“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood
The most important opinion regarding your success is your own. When you hold a positive vision of who you are, and affirm that vision regularly with your thoughts, you become magnetic to the positive results you desire. Regardless of your profession, or the goals you hold, maintaining a positive self-image is of paramount importance.
El Rincon Elementary School is a shining example of the power that flows and the success that follows when young people hold a positive image of who they are and what they are becoming. Principal Dr. Cassandra Ziskind encourages all of her students to see themselves as scholars. Being a scholar includes specific behaviors, such as active listening, acting responsibly, and being respectful to yourself and others. By promoting this formula for success, Ziskind is empowering her student body, and her wonderful staff, to aim higher and believe that there is no limit to their potential for success.
The ability to decide how we see ourselves is an often overlooked factor in our success. When we expect ourselves to fail, there is no motivation to pursue our success. If, on the other hand, we see ourselves as successful, we will put forth inspired effort. We are suddenly motivated from the inside, inspired by new ideas and able to put them into practice. We also deal more effectively with whatever challenges we face.
It does not take much for us to change our self image. It might be a comment from someone that we look up to, or something we hear on the radio, that reminds us of who we are and what we are capable of. This is why so many successful people emphasize the importance of staying inspired and constantly renewing the mental image that we hold of ourselves. Taking time, even a few minutes, in the morning to read inspiring words and think positively about what you will accomplish, is a great way to anchor this new outlook in your daily experience.
One student that was coming to our lunch groups was always moping around. His head was hung and his words were barely audible because of how down he felt about himself. For whatever reason, he was clinging to an image of himself as a loser. He had held that image for so long that it had become normal to him.
When I met this youngster, I blasted him with joy. I was sincerely interested in what he was saying and was constantly encouraging him to speak up and smile more. Over time, the other members of the group took a liking to him and started pointing out his positive traits, such as his sense of humor and his extensive knowledge of funny YouTube videos. These little changes planted a new seed in his head and he started to perform better in class. He was more vocal and open to feedback.
Perhaps you have written yourself into the role of victim in some way. Now is the perfect time to rethink who you are. Your own opinion is really the most important. It is time to start telling yourself that you are worthy and capable of whatever it is you truly desire. Success begins with your thinking and it is always the perfect time to take hold of some positive thoughts.
A great way to start out on the path of positive thinking is by making a list of all the positive things you have said and done today, and any other time that comes to mind. Once you get into a positive mind set, new ideas will start flowing. From this elevated perspective, write down everything you know you are capable of doing and being. You don’t have to show it to anyone. You do not even have to keep the writing. Set time aside to make this activity a regular habit and you will feel relieved and amazed as the results follow effortlessly.
Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District. He is also co-host of the popular radio show, Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed, to find out more go to www.DarrellandEd.com.