(Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the book Kiss That Frog: 12 Great Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives in Your Life and Work by Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein. Brian Tracy is chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International. As a keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year. He is the bestselling author of more than fifty books that have been translated into dozens of languages. Christina Tracy Stein is a psychotherapist in private practice. She collaborates with her clients to help them create more fulfilling relationships, develop ways to handle stress and anxiety, and find greater enjoyment and satisfaction in their lives. She also works as a personal and professional development coach where she more directly facilitates her clients’ growth. For more information on Brian Tracy, please visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.)
Your natural state is to be happy, peaceful, joyous, and full of excitement at being alive. In this natural state you wake up each morning eager to start the day. You feel wonderful about yourself and your relationships with the people in your life. You enjoy your work and derive a great sense of satisfaction from making a contribution that makes a difference. Your primary goal should be to organize your life in such a way that this is how you feel most of the time.
As a fully functioning, fully mature adult, you should be doing things every day that move you toward the fulfillment of your potential. You should feel grateful for all your blessings in every area. If you are unhappy or dissatisfied in any part of your life, something is not right in your thoughts, feelings, or actions, and it needs to be corrected.
The starting point in unlocking your full potential is to realize that you already are a prince or princess, deep down inside.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. — Abraham Lincoln
No matter where you are today, or what you have done or not done in the past, you need to accept seven essential truths about you as a person:
1. You are a thoroughly good and excellent person; valuable and worthwhile beyond measure. No one is better than you or more gifted than you.
Only when you doubt your essential goodness and value do you begin to question yourself. The inability to accept that you are a good person lies at the root of much of your discontent.
2. You are important, in many, many ways. To start with, you are important to yourself. Your personal universe revolves around you as an individual. You give meaning to everything that you see or hear. Nothing in your world has any significance except for the significance that you attribute to it.
You are also important to your parents. Your birth was a significant moment in their lives, and as you grew up, almost everything you did was meaningful to them.
You are important to your own family, to your partner or spouse, your children, and the other members of your social circle. Some of the things you do or say have an enormous impact on them.
You are important to your company, your customers, your coworkers, and your community. The things you do or don’t do can have a tremendous effect on the lives and work of others.
How important you feel largely determines the quality of your life. Happy, successful people feel important and valuable. Because they feel and act this way, it becomes true for them.
Unhappy, frustrated people feel unimportant and of little value. They feel frustrated and unworthy. They feel “I’m not good enough,” and as a result they lash out at the world and engage in behaviors that hurt themselves and others.
They don’t realize that they could be a prince or princess inside.
3. You have unlimited potential and the ability to create your life and your world as you desire. You could not use your entire potential if you lived one hundred lifetimes.
No matter what you have accomplished up to now, it is merely a hint of what is truly possible for you. And the more of your natural talents and abilities you develop in the present, the more of your potential you can develop in the future.
Your belief in your almost unlimited potential is the key to becoming everything you are truly capable of becoming.
4. You create your world in every respect by the way you think and the depth of your convictions. Your beliefs actually create your realities, and every belief you have about yourself you learned, starting in infancy. The amazing thing is that most of the negative or self-limiting beliefs and doubts that interfere with your happiness and success are not based on fact or reality at all.
When you begin to question your self-limiting beliefs and develop beliefs consistent with the incredible person you really are, your life will begin to change almost immediately.
5. You are always free to choose the content of your thoughts and the direction of your life. The one thing over which you have complete control is your inner life and your thinking. You can decide to think happy, fulfilling, uplifting thoughts that lead to positive actions and results. Or you can, by default, end up choosing negative, selflimiting thoughts that trip you up and hold you back.
Your mind is like a garden: if you do not deliberately cultivate flowers, weeds will grow automatically without any effort on your part. If you do not deliberately plant and cultivate positive thoughts, negative thoughts will grow in their place.
This simple metaphor about the garden explains why so many people are unhappy and don’t know why.
6. You are put on this earth with a great destiny: you are meant to do something wonderful with your life. You have a unique combination of talents, abilities, ideas, insights, and experiences that make you different from anyone who has ever lived. You are designed for success and engineered for greatness.
Your acceptance or nonacceptance of this point largely determines the size of the goals you set, your power of persistence in the face of adversity, the height of your achievements, and the whole direction of your life.
7. There are no limits to what you can do, be, or have except the limits you place on your own thinking and your own imagination. The biggest enemies you will ever face are your own doubts and fears. These are usually negative beliefs, not necessarily based on fact, that you have accepted over the years until you no longer question them.
As Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest, “What’s past is prologue.” Everything that has happened to you in the past has been a preparation for the wonderful life that lies ahead of you in the future.
Remember the rule: It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; all that really matters is where you’re going.
Re-printed from the book “Kiss That Frog!” with the permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2012
(Photo credit: Truth, Magnified via Shutterstock)