THE way you think every day ultimately determines personal success or failure. If you cultivate positive thoughts, you tend to behave in a positive manner. Similarly, if your thoughts are negative, then your behaviour will be negative.
Many people wake up in the morning and think: “Oh no, not another day at the grind shop”, while others wake up, full of energy and excited about what can be accomplished.

Some wake up and say: “Good morning, God,” while others unfortunately say: “Good god, it’s morning!”
Who do you think will have a better day?
Many people have found that when they tune in to their internal dialogue, much of it is negative. Thoughts like, “I could never do that”, “What if I fail?” or “What if I succeed?” can largely influence the way you behave. This, in turn, affects every aspect of your life.
In all of us there is a critic inside. Everything we do is checked and criticised one way or the other. It is that inner voice that tells you to forge ahead.

The voice you hear in your head is the internal voice of self-talk. This ability to think negatively was developed in early childhood and is based on childhood rules and standards we internalised about how we were supposed to think, feel and behave.
For many years you were “Subject to the Negative Influences of Other People” (SNIOPS). These people are the SNIOPS in your life.
You learnt from them to be critical of yourself. You learnt from them to fear and to be afraid. When you were told not to do something, you didn’t do it. When they told you it wouldn’t work, you didn’t do it.

You accepted from others what they said. After all they were the adults, they had to be right.
You learnt to be critical of others when their standards did not conform to what you expected. You were critical of others when they dressed differently, went to a different church, spoke a different language and so on.
Why? Because that is what others you followed and believed in told you to do or that is what they did. You were subject to the negative beliefs and actions of others.
The critic within is continually judging what you can and cannot do. It is always ready to tell you how insignificant, inadequate, useless and incapable you are.

Positive thoughts

Listen to your internal dialogue and change every negative thought that comes into your head to a positive one.
For example, if you think “I’ll never get this finished by the end of the day!”, change it to “I can get most of this finished by the end of the day”.
Failure comes as a result of self-imposed obstacles and barriers. We sometimes create our own failures by failing to cultivate self-belief. You can succeed irrespective of the obstacles placed before you, whether in life or in business.
It is all about letting go of the “emotional baggage” that holds you back. All you need is already within you, so do not give your power away by just following the crowd.

Believe in your own abilities and focus on the positive aspects of your life. Know what you are capable of.
Put negative aside and consider what it is you have learnt from the various previous experiences. If what you learn gives you something positive to clutch on to, then retain it.
If not, get rid of it or let go of it.
You need to see yourself for who and what you are. You need to start looking at others in your life as mentors and guides on the road to your personal success. You must start to listen and learn from others, but at the same time make personal decisions and judgements.

Yes, you can question what it is others do and why they do it. You are no longer blindly subject to others. But remember that those who lead must first learn to obey.
By adopting this approach you will come to realise that we are all working towards a common goal – success.
Failure is in the mind. If you believe you cannot do something, then you will never.

Des Squire is a managing member at AMSI and Associates. Email des@amsiandassociates.co.za

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