Check out how you think
Learning to speak the truth about yourself is an important step. The other side of that particular story is equally important: you need to learn to stop saying negative things about yourself.
To help you face up to yourself and sort out some things to work on, check out the following:
Suppose you do something well, what do you you find yourself thinking?
a) Positive thinking: “That’s what I can do consistently,” or “That’s just like me!” or “I am that good!” or “I can do it again in the future.”
b) Negative thinking: “It was a fluke,” and “That’s not me,” and “It was a one-off,” and “I can’t do that again.”
Now suppose you do something badly, what do you find yourself thinking?
a) Positive thinking: “That’s a one-off” or “That’s not like me!” or “I am better than that!” or “I will do much better next time“
b) Negative thinking: “That’s typical,” or “I’m like that,” or “I always perform that way,” or “I’ll be the same next time.”
If you are a positive thinker, you will reinforce your successes and reject your failures
If you are a negative thinker, you will reinforce your failures and write off your successes.
Now, what we have to do is help you
a) recognise your style of thinking and
b) if it is negative, decide how you can change it.
Watch this space.... but in the week ahead, become aware of what you are saying to yourself in response to the things that happen to you. You can choose how you will reinforce or reject what has happened, and that will determine your future thought patterns.
Not Limited by Birth?
Now, to reinforce what we’ve been saying, have a look at this quote that follows:
K. Anders Ericsson, is a professor of psychology at Florida State University, where he uses empirical research to learn what share of talent is “natural” and how the rest of it is acquired. His conclusion: the trait we commonly call "raw talent" is vastly overrated. "A lot of people believe there are some inherent limits they were born with," he says. "But there is surprisingly little hard evidence that anyone could attain any kind of exceptional performance without spending a lot of time perfecting it." Or, put another way, expert performers—whether in soccer or piano playing, surgery or computer programming—are nearly always made, not born.
And yes, just as your grandmother always told you, practice does make perfect. But not just willy-nilly practice. Mastery arrives through what Ericsson calls "deliberate practice." This entails more than simply playing a C-minor scale a hundred times or hitting tennis serves until your shoulder pops out of its socket.
Deliberate practice has three key components: setting specific goals; obtaining immediate feedback; and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.
The people who become excellent at a given thing aren't necessarily the same ones who seemed to be "gifted" at a young age. This suggests that when it comes to choosing a life path, people should do what they love—yes, your nana told you this too—because if you don't love what you're doing, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good at it.
(From ‘Super Freakonomics” by Levitt and Dubner)
So there we have it, just what we said previously but with a slightly different slant to it. We’ve been considering previously that we may be what we are, simply because we’ve believed lies about ourselves and that has resulted in us having a defeatist mentality. What this professor’s research has confirmed is that people who believe in themselves and have a clear end goal in mind – WORK for it AND achieve it. We can change!
An Act of Will is Needed
Now there is a snag: if you have believed lies about yourself and believe you are rubbish, it does take effort to climb out of that. You have got to reject the untruth about yourself. Hence my silly exercise, as you might have thought it in the past, of standing in front of a mirror each day and telling yourself that you are all right and you can do it.
As you declare the truth, it gradually sinks in and the power of the lie is broken and when you start believing the truth you can then start working on being the success you’d like to be. So, don’t see it as a ‘silly idea’, do it, and whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively, challenge your thinking and turn it around. We’re all just waiting for you to become the person you were designed to be!