Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wednesday's Words for May 21, 2008

You have to believe in yourself.

Let me state that again, because I want to make absolutely certain you read the words at least twice: you have to believe in yourself.

Yes, I know that’s easier said than done. But do you understand that believing in yourself is at the very heart of every single one of life’s successes?

I encounter a lot of people day-to-day; some of them face-to-face, and some only on line. And an amazing number of these people have little or no self-esteem, or have no faith in themselves whatsoever.

That used to be me. Not that many years ago, I was the one who would walk with my head down, I was the one who didn’t have a very high opinion of myself, who believed that I didn’t deserve good things in my life, let alone success, or the respect of others.

How did that change for me? Two things happened. The first was someone dared me to believe in myself for thirty days. Seriously. I thought it was a load of horse pucky at the time, but this person dared me, and I accepted the challenge. I wrote down three good things about myself, and I wrote a mantra– just a few lines of a statement of belief in me. Every morning before I got out of bed, every afternoon before lunch time, and every night before I went to bed, I recited this mantra. Every day I added one “good thing about me” to the list. For thirty days.

It wasn’t an instant cure for my incredibly low self-esteem, but I did notice that at the end of the thirty days I was happier, and I did feel better about myself. Because I felt better about myself, I began to do better. So I decided to carry on with this new “good habit”.

Every morning I’d be greeted by someone who would say to me, “How are you today?” and I would invariably answer, “I’m terrific!” And on those days when I really didn’t feel so hot? I’d answer the same thing, “I’m terrific!” Because I’d discovered by that time that my subconscious was an extremely malleable creature. If I said something enough times, my subconscious believed me and worked to make it so.

That’s why it is so very crucial that you never, ever trash talk yourself. Because if you say anything often enough, it becomes reality.

This isn’t new-age anything I’m telling you about. This is a truth that is as old as...well, as old as time. You have, I’m sure, heard this ‘natural law’, expressed as a Proverb: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

The second thing that happened was I began to consciously practice what you’ve heard me refer to several times in these essays as “the giving of increase”. That doesn’t mean you go around giving people money or gifts—although there may be a time or two when you need to do just that. What it means is that you make the effort, in every encounter, to do or say something positive. It’s very true that people will remember how you made them feel long after they’ve forgotten anything you ever said. I took up this new habit, and now it’s second nature to me. Not that I’m perfect – far from it. But I make the conscious effort each day to be positive, and to smile. I smile when I’m all alone. I smile when I answer the telephone, because I know people can hear the smile in my voice. I’m grateful, every single day, for every blessing I’ve been given. I say “please” and “thank you” as a matter of course, and I laugh easily and often. When I chat with friends or relatives, or strangers on the street I strive to put my best foot forward. Where compliments are warranted—or needed—I give them. Where a helping hand is requested, I supply it. I honestly believe in the giving of increase. I strive (and thankfully rarely fail) never to say bad things about people, repeat negative gossip, or insult anyone—even behind their backs. Words of edification will never come back to bite you in the butt.

If you can make someone feel better for having encountered you, I think it’s the greatest thing you can do in the whole world. In return, you’ll find after a time that you have very few dark days, you’ll feel absolutely wonderful inside, and you’ll welcome each morning as the precious gift it is. This practice of the giving of increase is also as old as time, and a natural law. Some people call it, perhaps a tad cynically, “what goes around, comes around.” But I prefer its other name.

The law of sowing and reaping.

Recipient Golden Rose Award 2008 Best Debut Novel – Made For Each Other
Recipient Golden Rose Award 2008 Best Erotic Novel – Lily In Bloom

1 comment:

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks, Morgan. I really needed these words today! Best, Lindsay