What do you truly believe about yourself?
I’m gonna guess that many (or most) of you have lots of negative crap you believe about yourself and your life. It may even be true or partly true, but most probably it is totally self-conditioned. It is something you have conditioned yourself to believe and so you either think or say… I’m such a loser, I can never do that, I’m not smart enough or good-looking enough or well dressed or desirable.
And 99% of it is flat BS!
You ARE Exactly Who You SAY You Are
Here’s a universal truth: First, you are what you think you are, and second, the more you SAY out loud what you think you are, the stronger that belief grows until eventually it becomes reality. And BOOM, you are… whatever you say you are.
So, why the hell don’t you say really cool things about yourself? Things like, I can do that, or I have lots of friends—I’m even kind of popular, or I am understanding of other people, or I AM smarter than the average bear.
Here’s why: you’d be bragging and no one wants to be a braggart. Unacceptable. Right? No, it’s not right. You do have friends with whom you can confide confidentially your confidence in yourself and they won’t think you are bragging. In addition, you can continually whisper to yourself genuine personal affirmations.
In the Bible, Qohelet says to “tell yourself that your work is good.” I’ve always been drawn to the “tell yourself” part. The writer (probably Solomon) seems to understand that reality is whatever you believe it to be and the more you say it out loud, the stronger you believe it. Words are powerful. In fact, the cosmos was created by the Word of the Creator. Yea, creation by spoken word. Now, I realize that is my own personal belief, but it’s pretty cool if it is indeed true!
Words = Reality
For that reason and from experience, I deeply believe that your words are a direct link to your reality. What you say matters. And what you say repeatedly will eventually end up becoming your reality. It’s inevitable.
I have been using an almost unconscious formula to talk myself into the who I want to be, things I want to do, and things I want to have. My formula: Imagination + Idealization + Verbalization + Experimentation + More Verbalization = Actualization. It all begins with Thinking and ends with Being. “Talking” is the all-important middle. Simple. Haha. Actually it is pretty simple once you can hurdle the barrier of self-doubt.
Here’s how it works for me: My imagination is like a wildfire. It catches one thing on fire and before I know it, an entire forest is burning with desire across my mind. From that fire I will eventually grab hold of one (or a couple) of those desires and then I begin to crystalize them into ideas or concrete desires. I then permit myself to say those things to myself until they begin to form substance and I eventually start talking about it to other people. And before I know it, it becomes real—in my mind.
Once it’s real in my mind, I figure out some steps to make it happen, and then the next thing… I’m actually believing or doing it. For example a couple of years ago I decided I would take 2 international trips per year. I said it so much to others that I found myself making it happen. So in just 2 years now I’ve been to eight countries. It has become part of my lifestyle.
Believe: I CAN DO IT or I AM GOOD ENOUGH!
Perhaps the most important learning in this post is about what you “Believe about Yourself.”
I often hang with a group of people for whom life has been really hard. They somehow found themselves on the wrong road, the road that leads to jail or treatment centers or death. When your life sucks and you come to the realization that you are indeed the problem, it is difficult to reconcile. It is hard to believe that you are a good and worthy person. Instead, your self-talk is all about what a loser you are.
All of us have encountered similar insecurities. You don’t have to be a jailbird to think you’re a loser. It is just part of the human condition. Self-doubt and rock-bottom self esteem are feelings we all experience at one time or another.
I love the Dierks Bentley song, Riser, especially the refrain,
I’m a riser
I’m a get up off the ground, don’t run and hider
Pushing comes a-shovin’
Hey I’m a fighter
When darkness comes to town, I’m a lighter
A get out aliver, out of the fire
Suppose your self-talk was simply four words, “Hey, I’m a Riser!”
30 years ago, early in our marriage, that’s what my wife, Pam, called me: A Riser. She said, “You always rise to whatever you need to be.” That has stuck with me all this time and I find that I frequently have to verbally remind myself (and others) that “I am a Riser.” “Bring it on,” because somewhere deep inside I actually believe that I am a riser and I can handle anything. Now after years of saying it and then doing it, I ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT!
I know, what I’m saying sounds almost unrealistically simple, so I must be taking gibberish. But what I’m suggesting is like the “Occam’s Razor” Theory of Self-Perception: whichever hypothesis is the simplest is probably the closet to the truth. Whatever you regularly say about yourself reflects what you really believe about yourself, and therefore, becomes true.
Maybe all I’m spouting is the old theory of The Power of Positive Thinking. Probably so. But do you know what? Most of us, at times, will still dwell more on the negative. Dumb!!! The negative has passed and today is fresh and new. Why not use the kind of language that reflects your fresh and new nature? What do you have to lose?
Be crazy. Be admirable. Be a believer in you, even in the darkest of times.
Why not every day when you get out of bed, say to yourself, “See there. I’m a Riser!” Haha. The really funny thing is, pretty soon you will believe it.
Who You Say You Are
Photo Courtesy of exoboy at istockphoto