The majority of people believe that success falls to those who are born with it. They blame their shortcomings on a lack of a particular ability or skill. This is what the author refers to as a loser’s limp, a form of excuse that prevents many people from reaching their full potential.
If you’ve ever thought like this, you’ll be happy to learn that you already have everything you need to succeed. It’s never too late to change your attitude, no matter what your circumstances are. Author Zig Ziglar outlines the six steps to being a high achiever and living a fulfilling life in his book See You At The Top.
So you’ve made the decision to make a shift and start shooting for the top. What do you do first? The first rung on the performance ladder is to assess your self-image, or how you see yourself. Since it decides how you succeed, self-image is a critical building block for success.
Many people’s self-esteem problems can be traced back to their childhood. Let’s say your son drops a plate, and you tell him he’s the clumsiest kid you’ve ever seen without thought. While you do not wish for your joke to be hurtful, many children will develop an inferiority complex as a result of it. When parents, teachers, or peers tell a child that he is incompetent, the child will feel that he is unworthy of good things in life, such as love or success.
Consider how you’d feel if you got a phone call from someone who actually wanted to tell you how wonderful you are. If you’re a doctor, a student, or an athlete, a boost of confidence will almost certainly improve your performance. Indeed, the connection between a positive self-image and high performance is well-documented; in professional sports, athletes often imagine themselves succeeding in order to achieve real-life success. Top golfers, for example, visualize themselves dropping their ball into the cup before even stepping onto the tee.
However, cultivating a good self-image can be difficult. This is particularly true for children, who are subjected to not only parental and teacher scrutiny, but also the weight of society’s focus on appearance. According to several polls, over 95% of young Americans will like to alter some part of their physical appearance. This frustration later in life often contributes to an unhealthy obsession with material possessions and body image.
Your professional conduct is often influenced by your negative self-perception. Consider a salesperson who has a low self-esteem. He is constantly afraid of rejection, and as a result, he is a people pleaser. This not only hinders his ability to sell, but it also prevents him from developing the leadership skills that would enable him to advance into management. The salesman would never be able to imagine success for himself on a personal or professional level unless he can change his self-image.
Have you ever had a negative self-perception? If that’s the case, the good news is that there are a variety of ways to change it. Keep in mind that your self-perception begins and ends with you. Others can’t make you feel bad about yourself unless you give them permission.
However, no one can argue that our physical appearance has a major impact on our self-esteem. So improving your appearance is a realistic place to start improving your self-image. A new haircut or dress will make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself, whether you’re a man or a woman; just look at how women look when they leave a beauty salon. Women gain hope from a new haircut or makeup, which is clearly visible in the way they carry themselves. Wearing a new suit, though men might not want to accept it, has the same impact.
It’s not only about taking better care of yourself when it comes to enhancing your self-image; it’s also about how you treat others. Spending time assisting those in need provides an immediate sense of fulfillment and serves as a reminder to be grateful. This, in fact, increases your self-perception. Volunteering with the Red Cross, visiting those with a disability or disease, or even assisting children crossing the street are all ways to encounter this.
If you’re looking for some extra motivation, consider reading biographies or autobiographies of influential people who have made a difference in the lives of others. Learning about people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Booker T. Washington will help you find success by altruism. You may also read or listen to books by motivational speakers or preachers like Mamie McCullough or John Maxwell, who have devoted their lives to inspiring the best in others.
The author has firsthand experience with the power of drawing inspiration from other people’s stories. He read Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking during an especially trying time as a struggling salesman. This book taught him that it was up to him to make changes in his life. Later in life, he devoted his life to assisting others in accepting themselves on their paths to success.
As a result, helping others is critical to improving your self-esteem. But what about the people who mean the most to you? Improving your relationships is the second step on the path to success. According to the author, if you put in the time and effort to support others, you can accomplish whatever you want. It all starts with how you see and handle the people in your life.
Most people treat others in the same way they treat themselves, whether they know it or not. And, in some situations, how you treat others may have a significant effect on their future. Two groups of students were assigned to two different teachers in a Harvard University experiment led by Dr. Robert Rosenthal. The first instructor was told that their class had average intellect and came from average backgrounds. The second teacher was informed that his or her class was full of geniuses. In the end, both groups of students turned out to be average students. The students who were regarded like geniuses, on the other hand, were a whole school year ahead of the other community by the end of the year.
When it comes to relationships, as in other things in life, you reap what you sow. Since you should treat others as you would like to be handled, the best way to build relationships is to look for the positive in others.
Many people, ironically, treat strangers with respect when making sudden and hurtful remarks in one of their most significant relationships – their marriage. It is, however, simpler than you would expect to keep this relationship thriving with a simple shift in attitude.
Consider it like courting your husband or wife despite the fact that you’re already married. You’ll have an easier time recalling why you married your partner if you apply the attitude you had when you were dating them in the first place.
There are, however, a number of practical steps you may take to improve your marriage. Start each day by telling your partner how much you love them. You may also surprise them by calling them for a few minutes in the middle of the day – if their schedule allows it – or sending them a love note. He or she will be touched by the gesture, particularly if it comes as a surprise!
Check out my related post: Should you quit your job without a backup plan?