For example, if you were involved in a car accident and an offended party started waving his fists and saying things like:
"Your sort shouldn't be allowed on the road", it is unlikely that
you would allow this to affect your Positive Self Image-level. You would (hopefully) be mature enough to make allowances for circumstances.
However, a great deal of Positive Self Image-damage can be done by a process called 'discounting'. Put simply, anything which discounts you as a human being is likely to decrease your Positive Self Image-level. Two trivial examples will suffice - I'm sure we have all experienced these, or something like them:
You are waiting to get served at a crowded bar. Your turn comes and goes, but no matter what you do the barman seems to ignore you, (although he serves several people on either side of you).
You feel discounted and worthless because the implied message is: "All these people are more important than you, you're worthless."
Or: You are waiting in a queue, (a peculiarly British pastime), when someone pushes in front of you. Again you feel very upset; not because you have to wait a little longer but because you received the message: "You're so worthless I'm not even going to acknowledge your presence."
Too many of these situations without the compensating positive strokes can cause a gradual decrease in an otherwise mature person's Positive Self Image-level.
It is very important that you understand that Positive Self Image is a dynamic, changing thing and is affected by daily positive and negative strokes.
Later in the book I'll be giving you methods for improving and maintaining your Positive Self Image-level on a daily basis.
I was very excited when I first realised that Positive Self Image belief was VITAL to achieving success, because up until that point I had blamed external forces for my lack of achievement. Of course these external forces (lack of money, bad luck) being external were OUT OF MY CONTROL. If they were out of my control I couldn't do anything about improving my situation could I? I wasn't to blame! I could happily carry on moaning about my bad fortune, complaining about my lack of abilities, talents or money and starting every other sentence with "If only...". After all, what could I do about it?
When I realised that Positive Self Image belief was the real controlling factor, and that all the other things which I had blamed were MINOR by comparison to this, it was as though I had suddenly woken up. The shock of realisation was quite a powerful and liberating experience. It is my sincere hope that through this book, you will come to have this experience yourself.
I was still puzzled by one thing though. WHY does your subconscious mind prevent you from achieving all the good things which you deserve? It seemed to me to be plainly stupid that a part of your mind could plot against you to stop you from being happy! I could understand it if it were the other way round, for example if the subconscious mind prevented you from smoking, drinking or taking drugs because it knew that these things would harm you! But the very reverse is true. Most of us do some or all of these things KNOWING that they WILL harm us!