About a year ago I wrote a blog about how I went from a 6th-grade flunky who always struggled academically to a student that excelled in a Master’s program with a 4.0 GPA. Someone made the comment that the school must not have been very good if someone who always struggled academically was able to do so well. I think his insinuation was that it was not a “real” Masters from a “real” school.
However, the school where I got my Master’s is Liberty University. It is a highly respected Division I university. Also, out of over 4,660 post-secondary schools, only 335 are have achieved the academic distinction of being a Doctoral University. Liberty is one of those 335 universities. In other words, Liberty has high academic standards.
So, if my transformation in academic performance was not due to weak academic standards, then what was the reason? There are probably several reasons, but the biggest reason was the picture I had of myself had changed. Once the picture I had of myself changed, then my performance changed which changed my results.
Most of my academic life, I saw myself as an average student at best. As long as I saw myself that way, that is the way I was going to perform. When my picture of myself changed, so did my performance.
How did that picture change?
- I started listening to positive information about myself.
We live in a negative world and people often feed us negative information. When I started listening to and reading Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Brian Tracy, Dennis Waitley, Jack Lannom (no relation because he spells his name funny), and many others I began to see myself in a new light. After hearing Zig Ziglar say over and over and over, “You were born to win!” I began to believe it.
- I changed from negative to positive self-talk.
We all talk to ourselves. Some of you right now are saying, “I don’t talk to myself. He is crazy. I never talk to myself.” We all talk to ourselves. However, most of the things we say to ourselves are negative. “I am only an average student.” I can’t do this.” “I can never get this done.” “I am just not cut out for this.” When I changed my self-talk from negative to positive, I began to see myself in a more positive light.
- I surrounded myself with a positive environment.
I began hanging around people who see themselves in a positive way. I am not talking about people that think they are better than everybody else. Most of the time, those people have a very low picture of themselves and the arrogance is an act or an overcompensation. I am talking about people who have such a healthy, positive picture of themselves they have no need to put others down. Actually, these are the kind of people that lift others up.
One of the best ways to climb to your God-given potential is to see yourself as a successful climber. The more you picture yourself as being there (wherever “there” may be for you), the more likely you are to be there.
What are you going to do to have a more positive picture of yourself?
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Tommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.
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