By Tara Meyer-Robson, Author of The Flow: 40 Days to Total Life Transformation
“I will never get this sale.” Jon slumped forward a bit and sighed.
I looked at him and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had been conducting a sales training for a company, and Jon was in the audience. He asked terrific questions and seemed to be a positive thinker and a go-getter. At the end of the meeting, he asked to talk with me privately, as he had an important appointment that day and wanted some tips on how to prepare for it. Just from what I had seen of him during the meeting, I expected that he was going to be totally confident in his ability to sell this client.
“Jon, did you hear what you just said?” I asked gently.
“What?” Jon looked perplexed for a moment. “Oh, yeah - that I won’t get this sale.” He smiled sheepishly as he realized the issue.
I laughed. “Um, didn’t you just sit through my entire presentation on changing the way you speak and think to change the outcome to what you desire?”
We both laughed and then spent time working on shifting his mindset to prepare for success, however, this moment stuck with me. If someone who had just been totally engaged in learning everything I was teaching could, just moments later, fall right back into a negative pattern, then anyone could.
You see, the truth is that negative thinking is an incredibly invasive bad habit of which most of us are unaware, but causes incredible problems. After all, do you think that Jon would have sold that client if he went into the appointment with the attitude that he wouldn’t get the sale? It isn’t likely.
The same holds true for your life. Do you think you will be as confident and successful as you can be if negative thinking is a habit for you? Not likely here, either.
To help you to break the negative pattern and develop self-esteem and success, here are the three most common negative beliefs and ways to shift them now:
Negative Belief #1: “I don’t deserve better.”
For many of us, we simply feel that we don’t deserve better than our current situation, which is a definite problem. Why? Because this belief also keeps many of us stuck in situations where we are extremely unhappy, and that's no way to live.
There are many reasons why you might feel this way (which I will deal with in future articles), but for now, no matter who or what told you that you were not worthy of better, it isn’t true. No one deserves to be stuck in an unhappy, stressful life, no matter what anyone else thinks.
To shift into believing that you are deserving of a happier existence, first define for yourself what that life would look like. What is in your life now that's negative? What would you get rid of? What positive people, experiences, or things would you like to be part of your new life?
Then, once you have this image as clear as you can, take a deep breath, put your shoulders back, stand up straight, and begin to say, “I deserve the best in life.”
As you go through your day, notice if you fall back into an old pattern of believing that you aren’t worthy of the things or people you desire. If you do, simply take a deep breath and say, “I deserve my dreams, and all that is the best in life.”
Negative Belief #2: “I am a failure.”
All too many of us feel like we are failures in one way or another. If this is how you feel, perhaps parents, coaches, teachers, or other people told you that you failed in one way or another. Maybe you tried to start a business and it didn’t work. Or, perhaps you tried diets, self-improvement courses, or success training and did not see the results you wanted.
Whatever it is, carrying around a feeling of failure is not for your best. So, take this to heart:
You did the best that you could with the beliefs and thoughts that you had at the time. You are different now, and you can choose a different outcome at the present moment.
To begin to shift this negative belief, when you wake in the morning, look yourself in the eye in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am a success.” Before important meetings, repeat this statement several times. On your way home from work, make it a mantra that you say over and over.
Allow this new belief to begin erasing any “failures” of your past. Remember, you cannot go back to the past and redo it, so the only hold it has on you is the one you allow it to have in the present moment.
Let old stuff go. Replace it with a belief that you are successful and seek experiences that prove it so.
Negative Belief #3: “I am not important.”
This negative belief is incredibly prevalent in those that I work with. It’s a real problem, because it causes truly good people to continuously put themselves last; everyone and everything is more important than their needs and goals. Believing that with their whole hearts and souls, they work and work and never give themselves a break. They eat badly because they have no time to slow down. They routinely give to everyone around them, saying “yes” to everyone else’s needs but never fulfilling their own.
One day, they wake up and realize that they are worn out, overweight, over-stressed, depressed, and have no more to give to anyone else. Then, they call me for help.
While I am more than happy to help you personally, I would love if you could take this lesson to heart before you need to call me for an intervention:
You have a right to take care of yourself, and you even have a right to put yourself first.
Think about this: If you do not make yourself important to you, how will anyone else value you or your time? How will you have relationships that are true partnerships, rather than one person continuously taking and the other always giving? How will you ever feel fulfilled or get the time to achieve your dreams?
The answer is obvious: You won’t.
This week, I'd like you to become aware of how often you put yourself last on the list. Do you notice that people around you put you down? Are there people in your life that do not respect you or your time? Who do you support that never supports you?
As you become aware of this, begin to say to yourself, “I am important.” When you are about to skip lunch again to finish another project for your boss, say, “I am important,” and choose to take a few minutes for yourself. When you are about to take a bath and the phone rings, say “I am important to me,” and let it go to voicemail.
You get the idea. The more that you tell yourself that you are important, the more that you believe it. The more you believe it, the easier it will be to stand up for yourself and take care of yourself in any situation.
Want to be invited for a FREE webinar on Removing Negativity from Your Life (held in January)?
Simply sign up to get your free meditation above, and I will send you an invite (as well as a free meditation!).
Tara's Questions for Introspection:
- How hard is it for you to feel that you deserve the best in life? Can you think of times in your life where you were taught that you were unworthy?
- Do you have failures in your past that are holding you back? Are you afraid of failing again? How might your life be different if you hadn’t had those experiences?
- Do you feel unimportant? Is this a pattern that you learned from your parents or others? Is it hard for you to even imagine putting yourself first?