“If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.” – Cavett Robert
Over the past year I spent (wasted?) a fair amount of time trying to help a particular local business owner. Finally, after several months of misguided effort, I finally managed to end our business relationship. It took me that long to admit (sorry, I’m stubborn) that it was hopeless. I don’t believe this individual has any chance of long-term, sustained success. The problem lies in the fact that he would agree with me.
You probably know people like this guy – people that go through life with two basic assumptions: First, that they have no control over what happens to them; and second, that everything that’s going to happen to them will always be bad. Example: I walked into his office one day and he was reading about a serious problem a particular software product was having internationally. “It says here that it happens to about 1 out of every 10,000 users,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll be the one it happens to.” And he truly believed it.
It seems to go without saying that having a positive attitude and belief system will lead to an increased likelihood of success. Yet how often do we limit ourselves by our view of the world? Most of us (actually, everyone I’ve ever met) has a better outlook that the person I referenced above, but still – how often is our inability to achieve what we really want due to beliefs that hold us back?
I’m sure a trained psychologist could explain more of the why, but I personally know what happens when negative thoughts & beliefs seep into my brain. It’s two things for me:
- Negative thinking takes away my energy. I only have so much energy to begin with, and to really achieve what I want I need to channel it all in the right direction. The more time I spend thinking about what can go wrong, and why I’ll fail, and how I don’t have the skills or abilities or resources to succeed, the less energy I have. Once you’ve drained away enough of your energy, you’re destined to fail.
- Negative beliefs impact your behavior. We’d like to think that we work as hard and as smart and as effectively as we can all the time. And on a conscious level maybe that’s true. But when we’re doing something we’re really excited about and really engaged in, we have a little “extra” something that otherwise isn’t there. Maybe that’s energy, too, or maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, when we’re convinced we can’t do something, or that something isn’t going to work, we simply stop doing the things we need to do to succeed. Our minds think, “Why bother?”
Think about your attitudes and beliefs. Are you expecting success? Or failure? Either way, you’ll be right.