Success is attainable for those who seek it with both their thoughts and their actions. Unfortunately, people tend to give significantly more attention to their actions, not remembering that their thoughts and attitudes can dramatically impact their failure and success. Too often the negative messages we hear while we’re growing up and our overall conditioning further contribute to anti-success attitudes. For example, you likely have a negative attitude toward success if you repeatedly encountered the following types of messages while growing up:
- Don’t expect too much; you’ll just be disappointed in the end.
- You’re not good enough to deserve good things.
- Life is about dealing with problems.
- People are out to pull you down with them, not pick you up.
- Your capabilities are limited.
- When you don’t expect anything good from a situation, you’re being practical.
- “Optimism” is just another word for wishful thinking.
While these specific messages might seem harsh, peers and parents often unwittingly pass them along via their own attitudes and actions. For instance, constantly comparing one sibling to another can make one feel as though she can’t measure up or has only limited talents and abilities. Beliefs like this breed low self-esteem and ultimately result in failure.
On the other hand, most successful people possess an air of confidence and are successful because they truly believe in themselves and their abilities. For instance, there are untold examples of professional athletes who made it in the big time despite a string of setbacks, just as there are successful entrepreneurs who were not academically successful and famous actors are successful without having tremendous theatrical talent. The common thread that runs through all of these stories is that their success stories center on their belief in themselves.
The cliché says the world treats you the way you treat yourself—which ultimately boils down to the secret of success. Trusting in yourself to achieve your goals and believing in your own abilities will cause the world to begin showing you the same confidence and respect. Whether you call it positive thinking or the law of attraction, exuding confidence and matching it to your actions opens you up to opportunities.
Building that level of self-confidence can, however, be tricky. Regardless of how much self-confidence we imbue ourselves with, life will still throw curve balls at us. Self-doubt often rears its ugly head during these types of situations, but resilience and persistence can keep your confidence from plummeting.
Any checklist for success contains a few essential things. Start with hard work and pair it with self-confidence and persistence so you can abolish your anti-success attitudes.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.