One half of group had the procedure, whilst the other half did not. Two years later both groups reported improvement in pain and relief, yet only one half of the group actually underwent the procedure.

We have all heard about patients being told that they had terminal illnesses and turning it around as they refused the accept the diagnosis and even people who have been misdiagnosed that started to feel the expected symptoms and started to deteriorate. So how can we turn this to our advantage?

 INSPIRED ACTION

Decide what you want the outcome to be, not what you would normally expect. Now use the power of preframing, where you assume a different, better outcome. Really expect a different outcome, visualise it, play it through in your mind over and over until it feels real. We also now know that the brain has difficulty distinguishing between “reality”, imagination and dreaming, so try it out for size until you make it a new reality and effectively “rewire your brain” for success.

Success Principle #3: Decide What You Want

This can be a difficult one, especially when so many people seem to have a strong opinion on what we should be doing and what we should want.

As we grow older we become less and less clear as more social pressure is piled on top of us. We lose our way with more and more rules and conditions put in front of us. It’s not nice to want more, you should be happy with your lot, there are a lot of people worse off than you… 

As we get more and more confused, the harder it gets. Imagine walking into the supermarket and not remembering why you went there, you know you need something for dinner, so you buy what comes into your line of vision and return home. When you get home you realise why you went there and didn’t get what you wanted. Next time you write down exactly what you want and take the list with you and come back with what you want. Simple strategy, yet we don’t apply it when it comes to the supermarket of life. We settle for whatever is on special, in our line of vision of what someone else wants. What’s that about?

How many times have you been asked what you want and your reply is, “I don’t mind,” then you are not happy with the outcome. That should be the second definition of insanity, right behind doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. If you don’t mind, then you shouldn’t be surprised if life is not exactly as you would like it to be. You have to make some decisions, define how you want your life to be and then make a decision, stop sitting on the fence.

If you really don’t mind, then you shouldn’t mind the outcome. This is not going with the flow. This is letting the current take you wherever it is going and then being annoyed when you end up somewhere you don’t want to be.

If you want your life to be even better than it is right now, then you need to mind. You need to have an opinion, you need to spend time working out exactly what you do want in all areas and then work out a path as to how to get there.

I know that I used to say that I don’t really know what I want, but that is not really true. The truth is that what I want doesn’t necessarily align with other peoples’ ideas of what I should want and there is also the fact that what I really want is outside of my comfort zone, so I will need to extend myself more to get it, so let’s be honest with ourselves and start to work out exactly what it is that we want and then decide what we are prepared to change to get it.

INSPIRED ACTION

Reflect on what on what you want – take time to think about what your ideal life would look like.

Create a vision board – so that you can refocus on your real desires rather than what is in front of you. Put it somewhere where you can see it every day.

Make decisions about your future – don’t let others decide what you want or sway you from you want.

Be clear – when you find yourself saying “I don’t mind”, is that the truth or are you allowing yourself to be caught up in the current of life, being lazy or afraid of getting out of your comfort zone? How much do you want this?

The bottom line is that unless you decide, you will keep getting more of what you have right now, whether you like it or not.

Success Principle #2: Be Clear Why You Are Here

What is the WHY behind everything you do? Without purpose as the compass to guide you, your goals and action plans may not ultimately fulfill you. You don’t want to get to the top of the ladder only to find out you had the ladder leaning against the wrong wall.  Jack Canfield.

I have read this book so many times, but that final sentence gets me every time.

Have you ever found yourself committed to something that you never wanted to start in the first place and getting deeper and deeper in, until you can’t see your original dream?

I had a reading through a meditation just a few weeks ago and it hit the nail right on the head. “You are straining at work and lost your original focus.” BANG! Right between the eyes! Couldn’t have said it better myself and so I now find myself working my way back to my dreams. I have drifted off course for some time now and the longer you leave it the further off track you become.

I started a PhD because I was told that I would be a great candidate. That is NOT a good reason for starting such as huge commitment. I soon realised that I was living someone else’s idea of what my life should look like, not what I truly wanted, but then comes the BIG $6m question. What did I want? What is my purpose?

This is a difficult question for a lot of us as most of the time we are struggling to make ends meet, meet our obligations and commitments, get through the day without harming anyone! Yet there is much more to life than this and we all feel and know this deep down and hence why, when we are in this place, we feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry or unfulfilled or all of the above. We are off track and the more off track we get, the more of those emotions stir up inside us. When we get to this place it becomes even harder now to work our way out as our brain is so confused and not able to focus, so around and around we go!

Inspired Action

Relax.  When we are in a relaxed state inspiration can come through and we are more able to be creative, imaginative and think outside of the box. Spend time in mindfulness practice such as walking and enjoying nature, not thinking about issues, concerns or what you are having for dinner! Appreciate being in nature and enjoying the sounds, smells and sights all around you. Marvel and be grateful for breathing fresh air, the blue sky, having the freedom to walk in nature.

Meditate regularly or just be more present. This means stilling the mind and thinking about nothing, allowing whatever is happening to unfold. The science behind meditation shows that when we can practice for even just 10 minutes a day there are tremendous benefits to our health.

Then if you need to find your purpose, think about what lights you up, really lights you up! That is a really strong indicator of where your passion lies. When we are living our life ON PURPOSE then we are in flow and everything is magic. Of course we can’t live like this all of the time as life is meant to be ebb and flow, but once you have found your purpose and focus most of your energy in the pursuit of that passion and purpose when the tide does ebb you are much more able to deal with it and work through it, instead of becoming stuck.

Write a personal mission statement. Mine has been for a long time now, and is on my LinkedIn profile, “To be the very best that I can be and help others to achieve the same.” As I read this the intent is right but the passion is not there. Use words that you find inspiring. I love passion, inspiration and grace. Incorporate these words into your personal mission statement so that you have your biggest WHY possible. When we are inspired and aligned to this statement then we are more likely to align with its intent.

My rewrite: To live a life of passion and purpose, to elevate myself to the highest version of myself and inspire others to do the same.

Now that has more impact for me and that is what we are wanting. Your personal mission statement must light you up, inspire you and excite you!

There is nothing more perfect than a day spent on purpose, pursuing your dreams and goals and aligning in every way with that purpose.

Take one step every day that takes you nearer to your purpose. Rome was not built in a day. If you aspire to write an international best selling novel, like me, then start with one blog at a time.

Change your mindset. You are not stuck in your present circumstances, you are transitioning to a different place, one that aligns more with your purpose. When we tell ourselves that we are stuck, we are, so tell yourself a new story, one that takes you in the right direction.

Do not put your ladder up against the wrong wall!

 

 

Success Principle #1: Take 100% Responsibility for your Life

How much responsibility do you take for your daily interactions and outcomes?

This is a really incredibly powerful success principle, as it is so easy to take the low road, or the easy way out.

We apportion blame to something outside of us, outside of our control; another person or event for anything that we don’t like or doesn’t show up the way we wanted it to.

She/he didn’t do what he said he was going to do, so ……

The weather was too bad, so …..

It wasn’t my fault, there was nothing I could do about it.

It would have been OK if x hadn’t happened.

I inherited this mess.

And so it goes on. Do any of these sound familiar?

It is easier to blame than to take responsibility as when we blame we are the injured party or we do not have to take any action to change anything or do anything.

Sadhguru in his book, Inner Engineering, reminds us of the original meaning of the word, responsibility, which is our ABILITY TO RESPOND. When we put the blame on a situation or another person, we are basically giving away our ability to respond. We are at cause not effect, which means we are helpless, powerless and have no control of the situation and play no part in how it plays out or the outcome.

This is in fact madness as by the very fact of us being there, we are involved whether we chose to take no action or some action that didn’t turn out as we wanted, we still were party to the event and therefore part of the event and outcome.

Inspired Action

Next time you find yourself saying any of the above or squarely putting 100% responsibility outside of yourself then ask yourself, what part did I play?

For example, if you have an argument with a fellow worker or partner and you feel they were being unfair and it was all their fault, take another look. What part did you play? You might reply, “I didn’t say anything” or “I didn’t do anything, it was all them.” Maybe the very fact that you said and did nothing was part of the issue. Maybe you were acting defensive, and this triggered something in the other person, maybe they were having a bad day, maybe you were tired and stressed and misread the situation.

Where two people are in an interaction, they must both play a part otherwise one wasn’t there at all. Maybe that is the issue that you are not present, or you don’t feel that you are being heard or seen, in which case is that 100% fact or could you be misinterpreting the situation? Maybe you don’t feel that anything you could say or do could impact on the outcome, but how can you be sure? Complacency and doing nothing is still an action. It’s a choice you made. You didn’t like the outcome, but you didn’t try anything to affect the outcome.

If you are angry with someone else, ask yourself what part of me is angry with me? Am I justified in being so angry? Did I have any part in this? Could I have taken different actions and got better outcomes?

If you are looking for why things aren’t as you would like them to be and you are looking outside of yourself for the answer or something or someone to blame, then you are looking in all the wrong places. Start to look at YOU for why it isn’t how you want it to be and then see the magic happen. Of course, this means that you will have to face some things that you have been denying for some time so this isn’t going to be easy and it also means that you are going to have to change your response mechanism so that you automatically look inside yourself first before you point the finger outside.

You are the creator of your destiny, don’t give away your ability to craft and mould that exactly as you would like it to be.

Take 100% responsibility for your own life and see how your success in life changes.