Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” The term for this is “self fulfilling prophesy”. We are all guilty of allowing negative thoughts keep us from doing something. Sometimes it’s procrastination, and sometimes it’s an actual fear that you can’t do something. Whether it’s a fear that our own minds create, or one that someone else taught us, the fear is both real, and unreasonable.
At Hannaford, we have to deal with bulk (large cases we work from pallets), and freight (smaller cases we process onto carts). I have always told myself that bulk is my enemy that I have never got the hang of it, so I prefer to stay in the back room to do the process, while others are doing the bulk. I’m not being lazy, processing is hard work, and I work hard the whole night, but there’s just something about the bulk. What I figured out last night is there isn’t anything wrong with the bulk; the problem is that I’ve spent the last eight years convinced that I couldn’t do it.
Now, I have to work hard to change the entire way I think about that one aspect of work. Eight years of self-talk is going to take some breaking through but I know I can do it.
The longer you tell yourself that you can’t do something, the harder it is for you to break out of the pattern. Imagine standing next to a large stack of bricks. Every time you say, “I can’t do that.” You take a brick and add it to the wall in front of you. As you go through your life that wall gets bigger. Every time you or someone else convinces you that you cannot do something, the wall gets more impenetrable.
Now let’s go the other way. When you tell yourself you can do something, you take a brick away from the wall. The longer you tell yourself you can, the wall will get smaller until you can break through, and you will begin to realize that there isn’t anything you can’t do.
Challenge: Think of something you’ve convinced yourself you can’t do. Now give it a shot, and keep at it until you get it. It will be a real self-esteem booster.