The words we say to ourselves and the corresponding image we create in our minds are the two determinant factors of what our lives would be like; whether we are going to be successful or we would just go through life like many other ineffective individuals.

Most people wrongly conclude that their family background, environment, education, or exposure are the cardinal factors that would determine their success in life. But that is a fallacy. Regardless of how much education you may have or how wealthy your family may be, if you lack self-esteem and are fond of saying negative things to, and, about yourself you will never be successful. You can never rise beyond the words you confess about yourself or grow beyond the image you paint in your mind. It instructs us to aim as high as we possibly can, even to the point of impossibility or impracticality. This way, you would have given yourself as much room for success as possible. Do not limit yourself by yourself. Here is a litmus test. If your imaginations and dreams about yourself is not so large that it intimidates you, then you are limiting yourself.

The very successful people in our society take full responsibility of the pictures they create in their minds and the words they say about themselves. You need to know that your words determine your feelings, and your feelings determines your actions, and your actions/inactions determines your life. When you want to go for an interview and you keep telling yourself that the interview is difficult and impossible, next thing is that your mind creates an image of a difficult and impossible interview, possibly with frowning and angry interviewers. Then, your body starts responding to this feeling of fear that your mind has created and in the end you may decide not to go for the interview or you may eventually go there and mess things up. Why? Because you had a pre-notion that the interview and interviewers are difficult and inhuman, so you walked into the room a complete wreck and ended up messing up.

Learn to see the positive in everything around you and confess accordingly. Your words make your reality, and if you are not succeeding enough then you most likely are not using the right set of words. Erase phrases such as; ‘This is terrifying’, ‘I can’t cope with this’, ‘I hate my life’, completely from your dictionary. In its place, adopt phrases such as; ‘This is a challenge, but I can do it’, ‘I have extraordinary coping skills, ‘I can cope with this’, ‘I can do this’. When you use and repeat phrases such as ‘my children are stressing me out, my children are driving me crazy’, you begin to react as if you are actually turning crazy and then you may want to leave the scene you are in. Rather, use words such as; ‘Yeah, they are a challenge, they are just kids. They are acting age appropriate’. The image you make in your head become the response that you have.

When you keep telling your mind, ‘I can do this. This is a walk in the park. I am better than this. Whatever life throws at me I can handle’ you are telling your mind there is no cause for alarm. You are telling your mind, and invariably your body, that there is no need to secrete adrenaline or cortisol, no need for fight or flight. Even if at first you don’t believe it and you are finding it difficult to convince yourself about this, keep doing it. When you state it enough times you will actually start to believe it.

What is most sad about negative confession and imagery is that they oftentimes don’t originate from us, rather they are transferred to us from family members who are not capable of doing certain things. Basically, what they did is transfer their insecurities and fears into us, and we continue our lives existing in these fears and insecurities. These fears and insecurities manifest and are evident from the words we say and the images we create in our heads. We are all born positive, we come into the world believing everything is great but somewhere along the line we fall off the track. Babies don’t regard rain or snow as bad or good, they don’t link flying in plane with pain, they don’t get into a car and immediately are overcome by the traffic; they love everything the way it is, for them everything is an adventure.

When we look around us we will find people who use negative words and also taught us to do the same; Look at the weather. Look at the traffic. Everything is ruined. This is a disaster. It is all going wrong because you were five minutes late. These people have had a tremendously negative impact on our lives. Who told you that you can’t do math? Or that you can’t draw?Or that you can’t amount to anything? You need to start unlearning those beliefs and start adopting a more positive approach, belief, and way of life.

You need to know that your beliefs and thoughts are yours to change. Your mind is yours to change. It may sound unbelievable, but the only control that exist is the ability to change the picture in your head and the words that you utter. Quite often, many people attend seminars, workshops, read books, pay life coaches in a bid to learn how to control their nerves, control their fear of flying or of speaking in public. But the truth is that there is no control anywhere. We can’t control the weather neither can we control traffic. We can’t even control our bodies lest we would stop ourselves from falling ill or sleeping so we can work all night long. Rather, our thoughts control our feelings, and our feelings control our actions, and our actions control the events around us. Therefore, to take charge, you need to start with the words you utter and the images you create in your mind. The more you make those words and images positive, the more extraordinary your life becomes.

Daniela Russo, Life Coach based in Amsterdam