Constructing new ways of thinking and converting them into habits is no easy task. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most difficult things to do, especially as you grow older and your habits are more firmly rooted.
Most of us are programmed for mediocrity. Most people are smart, educated and talented enough to be and do anything they desire. The potential is there, but it’s rarely fulfilled, which leaves many people frustrated. The truth is most of us are capable of great success, yet few achieve it.
The reason is largely one of negative programming by individuals and people in power. The majority of champions I’ve worked with and coached during the years confess the bulk of the mental programming they received during their childhoods was substandard. Many are quick to add that the people who programmed them — parents, teachers, coaches, ministers and adults of influence — were doing the best they could, based on their level of awareness at the time.
I remember meeting with my high school guidance counselor regarding my poor grades. She told me that attending college would be a waste of time. I’d never considered not going to college, and as an all-state tennis player my junior year of high school, I knew I’d be offered dozens of scholarships. I was perplexed by her negative remark, but most of all her attitude. After all, she was making a recommendation based on grades alone. She didn’t know my talent or potential. Two years later, I was enrolled in college, earning straight A’s on a scholarship.
The pastor leading our confirmation classes had never approved of me because he said I asked too many question about the Bible and should just take it on faith. I was almost kicked out of church and denied my confirmation after three years of classes.
One of my business professors in college told me how foolish it would be for anyone to start a business without major capital funding, and that we’d be better off working for someone else.
The list of unsound advice, brainwashing and poor programming goes on. You probably have as many examples of this kind of programming in your life as I do. Is it any wonder so many of us fail to obtain results? Most of us have been taking advice from well-intentioned people doling out egregious information. For the people aware of this societal phenomenon, those days are over. They want to take control of their own reprogramming process and instill the habits, philosophies, traits and beliefs that empower them.
We know our programming is our responsibility, and it need to be a reflection of the success we want to achieve. Bombarding your mind with positive messages of hope, inspiration and motivation is a starting point. Another strategy is listening only to people with uplifting ideas that move us closer to our goals. Reprogramming yourself for success, though, requires time and opposes societal norms, but it works and is worth the effort for every area of your life where performance is important.
Ask yourself this important critical thinking question: How many of your habits, actions and behaviors are congruent with becoming what you want to become? Whatever your goals, be it personal, professional or anything else, this is a must do.
Take inventory of the positive, life-affirming beliefs and habits you currently possess and make a commitment to upgrade them if necessary.
Furthermore, adjust the language you use when you talk to yourself and others. Create self-talk scripts and repeat them daily. Next, use the power of mental pictures, or visualization training, to adjust how you experience events. When you alter your language and use visualization training, it has a powerful effect on the mindset of the performer.
Most importantly, and it can’t be stressed enough, make the decision today to take responsibility for old programming that does not serve you. It changed my life immeasurably, and I’m sure it can change yours, too.