As the sole architect of your destiny, you need to make sure you’re utilizing one of your greatest tools: your own voice. That inner voice will help you formulate a plan and drown out the external voices of critics and naysayers. Your voice holds the power to boost your confidence and help you both navigate and learn from setbacks when they occur.
Be very honest with yourself. Is your own voice joining the negative chorus of doubters? If the answer is yes, you’ll need to reprogram your thought process by telling yourself these three things today—and every day—for the rest of your life.
1. Do it now.
Procrastination is like quicksand. If left unchecked, it will pull you into a quagmire of crippling indecision. You’ll make excuse after excuse that will eventually foreclose on your dream. If you’re continually telling yourself it’s OK to do nothing, then nothing will be what you achieve. Instead, allow your inner voice to motivate you from morning until night, and fiercely commit to your dream with a sense of urgency.
Remember, the difference between could and did lies in planning and action, so become your own greatest coach and advocate for change. Don’t take no for an answer, especially from yourself.
2. I deserve this.
Whenever I meet someone who’s allowed their dream to derail, or who appears to be passing up opportunities for personal growth or improvement, I always ask why they don’t deserve their absolute best.
If you’re among the folks who are settling for anything less than the success you dream about, you simply must get out of your own way by escaping your dangerous comfort zone. Whatever your dream might be. Whether it’s pursuing a career change you’ve always wanted or finishing your degree, begin by reminding yourself that you deserve a brighter future, and then invest in yourself by giving your all to you. Never cut corners on what’s most important: your happiness.
Fear of failure, including the inability to reclaim your forward momentum after a setback, is one of the greatest obstacles to success, and one that can often be effectively addressed by empowering your inner voice.
We all have fears, but we can’t habitually make fear-based decisions or we’ll never reach our full potential. If we allow fear to paralyze our progress, we’ll create a blueprint for mediocrity and miss the priceless lessons only trial and error can reveal. Make sure your self-talk is stronger than your fear, and relentlessly affirm. I understand overcoming fear is not an overnight process. It might require that you take advantage of additional resources at your disposal, such as individual therapy. I know that it can be extremely uncomfortable to walk out onto your personal ledge, but the feeling of freedom is incomparable, and I assure you the view will be spectacular.
Start listening to your voice today. What are you saying? Do you believe you can succeed?
As I look back at the journey I’ve traveled to achieving success, I can attest to the power of my own self-talk. There have been fears and setbacks to be sure, but I resolved the first time I met the wake-up call of ground-shaking disappointment to never consider myself a failure. I win or I learn. There are times when the road will be steep, challenging and tiring. It is during those especially trying days that you must be able to rely upon your inner voice to drive you on. It will mean the difference between giving up and persevering. The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.
Start listening to your voice today. What are you saying? Do you believe you can succeed? It’s true that whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re going to be right. When you do find yourself achieving success, make sure your self-talk remains positive and motivating. You don’t want to start telling yourself you’ve arrived and become complacent. Success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day.
Daniel Milstein is the CEO and founder of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. He is a best-selling author and shares his other strategies for success in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2: You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For. Learn more at DanMilstein.com.