I have called this type of belief, Positive Self Image belief. It is in CAPITALS throughout this book because it is the single most important factor in achieving success and MUST be obtained before you can succeed.
Later, I'll show you how to increase your Positive Self Image belief to a point where you can achieve all of your dreams and ambitions.
The other type of belief is your belief in your ABILITY to achieve your goals. This type of belief is easier to get than Positive Self Image belief, but it is an equally important ingredient of your success equation.
I call this belief I-Can belief.
Both Positive Self Image and I-Can are ESSENTIAL before you can succeed.
Both of these beliefs must be in place before you can start seriously working towards your major life-goals.
My friend in the story was lacking in Positive Self Image belief but he did have I-Can belief. His lack of Positive Self Image meant that he did not believe that he deserved to succeed; he didn't think that he was worth it.
I-Can is your belief in your ability to achieve something.
Whilst it rests upon the foundation of Positive Self Image it is a more intellectual and rational belief.
Interestingly enough, my friend was not lacking in this second type of belief; he genuinely, (and correctly), believed in his sales ability. But he was severely lacking in Positive Self Image belief, so
whilst he knew what he wanted, and believed in his ability to get it, he didn't believe that he was worth it - so he failed.
Because this is such an important point, I want to summarise what I have just said:
Positive Self Image belief is concerned with how you feel inside about yourself. It is about having a Positive Self Image; knowing that you deserve more, that you are worth it.
I-Can belief is concerned with convincing yourself that you are ABLE to achieve your goals.
I want you to clearly understand the difference between these two types of belief, so let me give you an example which will help you:
Mary, David and Sue have always longed to go on a skiing holiday. Mary is lacking in both Positive Self Image and I-Can belief. Let's hear what she has to say:
MARY: "I would love to go on a skiing holiday but I have so much to do at home, there's the dog to feed as well, and it would be selfish of me to take a break whilst the children are so young. Anyway, I'm really clumsy; I'd never get the hang of it."
TRANSLATION: "My needs are less important than a dog's and I couldn't do it anyway."
David is lacking in Positive Self Image belief: Let's listen to him:
DAVID: "Skiing is for rich people, not for the likes of us. Pity really because I'm sure I would be good at it."
TRANSLATION: "I'm a second class citizen and I'm going to make sure that I stay that way. I don't doubt my abilities though."
Sue is lacking in I-Can belief. Here's what she might say:
SUE: "A holiday is a really great idea. I deserve a break after the year I've just had. The children can go to my Mother's, she'd love to have them and the change would do them good. Does it have to be skiing though? You have to be really athletic and muscular don't you?"
TRANSLATION: "I feel good about myself inside and know that I am worth this break. However, I have doubts about my abilities, and
I'm a bit scared of this unknown challenge."
These examples should help you to understand how different the two beliefs are.
I am now going to tell you something which you might find surprising: Positive Self Image belief is to do with FEELINGS and EMOTIONS about yourself, and is not easily improved by logical argument, whereas I-Can belief is more rational, and is open to logical argument.
This becomes obvious when we look at our erstwhile skiing friends.
No amount of rational, logical argument about how easy it is to ski, how cheap the kennels are, or how much the children might enjoy her being away, will convince MARY to go on this holiday.
Why? Because she doesn't think she is worth it! All this talk of dogs and children is just a smoke screen to give her an excuse for not going.
If I did try to convince her, the conversation would go something like this:
ME: "Mary, why don't you take this break, you deserve it!"
MARY: "But who would look after the dog?"
ME: "There are plenty of excellent kennels close by, but if you don't fancy them then I could look after it for you."
MARY: "Thanks; but it's not just the dog. Don't forget I'm a Mother and have certain responsibilities to my children. I can't just get up and leave them."
ME: "Sure you can! They're old enough now, and you've told me many times that your Mother would love to have them."
MARY: "That's true, but I couldn't really afford to go. There are so many other things I should spend my money on, like clothes for the children."
ME: "Why not spend it on yourself just this once?"
MARY: "Anyway, I couldn't leave the house empty for all that time, there are lots of burglaries around here."
And on and on and on! One excuse after another. Do you see what I mean? Mary's practical problems are purely incidental to the central message which runs through her every sentence. This message is: "I'm not worth it. I should spend money on other people not me. I don't deserve a holiday."
Do you see that no amount of rational talking or explanation can help Mary?
SUE, however, is a different proposition. She has a fundamentally Positive Self Image; all she needs is a little convincing and reassurance. I could probably persuade her to go if I told her about the easy slopes, the beginner's classes, and the fact that there would be dozens of people just like her. In other words, by presenting a rational argument, I stand a good chance of boosting Sue's I-Can belief.
A talk with Sue might go something like this:
SUE: "I've never been skiing before, I couldn't do it. Surely you have to be really fit?"
ME: "Nonsense! Most of the people going won't have been before. There are beginner's classes and excellent training."
SUE: "I'm too old though. They're all youngsters aren't they?"
ME: "Are you joking? Last time I went there were three people over sixty who were there for the first time!"
SUE: "I'd be scared of hurtling down those long slopes like you see on the television."
ME: (Laughing), "You only get to go on those slopes when you're good and ready. You'll be starting out on the flat!"
SUE: "Really? Perhaps it would be fun after all."
A little more rational argument and Sue might be willing to go.
Notice the difference between Mary's message and Sue's message:
MARY IS SAYING "I'm not worth it."
SUE IS SAYING "I can't do that."
These are very different statements.
Notice also, how I was able to persuade Sue by rational argument? A lot of the actual text of this book is designed to do just that; increase your belief in your abilities (I-Can) by presenting you with a reasoned argument.
Increasing your belief in your own worth (Positive Self Image), is a far more difficult proposition, because, as I have said, it is not amenable to rational argument. No amount of reasonable, logical argument on my part will increase your feeling of self-worth by one jot.
But because it is VITAL that you have a Positive Self Image, a large part of the method is devoted to increasing your belief in your self-worth.
Do you remember at the start of this chapter I asked you to take a little time over asking yourself the question, "Do I deserve a larger house?" This is because I knew that Positive Self Image belief was not easily approached by such intellectual questions. Positive Self Image belief is lodged so firmly in the subconscious mind, that I asked you to IMAGINE being in your new home.
The coins of the subconscious mind are IMAGES, just as the coins of the conscious or rational mind are THOUGHTS.