Success Thoughts Produce Success  
Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

Earl Nightingale, referred to, as the Dean of personal development, used to say, "We become what we think about all day long." If that is so, can we assume that if we think about success, we will become successful? On surface, this sounds like magical thinking, but at a closer look, the question has merit. It appears that success-thoughts prepare us for success and failure-thoughts prepare us for failure. We prepare ourselves by thinking about the problems we may encounter and actions we may take to solve them.

Let's take an example of success-thoughts and failure-thoughts. Let's suppose you are going to open a business of selling, "hot cakes. " If you are a habitual "failure thinker, " your failure thoughts may include picturing an empty store, sitting there twiddling your thumbs, running out of cash, being evicted, filing bankruptcy, and so on. If you are a "success thinker, " your thoughts may include picturing the merchandise being delivered by big trucks, customers pouring in, and shelves being emptied out as soon as the merchandise is stocked. These pictures of success may egg you on to visualize more clearly what the customers look like. Are they men or women, young, old or middle aged? What are they saying about your merchandise? Why are they so gung ho about your merchandise? Which area of the store seems to be more busy and which shelves seem to be emptied out first, etc.? 

As you can see from this example that as you think, you prepare for and learn about specific objectives. When you engage in the failure thoughts, you learn more about bankruptcy and going out of business, but when you engage in the success thoughts you learn more about your prospective customers and the ways you can display and market your commodity. 

Our habitual thoughts turn into that little voice, often the chatter, that goes on inside our head. Psychologists call it, "self talk. " Low self-esteem results in negatively talking about ourselves to ourselves. That little tape recorder inside our head keeps relaying negative comments setting us up for failure. Seven days of negative talk makes one "weak." High self-esteem induces positive commentary about ourselves which strengthens us. 

Let me suggest a little experiment which demonstrates how negative self talk weakens us and positive self talk strengthens us. Close your eyes and raise your arm in front of you. Ask a friend to stand in front of you and to wait until you say `ready." When you say, "ready, " instruct your friend to forcibly pull your arm down. After instructing your friend, close your eyes. Silently say in your head, ten times, "I am strong! I am strong! I am strong!". Don't tell your friend what you are saying inside your head because, later, you want an unbiased opinion from your friend. After repeating the statement to yourself ten times, say out loud, "ready, " and resist against your friend pulling your arm down.

Now, in the second round of this experiment, you are to do something quite different. This time, silently say to yourself, ten times, "I am weak! I am weak! I am weak.. " Then say out loud, "ready, " and ask your friend to pull your arm down again. This time too, resist against your friend pulling your arm down. Experiment is over. Now tell me, which time was it easier for your friend to pull your arm down, the first time, or the second time? Which time did you feel you had the greater strength to resist against the outside force, the first time or the second time? 

What this experiment demonstrates is this: When you program yourself with the negative thoughts, that is, the negative self talk, your arm comes down more easily. You are unable to make full use of the strength you have, and by the same token, by simple laws of physics, it is easier for your opponent to "pull you down. " 

How much strength and power you can put out there in the environment depends on what kind of tape you are running in your head, the high self esteem tape or low self esteem tape. To be more effective, change the negative tape. To identify whether it is a negative or a positive tape, stand by the side as an observer, and just listen to the chatter. Change that talk to something more positive and hopeful, such as, "I can do it. I have done it before, These are problems requiring solutions, they are not boogie monsters, etc. . "

Return to Self Help 

Copyright 1996, Mind Publications 



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