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The Power of Positive Thinking

A lot of people may influence your level of success, but the fact remains, there is only one person who can make or break you – YOU!   You can be your largest ally – or your worst enemy. Few people understand the importance of this statement and the impact their own thinking can have on their successes – and failures.

We all know positive thinking gives us energy and courage, and negative thinking can drain us of the energy needed to succeed and keep us from trying new things. But have you ever considered the fact you may actually be “thinking” things into going wrong in your life and your business?

Think about the last time you were on the verge of “making it.” Did something suddenly go wrong? Did that client bail?  Did your best employee quit?  Did you run out of money and need to pull the plug on that new project?  Have you considered it was you who sabotaged your own efforts by allowing your inward thoughts to dictate your outward actions? People do it all of the time without ever taking notice – and it is killing their chances for success!

Is Subconscious Programming Killing Your Dream?

The messages we send ourselves when we don’t even know we are sending them are often the most destructive to our ability to achieve success.  It is these messages that subconsciously program our inner being and determine our actions.  Subconscious programming creates a data base of information and images we hold about ourselves that we are not consciously aware of.  It contains messages others have given us as well as messages we have given ourselves.  Good and bad, it is all there (stuck in the data base) until we recognize it and push the delete key.   The trouble is most of us do not even realize we are listening to this internal loop and never take the time to clean out the junk.

Left to continue growing, this database can be so overrun with negative messages, that the mind and body begin to react by finding ways to thwart your attempts at success.  For instance, when an opportunity arises, you may talk yourself out of taking it; or you may be a bit more devious about it and take on the opportunity, but sabotage yourself by doing other things.  For instance, a colleague and friend named Mary told me about a business opportunity she had in which she was asked to hold a training workshop for new employees. She was elated. This was exactly the type of stepping stone she needed to excel and make a good impression on her boss.

She worked tirelessly to write an outline, develop an interesting Power Point presentation and come up with plenty of anecdotes and exercises to make the workshop both entertaining and informative.  She practiced on a few friends and they all agreed she was ready.

As the day of the workshop grew closer, Mary allowed her subconscious programming to strip away her confidence until she doubted both her ability to give the presentation, but whether or not the presentation itself was even worthy.  Instead of blatantly cancelling the workshop, she sabotaged herself in another way when a group of friends invited her out the night before she agreed to go. After all, she had been working long hours putting together her presentation after working a full day for several weeks and deserved the break. Certainly this was true and going out for a dinner or a movie may have helped to ease her anxiety. But Mary took it a step further and stayed out way too late having way too much fun.  The next day she was exhausted, frazzled and didn’t feel very well – and it showed.  She lacked the enthusiasm she needed to grab her audiences’ attention and her presentation fell flat.

Mary had been given a wonderful opportunity to succeed.  She had put together a great workshop and was ready.  But she allowed negative self talk to get in her way and in the end she found a way to sabotage her success. Had she gone out, relaxed and gone home for a good nights sleep; the odds were good she would have awakened the next day with the confidence and ability to succeed. But Mary did the exact things she knew (if she had stopped to think about it) would only result in her failure.  This is exactly how subconscious programming works; it erodes your confidence to the point you either engage in activities you know will get in your way or you stop trying altogether.

In order to stop this negative banter from stopping you, you have to first acknowledge it is there.  Then you have to clear out the bad stuff and start replacing it with good thoughts and images.  The next time you notice telling yourself “I can’t believe I was so stupid,” replace that thought with something more productive like, ”Okay, I made a mistake but now I have learned this and that from it.  I won’t make that mistake again!” Replacing negative chatter isn’t about making excuses or blaming someone else for your mistakes but in owning them instead of letting them own you.

Remember, Everything Counts!

One of the biggest problems with subconscious programming is not the negative speak we constantly tell ourselves, but our inability to acknowledge that everything we do counts when striving toward a specific goal. Even the smallest accomplishments should be acknowledged.  Our subconscious wants to tell you the small achievement wasn’t good enough and you should not praise yourself for it.  That’s a bunch of bunk!  Even the tiniest accomplishment will get you one step closer to success.  Isn’t it better to take a small step than none at all?

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Are you sabotaging your own efforts with an internal loop of negative direction?  Ask yourself these simple questions to find out:

  1. Do I often bad talk to myself using words like stupid, ugly, dumb, failure, etc. when describing myself or my abilities?
  2. Do I often get close to achieving a goal, only to have “something” happen at the last minute to stop it from happening?
  3. Do I procrastinate; putting important tasks off to the very last moment?
  4. Am I too tired to try something new?
  5. Do I think other people deserve opportunities and accolades more than I do?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you could possibly be sabotaging your own efforts.  Take the time now to learn how to speak more kindly to yourself and break that loop of negative programming. Accept the fact you are able to achieve your dreams – and more than that – you deserve to!

About Dennis M. Postema

Dennis M. Postema, RFC, is a successful entrepreneur, best-selling author, coach, speaker and registered financial consultant. He is the founder of MotivationandSuccess.com, StoriesofPerseverance.org, FinancingYourLife.com and TheRetirementInstitute.org.

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