If you were asked to make three brief statements in response to the question, “Who are you?” how would you respond? One response might be to state your name because your name is an important emotional symbol of your identity. You might define yourself in terms of your professional title, especially if you enjoy a sense of dedication and commitment to your career. A third approach to defining yourself is to point to one of the personal roles you fill, such as a parent, a community leader, a good skier, a hard-driving achiever or a winner at life.
Who you are today is the result of all the experiences you have had, the ideas you have heard expressed and your reactions to and decisions about those ideas. Unfortunately, many of these factors may be somewhat negative in nature. Perhaps ideas like these have limited your success:
- Avoid being too ambitious; wealth is for people who are willing to step on someone else to get there.
- No matter how hard you try, you will never get ahead unless you are in the right place at the right time.
- Avoid trying to “keep up with the Joneses.”
- Our family has always been poor, but honest.
- Avoid taking unnecessary risks; you might lose it all.
- It’s not what you know, but who you know.
You are responsible for who you are because you are free to decide either to accept or reject the ideas to which you were exposed. If you have allowed negative concepts to limit your awareness of your own potential for success, your self-image is probably a major obstacle to your achieving the results you desire.
People who feel inferior act inferior. People who think of themselves as poor will be poor. People who consider themselves failures will fail. On the other hand, when you think of yourself as wealthy, you achieve wealth. When you consider yourself successful, you achieve great things. When you know you will succeed, the world sees that picture of you and also believes in you and encourages you.
If you firmly believe in your potential to succeed, accept yourself both as you are and as you can become, and assume responsibility for your own future, you are already well on your way to achieving success.
by Paul J. Meyer