Success, the Only Option

One often hears people say they can't sketch because they don't have 'the talent' even to draw a straight line. When was it somebody told you "Oh, I can't play the piano; I'm such a klutz!"?

Such negative programming of the mind often comes from judgmental parents, teachers, relatives or peers. The loved ones, whom the child trusts and looks up to for encouragement, affirmation, and support, often make derogatory comments and ridicule,ignoring the child's commendable achievement and simply focus on the negative. Such events, in childhood or adult years, can damage the self-esteem and destroy confidence in anyone, minimizing the chances of reaching one's full potential. Frequently these events, hurts, or negative valuations are absorbed by and buried in subconscious memory, with the person totally unaware of the sources of troubled feelings, fear, self-doubt and damaging attitudes.

Unless there is some sort of physical or mental handicap that prevents it, almost anyone can learn to play piano competently, or draw aesthetically. But what really gets in the way is nearly always, a simple lack of time, motivation, or energy, to learn the principles and then practise enough to become proficient

It just takes desire, time, the right teacher, and the belief that it is possible.

The late Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." The best thing is when you do, your confidence soars, every time!

Develop your Confidence and Motivation: Self-esteem and self-confidence are essential to human progress. Self-esteem is fundamental to friendships, work, love, relationships, ambitions and goals - even health, itself. A person must like, respect and admire the person he/she sees in the mirror. Self-confidence is necessary to achievement; however, it requires self-esteem to be effective.

High self-esteem is a basic ingredient for success. Low self-esteem must be dealt with before progress can be achieved in building self-confidence and creating motivation. It is difficult for a person to show confidence when he views himself as a low man on his own totem pole.

Low self-esteem, however, does not suddenly appear, like the symptom of an illness. It develops, like a cancer, usually unnoticed in early stages, but spreading slowly throughout the mind until, when recognized, it may be full-blown, and demoralizingly destructive.

To establish self-confidence dispose off past negative programming -- eliminating from self-perception any labels such as bad, wrong, stupid, clumsy, dumb, inept, untalented, ignorant, etc. Remove fears that shackle the mind and reduce negative internal judgments so that positive self-feelings and confidence can develop in a natural way.

If this is practiced systematically, mood and energy levels increase, psychosomatic symptoms fade away, emotions become uncluttered, self-derogation is reduced and positive feelings about life's possibilities develop.

With self-esteem and confidence enhanced, improved motivation comes into the spotlight. Essential to generating positive motivation is the elimination of any fear of failure. Fist, it is important to recognize successes of the past and the motivations that led to it. Second, a sense of direction is needed (Where am I going?). Then comes the all important factor of "goal setting". Not the ultimate goal, but a short term, quickly achievable goal. Finally, on achievement of this goal, a self-reward. This reward may be a self-treat, or the pride of achievement and self-satisfaction. The purpose of establishing short-term, successive goals is important to understand. A small success generates additional confidence. It creates a sense of readiness and eagerness for the next step.

Neuro Linguistic Programming is a tool you can use to build up your confidence levels. If anybody in the world can do anything, you too can, if you tune your nervous system exactly the same way. This is what NLP - or Neuro Linguistic Programming - teaches us. Neuro refers to our nervous system, the mental pathways of our five senses by which we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. Linguistic refers to our ability to use language and how specific words and phrases mirror our mental worlds. Linguistic also refers to our silent language of postures, gestures, and habits that reveal our thinking styles and beliefs. Programming is borrowed from computer science, to suggest that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are simply habits or programs that have got written over the years. It is time we upgrade our mental software to achieve our goals!

NLP is based on principles that are very different from traditional psychology. While traditional clinical psychology is primarily concerned with describing difficulties, categorizing them, and searching for historical causes, NLP is interested in how our thoughts, actions and feelings work together right now to produce our experience. Founded on modern sciences of biology, linguistics and information, NLP begins with new principles of how the mind/brain works. It deals with the way we filter, through our five senses, our experiences of the outside world, and how we use those same inner senses, both intentionally and unintentionally, to achieve the results we desire. Our specific thoughts, actions and feelings consistently produce specific results. If we want to change our results, then we need to change the thoughts, actions, and feelings that go into predicting them. Once we understand specifically how we create and maintain our inner thoughts and feelings, it is a simple matter for us to change them to more useful ones.

NLP helps you get in touch with reality, to become motivated, to think, to learn, and, if required, to change. It allows you to take control of your feelings and gives you choices. Simply put, NLP connects our words, thoughts and behavior to our goals. Knowing what you want and finding the means to get it are an important part of NLP. Ask 'what then' questions, get ready to take action, keep your senses on the alert and learn to notice the results of your actions. Be prepared to change your behavior till you get what you want.

These are proven methods that can help us establish an unshakable internal integration with the infinite powers of our inner self. You start breaking all barriers that have been holding you back from moving towards your dreams and aspirations.

Uma Shankari is a Bangalore-based freelance writer, who has just embarked on a writing career she had always loved. She feels she has done the right thing by chucking away her IT profession.