“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life,it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!”
― Robert T. Kiyosaki
What do you believe about yourself? Do you believe that you are the total sum of what others have said about you? Did you believe the teachers, parents, relatives, friends or others that said, “You are ___________”?
Most people believe what others say about them and then build their internal story to match what the outside world has told them they should be or what they shouldn’t be. Teachers may have told you that “you’ll never amount to __________” and left an indelible mark on your story. You may have believed that “I won’t be able to live my dreams.” That story became your life. Others may have influenced you as well and killed your biggest dream. Think about it for a few minutes. What did others say you were going to be or do in life? What story do you still carry around with you?
The story becomes a belief, the mask hides the true self from the authentic self and life becomes less than what it could really be. There are three key beliefs that impact your personal image.
1. Personal. The belief that what you hear is true and that is the truth about who you are. With enough repetition there is a shift in some people to a mode of helplessness.
2. Pervasive. The idea that all external messages are pointed to you and are negative. That all negative things are in a sense apply to all things, as in “everything is bad.”
3. Permanent. It’s not that things are bad, things are going to get worse. The tide of woe is only going to grow and there is no hope at all.
One way to improve your self-image is to look at the things you do control and the things you don’t control. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. On the left write “control” and the right write “don’t control”. Write down all the things you do control and then write down all the things you don’t control. You can manage what you do control. Leave what you can’t control behind.
Listen to Professor Seligman describe the state of psychology here: