You Become What You Think About
The law of concentration says that “anything you dwell upon grows in your reality.” Anything that you think about long enough and hard enough eventually becomes a part of your mental processes, exerting its influence and power on your attitude and your behavior.
If you constantly think thoughts of boldness and courage and self-assertion, you become progressively bolder and more courageous and more self-assertive. The more you dwell on the person you would like to be, with the qualities you would like to have, the more you implant those deep into your subconscious mind where they become part of your ongoing evolution. What you habitually think about eventually becomes a part of your character and your personality.
Start with Your Inner Life
If you want to enjoy self-confidence on the outside, you must practice complete integrity on the inside. The foundation of self-confidence is for you to live your life consistent with your innermost values and principles, while thinking and acting in harmony with your highest aspirations.
Men and women with the most rock-solid self-confidence are those who are absolutely clear about what it is they believe to be right and good and worthwhile, and who live their lives consistent with these values. Everything they do or say is an expression of their innermost convictions. Your whole world can fall down around you, but as long as you know that you are doing the right thing, you will have a deep inner sense of calm that will manifest itself in an attitude of confidence and self-assurance in any situation.
Determine Your Values
The starting point of developing high levels of self-confidence and in becoming a superior human being is for you to think through and to decide on your values. Superior men and women are those who have taken the time to decide clearly what it is they believe in, and in what order, and they have then organized their lives so that everything they do reflects those values.
Living in truth means that you set peace of mind as your highest goal and as your core organizing principle. You select all your other goals to be consistent with it. You never compromise your peace of mind for anyone or anything else.
You do and say only those things that feel perfectly right for you. You accept your own thoughts and feelings completely, whatever they are, and you systematically change each part of your life that is not giving you peace of mind. Only in this way can you enjoy the high levels of self-confidence that are experienced by the superior individual. Only by insisting that everything you do allows you to live in peace with yourself can you feel really terrific about yourself and get along wonderfully in all your relationships.
The Law of Reversibility
The fact that your true values are only expressed in your actions brings us to a little-known mental principle called the law of reversibility. This law says that just as thoughts and feelings lead to actions consistent with them, the principle is reversible, and actions consistent with particular values or beliefs actually lead to the thoughts and feelings that would have triggered the actions.
What this means is that, even if you start off lacking a particular quality, if you deliberately act as if you already have the quality, you will eventually create within yourself the mental quality that corresponds to the action.
Become More Confident and Competent
We develop the confidence to tackle larger goals by applying our energies to the accomplishment of smaller goals. We build up our confidence as we move forward until we reach the point at which there is nothing that we won’t take on.
In fact, the habit of setting and achieving ever-larger goals is absolutely indispensable to the development of ever-higher levels of self-confidence and personal power. You can only really believe in yourself when you absolutely know that you have the ability to do what you set out to do.
True self-confidence does not come from positive wishing or positive hoping or positive thinking. It comes from positive knowing based on having proven to yourself, over and over again, that you have what it takes to get from wherever you are to wherever you want to go.
The Law of Attraction
A corollary of the law of cause and effect is the law of attraction. This is one of the most important of all mental laws in explaining what happens to you. This law says that like attracts like.
It says that you inevitably attract into your life the people, ideas, circumstances, and opportunities that are in harmony with your dominant thoughts. Just like a magnet attracts iron filings, you attract whatever is consistent with whatever you are thinking about most of the time.
The Law of Correspondence
Another mental law, also a corollary of the law of cause of effect, is the law of correspondence. This law says that your outer world tends to correspond to your inner world. Your outer world of health, wealth, and relationships will be a reflection of the way you think about each of these subjects.
There is a saying that “thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.” Your thoughts and goals are like seeds, and your mind is like fertile soil. Whatever seeds, positive or negative, clear or unclear, you are planting into your mind will grow in your reality.
The Law of Concentration
Another principle that affects you life is called the law of concentration. This is an important principle in determining the development and maintenance of your self-confidence. The law of concentration, as mentioned earlier, says that whatever you dwell on continually grows in your reality.
Thinking about a subject, dwelling on it continually, is like watering and fertilizing a seed. Concentration causes it to grow faster in your experience. The more you dwell on any goal or subject, the more of your mental capacities are dedicated to making that goal or subject a reality.
The Law of Substitution
The law of substitution states that “your conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time, positive or negative.” Whatever thought is held continuously in your conscious mind will eventually be accepted by your subconscious mind as an instruction or command.
Your subconscious mind, in harmony with these other mental laws, will go to work 24 hours per day to bring your dominant thought or idea into reality. Your subconscious mind is inordinately powerful. It is the repository of all your emotions, beliefs, values, attitudes, and feelings. All your thoughts and feelings throughout life are stored in your subconscious.
The Law of Emotion
The final mental law you need to know in the development of purpose, personal power, and self-confidence is the law of emotion. This law says that every decision that you make, every thought you think, every action you take, is based on an emotion of some kind. The two primary emotions are either the emotion of fear, at one end of the spectrum of emotions, or the emotion of desire, at the other end of the spectrum.
When you hold an emotion-charged thought in your conscious mind, it is rapidly accepted by your subconscious. Your subconscious then activates all your mental powers and begins to turn that inner thought into a result or experience in your outer world.
Try More Things
When you set more goals, try more things, engage in more activities, and explore more opportunities, your probabilities of success increase dramatically. The only real limiting step that you might have is your level of self-confidence. When you reach the point at which you believe in yourself absolutely, the barriers that exist in your external world will not stop you.
The major obstacles to success always lie within the mind of the individual. They are not contained in external circumstances, situations or people. As soon as you win the inner battle, the outer battle seems to take care of itself.
The Four Ds of Success and Self-Confidence
How do you infuse your whole life with the kind of self-confidence that makes everything possible for you? The answer is contained in what I call the four Ds, which determine success in anything you really want to accomplish.
The first D is desire. You must really want to become a totally self-confident human being. You must build up your desire by thinking about it and talking about it, and working on it all the time. Your desire must become so intense that it overrides your fears of failure, rejection, and inferiority, and it becomes the dominant emotion governing your behaviors. Intense desire is the starting point of all personality modification and goal attainment.
The second D is decision. You must make a do-or-die decision that you will go to work on yourself and keep at it until you achieve the kind of self-confidence that enables you to do, be, and say whatever you want. You must burn your mental bridges. Many people want things but they never make the clear, unequivocal decision that they are going to do what it takes to get them.
The third D is determination. Once you have started to make significant changes in the way you act, your internal gyroscope will try to take over and bring you back into your comfort zone, into your old ways of acting.
Sometimes, progress will be slow, and, often, you will see no progress at all. Nonetheless, you must persist in the positive and constructive behaviors that you know will lead to making you into the kind of person you wish to become. Your determination must be as unshakable as the self-confidence you desire.
The fourth D is discipline. Underlying and surrounding all great achievement in life is the quality of self-discipline. This is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. Every practice of self-discipline strengthens your discipline in every other area of your life.
As Napoleon Hill said, after more than 20 years of research into the lives of successful men and women, “Self-discipline is the master key to riches.” It is self-discipline that makes everything else possible.