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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”- Aristotle
What does success mean to you? It could be obtaining a better position at your existing job, finding the romantic partner of your dreams or simply being happy with what you have in life. Still, none of these things will ever be possible without first believing in yourself and what you are capable of. This is frequently easier said than done, for our mind can be our own worst enemy. So, it is therefore only logical to examine some of the best ways to increase our levels of self esteem. We should never forget that success is just as much of a habit as it is a lifestyle. The secret to inner joy therefore revolves around cultivating this habit.
This is a phrase often used by psychologists. Positive reinforcement centres around stressing the good qualities of your character. It is also involved with repeating certain “mantras” that are designed to remind you of the power that is contained within. One of the most common methods of this reinforcement is to place notes around the house that display your positive attributes. Some examples can be “I am a strong person” or “Today is the first day of the rest of my life”. Getting into the habit of thinking such things will inevitably propel you towards success.
Courage in Fear
Life is not all about rainbows and roses. There are inevitably times when things will not go your way. You might not get that promotion or you and your significant other could be going through a difficult patch in the relationship. Still, part of your success will involve rising above this adversity. In other words, the glass is always half full even if it appears quite empty. No one has ever achieved true success without the occasional stumble or setback. Being able to negotiate these obstacles will help to harden your resolve and when you believe in your own power, anything is possible.
Part of believing in yourself is the ability to take negative comments from others with the proverbial “grain of salt”. In truth, it is a weak ego that often finds offence in such comments. Those who truly believe in who they are will listen to what others may have to say, analyse their observations and then move on. In fact, you may very well come to appreciate a different perspective that could lead you down an entirely new (and rewarding) path. There is no such thing as bad advice; it is only how we take it that determines the ultimate outcome.
Eliminate “What If” from Your Vocabulary
Many of us suffer from the “what-if” syndrome”. To put it another way, we prevent ourselves from taking risks due to the fear of failure. What if you fail that promotional examination? What if he says no when you ask him to have dinner? What if you love someone and they do not return the emotion? These insidious demons can infiltrate nearly every aspect of your life. They can lead to anxiety, panic and even depression. So, try to eliminate such words from your vocabulary. If you find this difficult, begin asking yourself positive questions such as “What if I get that promotion?” or “What if my feelings of love are returned?”. Turn the negative into the constructive. Believing in these thoughts will help you to believe in the unique talents that you possess. In turn, the sky is truly the limit.
This may sound a bit strange, but one of the best ways to increase your levels of self esteem is to place yourself into positions that scare you. Are you afraid of heights? Are you uncomfortable around crowds or do you hate giving formal speeches? By immersing yourself in these scenarios, you will begin to understand that the only limitations which exist are those that you place upon yourself. Suddenly, all of your fears will appear much like paper tigers; constructs of the mind and nothing more.
These changes will not occur overnight. If you look at the most successful figures in history, their beliefs only arose after years of dedication and hard work (and not without the occasional pitfall). Once you begin to believe in your own strength, there will be nothing that can get in your way. Frustration will only stifle your efforts. So, be patient and realise that you are only human!
Believing in the power that you have is both a talent and a gift. This is the first and most important step towards success in various areas of your life. While not necessarily easy, the reward is well worth the effort. Power believed is power achieved!