One of my favorite little sayings is by Henry Ford, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right!”
This is one of the most powerful statements ever spoken, but it’s also so simple that many people let it go right over their heads and never fully understand the power that it holds.
If you think you can do something, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t even try. The only difference is our thinking.
So what causes one to do something, and another to not even try?
Many times, it has to with a person’s level of self-esteem.
Self-esteem is nothing more that how good you think about yourself. It’s not being conceited or big headed. It’s just a measure of what you think about yourself.
When something happens to a person with high self-esteem, they tend to look at it as an opportunity or a challenge. They think it will work out for them because, “Stuff just works out for me!”
So what happens? It works out. They get a successful outcome.
On the other hand, when something happens to a person with low self-esteem, they tend to look at it with fear or anger. Their thinking is, “Things just don’t work out for me!” They think it not going to work out in their best interest, so they never even try or they do try, and they get a bad outcome. This reinforces their negative self-beliefs.
We “think” themselves into both outcomes. Both are self-fulfilling prophecies.
A few ways to raise one’s self-esteem: (and therefore get better outcomes!)
- Focus on the positive end results that you want to create. Take time to really “see” the outcomes. Write it down on paper and look at it daily. Visualize the positive outcome that you want. As the old saying goes, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve!”
- Watch your self-talk. Develop affirmations that you say to yourself daily. Positive affirmations work. So much of life is the result of our self-talk.
- Keep a file of successes and positives that you experience in life. I have a file that’s about 2” thick. It contains letters and emails from people who have taken the time to write me about how I’ve had a positive effect on their lives. I started this file back in the mid 1990’s. There are days when I don’t feel very good about myself, or my abilities. I can pull out a couple of these, read them, and realize that I’m “better” than I feel that day.
- Keep a list of things you’ve done that were successful. The program “Evernote” is a great place to store these. Read them often, and focus on the positives in your life.
- Surround yourself with positive people. This might be the most important one. You will become the average of the five people you spend the most time with in life. Period. When you surround yourself with people who get good results in their lives, it rubs off on you. Your thinking gets better. Personally, I distance myself from negative people. I don’t want to get ‘slimed’ by their negativity. It’s a choice.
- Find some cheerleaders! Have some people in your life who believe in you. I have these. Sometimes I need to hear them tell me that I “can.” I’ll call them and tell them where I’m at on something. Then I feed off of their belief in me. I do the same for them. At times, we all need encouragement.
Bottom line; focus on the positive outcomes that you want. When your mind slips back into thinking about what you “don’t” want, take control of it.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Think about such things…
This afternoon, I’ll be driving from Omaha, NE to Sioux Falls, SD. It’s a 180-mile drive. I’ll be by myself for a few hours. There will be lots of time to think. So I’ll practice what I preach. If I have any negative thoughts come into my mind, I will practice replacing them with thoughts that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.”
How about you practice this too? Because we all know that “Practice makes…………