The first quarter of the year is gone and quite a lot of persons are yet record a major accomplishment for the year. Listen to many of them and you will hear excuses like:
a) I don't have anybody to help me.
b) There is no money.
c) I have tried my best.
If only they knew that these excuses are not good enough to stop them from excelling.
A strong will to succeed does not recognize opposition.
Some persons have attended training seminars, have been given juicy opportunities, yet they were unable to make anything out of it. Why?
I tell you why, success has a mindset. If you don't have that mindset, it is practically impossible to excel.
Today I want to share with you two things that can propel you to success or throw you into a ditch of complacency.
The way you see yourself is very crucial.
Psychologists have discovered that a person begins to form a perception about himself between 0 to 6 years old. Your self image constitute your:
Many persons have little or no confidence in themselves because their self image was damaged while growing up. Only the Spirit of God can correct such damage. Everyone of us at one time or the other in our lives have had our self-image attacked either by a parent, a teacher, or by someone else.
Your perception about your looks influences your self image and your confidence a lot.
Hearing words like"You look so beautiful" helps builds your self image.
Hearing words like, "You look ugly!" or "You look hideous!" could cause damage, causing you not to feel confident in your looks even when it is obvious that you are very good looking.
I have seen some persons deny lucrative opportunities because the job involved has a lot to do with their looks and they didn't feel they were good looking enough for it.
This has stopped a lot of persons from making progress.
If someone shoudl say to such persons, "We are inviting you to come speak at this Conference." or "We would like you to model this clothing for us." The first thing that comes to their mind is, "I don't think I'm good enough for this?"
Many super models have battled with a feeling of low self-esteem because they felt they were not up to par with their counterparts.
Subliminally this affects an individual, causing him to dread bigger opportunities so his 'flaws' will not be exposed. Flaws he has exaggerated in his mind turn from an ant mole to a Mountain Everest.
Don't be surprised as to why they reason this way. It's a configuration done while growing up. An attack against the way the look, and sadly they grew up with it.
"You did excellently well with your home work. I am so glad you did."
This comment to a child reinforces in his mind thoughts which echo to him how excellent he is at what he does.
Parents should learn to openly acknowledge excellent performance by their kids. It causes them to build confidence in their ability to do things.
Whenever they sit in class, that positive reinforcement rises within, giving them the impetus to try whatever challenge the teacher hands over to them.
Words like "You have never done anything reasonable in your life. You are just wasting money and remaining useless", can be really damaging.
Some parents make the mistake of thinking that addressing a child's low proficiency that way will help him realize his weakness and correct it. No!
Children believe so much what their parents tell them. He will use it to judge himself, rate himself, and set a limit for himself. He may begin to think:
"My Dad says I am useless when it comes to mathematics. I think that is why I find it hard to understand it, even when Frederick does. Maybe I'll just sit back and join others to endure this horrible class till it ends."
Over time, this child grows up hating Mathematics and anything that involves careful evaluation and analysis. A laid back attitude towards life sets in. A weakened drive to succeed becomes a part of his life.
"You are a good child."
"You are a good friend."
"I love you so much and need you in my life."
These are some of the things we say but don't know how vital it is in building one's sense of importance.
Where there is no feeling of importance, there is no confidence. Where there is no confidence, everything tumbles down the hill.
The way you see yourself matters. To many persons, their Self Image has been dented. Only the Word of God can provide a permanent cure to the problem. Why I say so is because people attend motivational seminars, or undergo special training, and they hear things like "Be yourself", "Be confident in who you are", "Don't listen to what people say about you".
Well, many times those words are like wrapping a bandage around a bullet wound. They might begin to feel confident, but some day someone would say something mean and nasty about them, and those bandages will fall off exposing the wound again.
When God wanted to bless Abraham, He had to work on changing his Self-image.
God changed his name from Abram (meaning Exalted father) to Abraham (father of many).
"So your name will no longer be Abram [Exalted Father], but Abraham [Father of Many] because I have made you a father of many nations."
- Genesis 17:5 (GWT)
God did the same with Jacob when He changed his name to Israel.
"God revealed himself once again to Jacob, after he had come back from Paddan Aram and blessed him: "Your name is Jacob (Heel); but that's your name no longer. From now on your name is Israel (God-Wrestler)."
- Genesis 35:9-10 (MSG)
Look all through the Bible, God has been a Master at transforming lives for success by first re-configuring the way they see themselves.
Do you know that the devil, your enemy, sees you the way you see yourself?
"And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."
- Numbers 13:33.
They saw their enemies as giants and themselves as grasshoppers. Their enemies saw them too as grasshoppers.
God knows that it is difficult to change a man beyond what he sees about himself.
Jesus said, "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is." (Proverbs 23:7)
Ephesians 1:3-14 paints a picture of who you are in Christ. You are loved, accepted, blessed, holy, redeem, forgiven, adopted, made an heir of God, and sealed with the Holy Spirit.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[c] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
- Ephesians 1:3-14 (NIV, emphasis mine)
When we begin to see ourselves the way God sees us, it changes us dramatically. It changes the way you talk, the way think, the way you view life, the things you say.
Apart from food, clothing and shelter, there are 6 basic human needs that must be met. If none of them is met, that human being is severely damaged.
Not everyone has all six needs met and a lack in one could seriously affect one's Self Image, thereby affecting the individual's propensity to succeed.
Here are the needs:
Everyone needs love, including plants and animals. A research was done at one time with a monkey. They separated a baby monkey from its mother, placing it in a cage and feeding it there. Not too long afterwards the baby monkey died, because a mother's love and attention was lacking.
Man's greatest need is love, and that is why God chooses to lavish it on us greatly through His son, Jesus Christ.
An individual starving off love is a depressed human being. There is little or no drive to push forward when there is clearly no sign that there is someone who loves you unconditionally. It really hurts. Love is the greatest energizer.
We all love to be recognized, especially when we've done an impressive job. We love to hear "Happy Birthday to you" on our birthdays. When nobody says that to you, it kills you. Your heart sinks. I don't care who you are, if it's your birthday and no body recognizes you, it makes you feel horrible about yourself.
At the office, people love it when the boss mentions their name for a job well done. We love to hear our names. It is the sweetest sound in our ears. Even when you are at an event or in a mall, and you hear your name from behind, you would gladly turn around to see who called your name, even if it wasn't you he meant to call.
Recognition. Learn to recognize your staff, your children, and those around you.
People love to express themselves. It makes them feel better. If you are in a situation where you can't express your heart, it could leave you stunted in your drive for success. An oppressive government could kill an economy. A terrorizing parent or teacher could kill a child's creativity.
Being able to express yourself makes you feel like a human being with value, and it has a subliminal effect on the way you approach life. It is a license to fly.
Security is very important. People want to know they are safe, this is why they join groups, organizations, churches, etc.
When there is no feeling of security, the individual could be less productive.
Monotony is an enemy of creativity. Doing the very same routine everyday and not learning or experiencing anything new could affect your drive for success.
Learn a new skill, perhaps learn a new language. Travel to some new places, taste a different meal, read a new book, generally just have a new experience. It has a way of rejuvenating your life and helping you discover more of yourself.
We all love to feel good about ourselves. Not feeling good about yourself is a major ingredient for failing in life. Respecting yourself, loving yourself, and trusting yourself is a very important.
So we move to the next thing which is has a big influence on your ability to succeed:
2) TRAINING YOUR (CONSCIOUS AND SUBCONSCIOUS) MIND
The mind is one of the best gifts given to man by God. It is one of the most efficient tools at out disposal.
Scientist say if the human brain was to be built, it would be as large as the Empire State Building in New York.
If it were to be powered by electricity to function at an efficient capacity, it would require the power supply for all of Los Angeles, California.
With all of this, they still said that it won't be as fast and efficient as the human brain. Think about it.
Your life is a product of your mind. Every information that came to you right from when you were a child molded you into the person you are now.
You are able to speak English with a Nigerian accent because you are surrounded by those who speak that way. You are able to write in English because you read English books. You are able to do the things you currently do because that was what you were exposed to.
Whether you are successful or not today, it is as a result of the things you think about yourself in your mind.
The mind is somewhat complex.
You have the conscious mind: that part of your mind that loves to plans, and is very calculative. That part of your mind that processes information and decides either to let it in or let it out.
For e.g, because of the way I have trained my mind, I find it easy to resonate with anything that has to do with the Bible, good music, nutrition and health, cooking, teaching, etc. But when it comes to things like Volley ball, Car racing, Reality TV, etc, my mind just loses interest. This is because my mind has become familiar with the things I have exposed it to on a consistent basis.
Even when I force myself to watch Volley ball, for example, I may not remember what I watched by the next day. But those things which I have exposed my mind to over and over again, it catches my attention whenever I see it or whenever I think about it, and it doesn't leave my mind easily.
That is the same thing that happens when you have pleasurable thoughts of your ability to succeed. Take a look at Usain Bolt on the track. He is confident. Of course there are times he would feel some nerves, yet he has this deep rooted 'knowing' that he will win the competition. He always sees himself as a winner, and that makes it possible for him to win most of the time.
The conscious mind is trained by constant learning. Keep learning and upgrade your skills.
The subconscious mind is what you might call the 'inner recesses of your mind'.
The subconscious receives information from the conscious mind, especially information that has come to it repeatedly over a period of time.
Those who drive would tell you that when they started driving, they were very conscious of how they held the steering and how their feet rested on the brakes. But overtime, they became used to it. It became as easy as walking, as easy as breathing. They could drive even while thinking about something else. How was that possible? Constant practice now made it easy for their subconscious to receive information about driving from their conscious mind, and now the subconscious can be in control even when the conscious mind is pondering on something else.
It's just like attending an event where a certain music is played in the background over and over again. Maybe your mind was focused on other things you were doing at the event and you weren't really concentrating on the song.
By the time you get home, you find yourself humming the song, and sometimes you begin to wonder where you heard the song. Has that happened to you?
Though your conscious mind wasn't really aware of what song was played, your subconscious mind was fully aware.
A certain woman would place her head set on her pregnant belly so her baby would hear the song and be calm. Anytime the head set is placed and the baby in the womb hears the song, he became calm. When he became a toddler, he was humming the song he heard while in the womb. Today he is a musical genius.
The subconscious is in a state of awareness even right from the womb. The conscious mind needs to be trained. That is why we go to school. But the subconscious mind receives anything that fascinates it.
This is why I advise people to be careful of where they choose to live or work. You pick things from people and from places subliminally. If you live or work in an environment that speaks of failure, stagnation, it will affect your mind. I have noticed many times that when a young person is taken out of a place that reeks poverty and backwardness, and is made to stay where development and progress is evident, a lot changes about him especially if he is there for several weeks or months. He becomes a lot more creative and effective when he returns home. His mind have been exposed to creativity and prosperity. He begins to see that anything is possible.
His subconscious mind was able to pick up information from his interaction with people and the things he saw.
The Bible says "Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."
- Proverbs 4:23
It is the subconscious that controls your life. The things you do or say unknowingly comes from your subconscious. Those feelings of worthlessness and failure that sets in all the time comes from your subconscious.
Because you allowed those thoughts of worthlessness and failure to fill your mind on a regularly basis, your subconscious sucked it in, and regurgitates it from time to time even without your conscious mind being aware.
This is why you find it difficult to take advantage of major opportunities in your life.
So what do you do?
Heal your mind!
A certain young man hated his father because he saw him maltreat his mother.
Incidentally he got married and found himself doing the same thing his Dad did. The very same thing he hated his Dad for. He grew up seeing his father hit his mom regularly. Somehow it got registered in his inner recesses. Of course he didn't like it, but because there was nothing done to correct such impression, he found himself doing the same thing to his wife.
The subconscious mind sometimes is like a computer. If it has sucked in wrong information over time, in a moment of weakness, it's content could spill over.
Images are powerful. I would advise you sensor what you read and what you watch. Do you know that you might begin to think or reason like some of your friends on social media, especially those who post regularly?
Take for example, if you have a lot of vain persons on your News feed, over time their "vanity" might rub off on you and you might begin to sound like them.
If you have friends who share inspiring stories or links on capacity building, subliminally you'll begin to move in that direction.
This is why we are being instructed by God to set His Word before us on a regularly basis. (Joshua 1:8)
Romans 12:2 says that we should not conform to this world's ill ways of doing things, but that we should be transformed by the renewing (cleansing and energizing) of our minds.
Read God's Word aloud to yourself before you sleep. There are several testimonies from persons who have had regular nightmares, or demonic oppression (being pressed) at night. When they formed the habit of reading God's Word aloud to themselves, such experiences stopped.
Play worship music calmly while you sleep or at the early hours of the morning. It rejuvenates your mind and builds your creativity.
It has been proven by scientist that those who listen to classical music in their sleep are usually more creative. Think about the impact worship music will have on one's mind.
Do your studying late at night or early in the morning. This is because at night the brain is trying to shut down and not much is going on in it as compared to its activity during the busy hours of the day. It would be easy to absorb and assimilate what you are trying to study at such moments. Same in the early hours of the morning.
Make declarations that affirm who you are in Christ.
Train your mind to believe what God's Word says about you.
At our SunRise Academy for Young Leaders, we have seen this principle work expressly in the students. Just after two weeks of building their mental capacity with the truths of God's Word, the transformation is usually very obvious and we have parents call to thank us for a job well done.
If you live in Calabar and you have a teenage son or daughter, or one who is in his early twenties, please encourage them to be part of the training.
Here are the details :
Venue: 3 Saint Mary Street off Howell or off Ekpo-Abasi.
Date: Monday, April 10 - Friday, April 22, 2017.
Time: 8:30am to 12 noon (Mondays to Fridays)
For more details, please call the Assistant Programs Director, Mr. Cheerful Light on 08184188032.
We will continue this series next week.
If you have questions, please feel free to drop your comments at the comment section and we will be glad to give answers to it on our Radio Show:
'The SunRise Convo with Chibuzor' every Saturday at 10 am on Hit 95.9 FM.