As I get back in to my daily personal development regiment, I find myself consistently reaching for books written by the world’s #1 leadership expert on the planet: John C. Maxwell. Not only do John’s books share some of the best insights and gold nuggets on self growth, leadership, and communication, but he also seems to entertain his readers through stories and parodies that draw my attention in for hours.
My current read from Maxwell is The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, one of his newer books that hasn’t quite swept the nation like some of his other books instantly did (i.e. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You). Nonetheless, this new book is teaching me things that previous content had yet to share and I’d like to pass on some wisdom from Mr. Maxwell that I believe will help you charge forward and develop your mind into an unstoppable force.
Your self-image is one of the most important things in your life. It’s how you see yourself and it’s how you feel others perceive you. If you have a strong self-image, chances are you see yourself in a positive light and have no trouble finding your positive qualities and strengths. These people are the ones with mad confidence who go on to become leaders and achievers. However, if you feel that your self-image could use some work, and you don’t necessarily always see yourself in the most positive light, then you need to learn the 9 steps to building an unbreakable self-image:
1. Guard your self-talk
The most important person who ever speaks to you is yourself. Whether we like it or not, we are always having a never ending conversation in our head, contemplating the world and how we fit into it each and every day. This “self-talk” is the basis for how you see yourself and how you value yourself. If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts, and feeling negative about yourself, chances are that’s how others feel about you too.
You need to work hard towards only allowing positive thoughts come into your mind, and shut down negative thoughts as quickly as possibly. It’s a smart move to constantly be encouraging yourself and taking actions that allow you to take chances and grow your confidence. You can even speak out loud to yourself; spend time in front of the mirror affirming how awesome you are each day. It will begin to shine off you.
This is something we are all guilty of. Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst habits you can develop. This is your life and you are on your journey. Your specific journey is not going to be like anyone else’s. You’ll be learning new things and growing at your own pace, and sometimes you’ll find others who appear to be moving “faster” than you in life.
That doesn’t matter. Focus on you and don’t stress about people who appear to be doing better, or worse, than you are. The only person you should compare yourself to is yourself. Are you a better version of yourself than you were yesterday?
3. Move beyond your limiting beliefs
We all have beliefs that limit us; beliefs ingrained in our heads that hold us back. These are lies that we’ve told ourselves over and over again about our lives that stop us from becoming the person we have the potential to become.
Everybody has some form of limiting beliefs in my opinion. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, etc. These “superstars” simply have bigger limiting beliefs than you do. With that being said, it’s our job to constantly be shattering the limiting beliefs by taking actions that challenge that belief until we feel we have conquered it. Then, you’re ready to raise up to the next level in life and shatter the next level of limiting thoughts and beliefs.
4. Add value to others
Adding value to others not only helps them, but it also helps you because it allows you to feel fulfilled. In reality, adding value to this world is what we all should constantly be trying to do. Adding value in our own specific way, whether it’s starting a business, donating our time or money to charity, or simply listening to a person who is in dire need of a friend, will always come back to us. Find your niche, and scale the crap out of it until you’ve added more value than you can possibly fathom.
5. Do the right thing, even when it’s the hard thing
Often times, we don’t always do the right thing. We do the easy thing in life because it has less resistance and doesn’t challenge us mentally. John C. Maxwell challenges us to move beyond these low levels of thinking and always attempt to do the hard (right) thing. I’d have to agree with him, as whenever I’ve done the hard thing (the right thing), I’ve always ended up in a better spot than when I took the easy way out.
6. Celebrate small victories
This is something that I’ve struggled with some. Many times, I failed to celebrate in any form when I accomplished a small goal in life like attaining a new client or started a new website or got a date with a cute girl. I just charged forward.
This is good and bad. The reason it is not necessarily the best thing, is because I forgot to take the time to celebrate my recent win. Life is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated, and if you’re not making time to celebrate and reward yourself for accomplishing a small goal or victory, you’ll have trouble celebrating the big victories. And soon enough, you’ll wonder why you even worked so hard to get there.
7. Embrace a positive vision for your life
An article posted a few days ago here on the website shared the importance of casting a vision as a leader. However, not only leaders need visions. Everyone benefits from embracing a powerful vision for their life; a vision that fires them up and makes them feel good inside.
The importance of casting and embracing a vision is not to necessarily craft that exact vision, but rather to inspire you to form the daily habits necessary to move closer toward your goals and grow yourself.
Find a vision that lights you up, and embrace it.
8. Practice the one-word strategy
The one-word strategy is where you take 5 seconds to think of the first word that pops into your head when you are describing yourself. It can be anything, and will give you a good idea of how strong your self-image is. If the word you thought of is positive (i.e. Fun, Imaginative, Strong, Excited, Enthusiastic) then you most likely have a very strong self image of yourself.
However, if the word that popped into your head has negative connotations, then chances are you probably don’t have the strongest self-image that you could potentially have. Study these other 8 tips until you think of a positive word and then live your life by that word.
9. Take responsibility for your life
You are responsible for your own life. We all know this to be true, yet some of us are better at seizing the day than others. It’s funny, because you always notice that the people who are aggressive with going after what they want tend to be the people that get what they want. It may take them some time, but they’re determined and they always end up getting some form of what they want.
But the people who sit around and wait for “the perfect moment” tend to wait an entire lifetime. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, make the perfect moment!
Photo Cred: YTIMG.com