“Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about? Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out to find a dream and a life of their own. A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone.”
Do you remember this song “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks?
Do you remember listening to this song on full blast while driving your very first car with the windows down and the warm summer air blowing in making you feel like life couldn’t get any better than it was at that moment?
“She needs Wide Open Spaces, room to make her big mistakes. She needs new faces she knows the high stakes.”
Well, maybe this wasn’t you but it certainly was me!
I remember when this song came out in the 90s. It filled me with such excitement for the future.
I couldn’t wait to get out on my own and live my life. To be free from the clutches of mom and dad and away from my annoying brother.
The feeling overcame me day and night as I dreamt of all the amazing things I would do, where I would go, who I would meet, what conversations we would have, the unique food I would eat.
I had such vivid and amazing dreams of what my life would be like once I got out on my own.
You may have a similar story. However, most of us never reach our full potential.
Because over time, we begin to second guess and doubt ourselves.
As those negative voices of self-doubt in our head take hold they throw us off track.
Not only that but we also fail to feed our mind with positive thoughts.
Ultimately, those negative thoughts find a breeding ground for us to start believing we're doomed to failure.
However, all is not lost.
Experiencing negative thoughts is not the problem. It happens to us all.
It’s what you do when you think negative thoughts that makes the difference in your future success.
So, how do we deal with self-doubt the right way when society has taught us to resist it, over-analyze it, and think we are weak or lesser than for feeling this way in the first place?
How do you believe in yourself when there's so much competition and negativity around you trying to hold you down?
Here are Five Steps you can take today to overcome your fear and master your success!
Turn that frown upside down!
That is what my dad used to tell me whenever I was upset or things weren’t going my way. And I should have listened to him because that actually works.
The number one way to squash self-doubt and negative thoughts is to replace them with positive thoughts.
“Starve your distractions, feed your focus.” – David Coleman
Change the negative thoughts to positive thoughts as soon as you start to feel or think something negative about yourself.
Stop and say or think something positive.
Even if you don’t feel it at the time, say it and think it anyway.
The power of positive thinking drowns out that negative voice that is telling you all the lies.
Give genuine complements
Finding the positive in what others are doing and telling them fills up your positivity bucket more than it fills up theirs.
I get great satisfaction when I can point out what others are doing right and give them a genuine complement.
It helps me to see that others are trying new things and sharing their new ideas, why shouldn’t I?
When you recognize others for a job well done or congratulate them for doing something extraordinary it makes you feel good about yourself as well and see all the potential you have inside you that you just need to tap into.
The more you give positive feedback and good vibes to others, the better you will feel about yourself.
Its Karma, right?
Another negative thought that deserves its own category is the thought of failing.
Heaven forbid you act on your amazing idea and it fails!
Would you believe me if I told you failure is a good thing?
Did you know that Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he successfully invented the light bulb?
Or that Michael Jordan attributes his successes directly to his failures?
“I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan
As a matter of fact – I can list 15 famous people that “failed” their way to success.
Oprah Winfrey – A billionaire with her own TV network, was fired from her first TV job in Baltimore.
Steven Spielberg – Grossed more than $9 billion and won three academy awards, was rejected TWICE by the University of Southern California.
Thomas Edison – Was told by his teachers he was “to stupid to learn anything” but went on to hold more than 1000 patents.
Walt Disney – His former newspaper editor told him he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas” yet he holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual. His legacy will live on forever.
Albert Einstein – Won a noble peace prize and altered the worlds view of physics but didn’t speak until he was four, read until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicap.
J.K. Rowling – Now one of the richest women in the world, she was once broke and living on welfare. As a reflection of her early failures she states: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
Abraham Lincoln - Before he became president of the United States of America, he had multiple failed attempts at business and other areas of his career.
Jerry Seinfeld – His first time on stage after seeing the audience he froze and was booed and jeered off stage. He returned to the same stage the following night and won over the crowd. He went on to become one of the most successful comedians of all time.
Theodor Seuss Geisel – AKA Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 book publishers before he went on to sell more than 600 million copies worldwide of his beloved children’s books.
Stephen King – His first book Carrie was rejected 30 times when he threw it in the trash. His wife dug it out and begged him to resubmit it which led him to his first book deal and launched his wildly successful career.
Vincent Van Gogh – Van Gogh’s paintings can cost you more than $100 million dollars today; however, during his day he only sold one painting, ‘The Red Vineyard’ just before his death.
Elvis Presley – Was told he wouldn’t go anywhere and should go back to driving a truck shortly after a performance on the Grand Ole Opry but went on to be regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century.
Michael Jordan – In addition to the things listed above, Michael was cut from his high school basketball team and went on to win six championships and five MVPs.
Charles Darwin – the man who forever altered the way humankind looks at our existence was considered an average student and abandoned a career in medicine as a result. We are glad he didn’t abandon his lifetime study of nature that led to the seminal ‘On the Origin of Species’.
Sir James Dyson – Creating a bagless vacuum that led to a net worth of $4.5 billion, Sir James Dyson had 5,126 failed prototypes over the course of 15 years before he was ultimately successful.
Failure can be used as motivation for success. It is all in how you look at it.
You can choose to give up and throw in the towel, or you can look at failure as a learning lesson and get back to the drawing board.
“You will at some point fall, and when you do, I want you to remember this—There is no such thing as failure; failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” - Oprah http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/5/31/oprah-commencement-2013-speech/
Every time we fail we should use that as a learning lesson instead of feeling bad or thinking it is somehow negative.
I think as a society we need to change the way we view failure from a bad thing to a good thing.
All too often when something goes wrong or someone’s idea didn’t work we tend to blame and instantly go to the negative, “you failed so you are bad” reaction instead of what we should be saying that is, “you failed, what did you learn from this?”
So, the next time you feel like negativity or self-doubt is creeping in, go to your happy place and think positive thoughts.
“The world will see you the way you see you and treat you the way you treat yourself” – Beyonce
When you shift your self-doubt to confidence, others will begin to treat you differently because you are treating yourself differently.
And that all starts with positive talk and reinforcing positive thoughts when negative thoughts start to creep in.
And remember, failure is a good thing and you want and need some in your life so that you know you’re on the right track!