Who Do You Think You Are? Your Perception Creates Your Reality. “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
— James Allen
You and your buddy down the street have gone to all the same seminars, taken the same busines management programs, learned the same techniques and formulae for success. Yet, his business is going like a Carnival Cruise liner full of MTV Spring Break revelers and yours is going ‘Titanic.’
Most times, the difference isn’t in the procedures, but in the person performing them.
Your friend down the street already knows the secret to practice and personal success. What’s your buddy’s secret? Is he smarter than you? Is he a better person than you? Did he go to a better school than you? Most likely not—he’s just learned how to harness his personal power to allow him to become the successful, self-empowered person he is. He’s learned how to create his own breakthroughs, to allow him to move beyond his fears and limiting beliefs. He is accomplishing goals and realizing his true desires, turning dreams into reality, creating fulfilling relationships, and modeling the strategies of peak performers to produce a quantum difference in his life.
“Just what does it take to get ahead these days? Why can’t I get motivated? Why aren’t my personal life and career turning out the way I want?”
So, what gives? Who succeeds and why? What does it take to become the best version of yourself possible? Is it the quality of the school you attended? Is it that grade you got on your licensing exam? The number of letters after your name? Sometimes.
Many of us know stories about people who were at the top of their class, yet, somehow, never achieved success. In other instances, there are those who got mediocre grades, or didn’t go to the top schools, who become leaders in their chosen fields. It got me thinking:
While, arguably, some people experience a better all around educational experience, the bottom line is, YOU are ultimately responsible for your success or failure, both in business and in real life. It’s all about what YOU create. That’s why there is a discrepancy between being at the top of your class and your level of success /failure/mediocrity in the real world!
Many times, we may find ourselves on the wrong road in life’s journey and not know how we got there. We may have no clue as to how to get the things we want and need for a fulfilling life. We feel stuck.
What if you could create the life style you’ve always dreamed of? What if you could do it in a low stress environment? What if you could find the perfect balance between your personal and professional life?
What would your life look like if there were no rules and you couldn’t fail?
The way that you interpret your life experience creates your identity.
“It’s been said, all is an illusion. That’s an insufficient distinction; more accurately, it’s all a perception. “
— Eldon Taylor
From the time you were born, you’ve received both positive and negative messages from your surroundings. Throughout my life, my mother told a story about how, once in high school she had to stand up in class to talk, she opened her mouth and nothing came out. For years I had an unfounded fear of speaking in public because my subconscious mind would run that tape.
Mom’s words had become my reality.
All those messages, indelibly programmed into your subconscious combine to create your belief system. They become the filters through which we create our reality…our self-image, acting on them as if they’re true. While they don’t change the world around us, they filter our life experience until we believe them to be true.
You become the person you think you are. If you think you’re someone who will never amount to anything… guess what? You’re right.
If you think the economy is bad and that your business will not do well, time and time again we will miss or dismiss opportunities presented to us.
These beliefs and how we respond to them become our “head space!”
It’s All In Your Head!
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
What exactly is head space? Head space is that place in your mind where your thoughts, (both positive and negative) and judgments about yourself and your environment, combine to create your reality.
These perceptions of life, whether true or false, make you the person you believe you are. Your identity and quality of life are based largely on those perceptions. They give you your identity…. They make you who you think you are! We then act like the person our perceptions have created.
So, are we doomed by our perceptions of the past? Can we never get out of our negative head space? Of course we can! But takes work. You can improve your head space and improve the quality of your life. If you believe you are a person who cannot succeed, then success will evade you. You will subconsciously create failure as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you are a person who can succeed, then you will act accordingly! Again, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Headspace…It’s al about improving your ‘self’ concept
“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.”
— Norman Vincent Peale
Your mind is the ultimate frontier…your potential is probably yet unrealized. Improving your head space involves redefining yourself by reprogramming that wonderful computer between your ears. Reprogramming allows you to move forward toward the growth you need to best accomplish your personal and professional goals! It is about you taking responsibility for your life. Learning how to refine and redesign your head space is essential.
How you can change your head space
Here are some strategies that you can start using today to begin to make your life what you want it to be:
Read motivational books. There is a treasure trove of them available. Here are seven of my favorites:
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This is one of the first popular books to tackle the success programming stuff so common in all the rest.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. This is the one that put Covey on the map and launched a thousand copycats. A little cerebral at times, but good, basic, character-building stuff that will help you succeed.
Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins, Joseph McClendon. This one started it all for the infomercial king. Tony talks about his version of NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming), and there are some excellent ideas in here for controlling your physiological state.
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz . Maltz is a former plastic surgeon who covers the self-image from cradle to grave. There are some good pointers for improving yours.
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. This is another classic inspirational guide to success, with ideas on eliminating worry, reducing stress, and controlling self-doubt so you can achieve your true potential.
Live Your Dreams by Les Brown Pure Inspiration for Les Brown, chronicling lessons learned during his life and pumping you up to think you can achieve whatever you want too. An easy yet powerful read.
Seeds of Greatness: The Ten Best-Kept Secrets of Total Success by Dennis Waitely. Dennis breaks his formula for success into ten, easy to remember principles.
Listen to motivational tapes
Buy and listen to motivational tapes from the masters, authors like Jack Canfield, Dale Carnegie, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer, Napoleon Hill, Maxwell Maltz, Og Mandino, Dr. Phil McGraw, Earl Nightingale, Norman V. Peale, Tony Robbins, Kevin Trudeau, Denis Waitley, and Zig Ziglar, to name a few!
Turn off Howard Stearn in the morning and start your day with the best!
Learn how to set goals
Remember “Alice in Wonderland”? One day , Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat sitting on a tree. The conversation went like this:
Alice: “Which road do I take?” Cat: “Where do you want to go?” Alice:” I don’t know.” Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter!” Moral of the story: You should know where you want to go!
“An unwritten want is a wish, a dream, a never happen. The day you put your goal in writing is the day it becomes a commitment that will change your life. Are you ready?”
— Tom Hopkins
What are goals?
Your goals can be very simply defined as a detailed roadmap for your life. Goal setting helps you to achieve a predetermined target, by determining the objectives required to achieve the desired results. Well written and worked goals set you up for awesome success!
- Goals should be defined and written down.
- Goals should be measurable.
- Goals should be realistic and attainable.
- Goals should be achieved in a specific time frame
Merely setting goals is not enough though. You need to be geared up to achieve it. Your goals will be virtually useless unless you create action steps to attain your goals, and monitor your progress periodically.
Bottom line: Just write them down. You can and should change them as you grow and change!
Change your “Self-talk”
Ever find your saying something like: “I can’t imagine myself going to the moon.” or something like that?
Truth is, you can imagine anything! Your imagination is a vast and unbound resource. It literally knows no limits but those with which we unconsciously try to harness it. Can you imagine going to the moon? Think about it. Now think about it in vivid detail. Think of training to be an astronaut and all the physical and mental training required. Think of what it must feel like to be fitted into a space suit… the compressive clothing around your body… the helmet snapped in place around your head. Now hear the sounds of your breathing inside that suit, feel the temperature, too. Now envision yourself walking up the platform and getting into a seat, sinking into it like it was made for you.
Now think of the countdown, feel the engines rumble as they roar to life. Sense your breathing, (probably pretty quickened by now) as you feel the lift-off.. the G-forces pinning you back into the seat. Now experience, (again in vivid detail) the weightlessness of space….now the landing, and setting foot on the moon.
You get the idea. You’ve just imagined yourself going to the moon. If you can imagine that, then why not imagine (again, in vivid detail) what your life would be like if there were no rules and you couldn’t fail.
Let’s get closer to home for a minute. How do you talk to yourself? If you miss a two-foot putt on the golf course, what do you say to yourself? What horrible names do you call yourself for missing what should have been an easy shot? If you get on the scale after the holidays and see that you’ve gained five pounds, what niceties does your inner voice use to berate and belittle you? Would you talk to your best friend that way? Of course not! So why do you talk to yourself that way? (An excellent resource for learning techniques for improving your self-concept through improving your self-talk can be found at www.innertalk.com)
Your Inner Voice
I remember a commercial several years ago: It featured a single mom, struggling to get herself and the kids ready in the morning. While surveying the chaos around her, she rolled her eyes and sighed, “I don’t want to be a mom today!” Her inner “I don’t wanna” voice was loudly and clearly telling her how her day was going to be turning out!
So who do you want to be? When presented with a difficult problem, how does that inner voice handle it? The golfer who says, “I’m not very &%#@?$ good at putting.” is affirming to himself and those around him that he is, indeed not very good at putting! He can change and reprogram himself by changing how he approaches his dilemma. Rather than putting yourself down, try this instead: “I need to learn how to improve my putting skills.” With work and repeated effort, you will begin to see results in improved performance over time.
A great way to start improving your self-talk and reprogramming and redefining your subconscious mind is to use daily affirmations. Affirmations are simple prewritten and positive statements that you say to yourself over and over again.
Through constant repetition your subconscious mind picks up the message and you start taking action to create change. It’s a way of changing behavior to achieve your goal. Affirmations create positive thought processes — which leads to positive change.
A great resource for learning about affirmation can be found at www.mjbovo.com/Affirmations.htm.
So, How’s your day going? Your energy, positive or negative, is contagious! We can predetermine exactly how we will perceive our lives by changing our thinking. Here’s a personal example: My wife had an incredibly beautiful smile, yet didn’t usually use it very much while getting up and ready to teach school every morning. She told me she wasn’t a morning person. On the other hand, I am a morning person and usually hit the ground running, loaded with energy and enthusiasm to start my day.
In short, I annoyed the heck out of her!
One morning I decided to do something fun and different. As she stood putting on her makeup, with a face devoid of anything remotely resembling a smile, I walked up behind her, where she could see me in her mirror, and began to portray something my thirteen year old son and I had seen on a recent rerun of “Sponge Bob Square Pants”. I started dancing around with my arms raised and index fingers alternately pointing into the air, looking like a middle aged John Travolta wannabee from Saturday Night Fever”, all the while chanting. “I’m ready! I’m ready! I’m ready! I’m ready!”
For the moment, I actually became Sponge Bob!
After her initial look of shock wore off, her demeanor began to soften. She started to sway to the chanting. I think I saw the corners of her mouth begin to lift involuntarily. With a lot more encouragement, and with me totally and unabashedly acting like an idiot, she finally joined in my frivolity, “I’m ready! I’m ready!” she chanted!
I was, however, not satisfied. I urged her further: ‘Come on, you’ve got to wave your arms in the air, too!”
Reluctantly, she followed my lead, and what happened next was a thing of beauty, a moment to be remembered! Her face was suddenly lit up with that wonderful smile of hers and I saw her transformed from morning glumness to hysterical laughter! She was, indeed, ready to start the day!
Enthusiasm is contagious.
Life is good!
The question is not, “Who am I?” but rather, “Whom do I have the freedom to be?”
As you travel down life’s road, understand that you will need to get there mentally before you can get there physically!
Remember – you only get one life – there’s no second chance. Make the most of this life NOW! It doesn’t matter how old you are! It doesn’t matter what your situation is. You can still have everything you want if you just change your headspace!
“Life is short, and today is MY day!”
— Phil Mancuso
Phil Mancuso, DC currently senior coach at HeadSpace Professional Coaching, Wilmington, North Carolina, owned and operated multiple clinics in central New Jersey for 30 years and was a senior coach at The Masters Circle.
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Thanks to Phil Mancuso , D.C. for the use of this article!