The Worst Advice in Self-Help History

by Alan Hewitt on April 24, 2012

By Noah St John
January 25, 2012

Back when I was struggling to get ahead in life, I spent much of my hard-earned money on books and seminars that claimed to hold the “secrets of success”.

And the one phrase I heard over and over again from the people who had “made it” was that the secret to success is to “believe in yourself.”

That phrase used to aggravate the heck out of me, because I didn’t believe in myself. And they never told me HOW to believe in myself. So it was basically like saying to us, “Well, if you don’t already believe in yourself, you’re stuffed!”
But then, the more I thought about it – and started writing books and giving seminars around the world on the subject – I realised, we ALL ALREADY believe in ourselves.

Think about it: It’s not actually possible to NOT believe in yourself. Right now, you believe SOMETHING about yourself.

The problem is that you probably think you CAN’T do it, are NOT good enough, or are NOT capable enough to handle the problems you’re facing.

So, the problem is NOT that we don’t believe in ourselves. The problem is that we believe LOUSY THINGS about ourselves!

For example, let’s take someone with a very low opinion of them self. For example, let’s look at me as I was during all those long, lean years.

The problem was NOT that I didn’t believe in myself. I believed in myself all right. The problem was that I believed I COULDN’T do it… that I would NEVER make it… that EVERYONE ELSE was better, smarter, and more capable than me.

See the point? We ALL believe in something about ourselves. It’s just that most of us have a terrifically negative self-belief.

So when all those “gurus” tell us that the secret of success is to “believe in yourself”…once again, they are telling us half-truths.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with believing in yourself. It’s just that there’s NOTHING HELPFUL contained in that sentence!

It would be like you coming up to me and saying, “I want to get a house.” And I say to you, “Okay, go get one.”

You’d be left there thinking, “Well, what is it you want me to DO?”

That’s why the statement “believe in yourself” has to be the most annoying success cliché of all time.

The four main reasons people develop a deeply negative self-belief are:

1. Lack of positive mirroring.

2. Lack of experience.

3. Lack of self-confidence.

4. Lack of empowering daily habits.

It stands to reason that in order to build strong, positive self-belief, you’d have to counteract those things. And you’d be right.

So here are four things you can do – starting RIGHT NOW – to build positive self-belief:

1. Find your Loving Mirrors.

A Loving Mirror is someone who believes in you BEFORE you believe in yourself.

Every one of the Naturals of Success had a Loving Mirror who believed in them first. Whether or not you grew up with positive mirroring, you can still have it now.

Make a list of 5-10 people you would like to mirror you. Then, contact them and ask how you can support one another to reach your individual goals.

There are also other ways of finding loving mirrors in some of my other materials.

2. Fail faster.

You’ve heard the cliché, “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right the first time.” WRONG! I’ve interviewed dozens of multi-millionaires, and every one of them – by their own admission – has had many more failures than successes.

So if you’re afraid you’re going to fail, realize YOU ARE! And just get over it. That’s the best way to get experience under your belt.

3. Trust your gut.

Are you in the habit of trusting your intuition? Or do you discount it and then kick yourself for not listening?

We all have intuition, just like we all have muscles. But just like a muscle, your intuition will only get stronger as you USE it.

Keep ignoring your gut and you’ll find that it gets weaker and weaker. But keep trusting and ACTING on your gut – even when it doesn’t make “logical” sense” – and you’ll find things work out in amazing ways.

4. Document your Successes.

Just like we have to give ourselves permission to fail, we also must give ourselves Permission to Succeed. (That’s why Permission to Succeed was the title of my first book!)

One great habit to develop is, every night before going to bed, write down 5 things you accomplished that day.

Keep a Success Journal and write down what you DID. This will focus your mind on what you’ve DONE, and the more you focus on that, the more you’ll realize you CAN do what you set out to do.

Put Positive Mirroring with Experience, add Self-Confidence and Empowering Daily Habits, and you’ve got a recipe for Unstoppable Self-Belief.

So the next time you hear one of the “gurus” say, “You’ve got to believe in yourself!” you can say to them…

“Ha! I already do!”

About the Author

Noah St. John is the inventor of Afformations and bestselling author of The Missing Piece to Having Abundance.

Stephen Covey says, “Noah’s Secret Code of Success is about discovering within ourselves what we should have known all along – we are truly powerful beings with unlimited potential.”

Noah coaches conscious entrepreneurs on how to DO LESS and HAVE MORE. He’s appeared on CNN, ABC, NBC, in The Washington Post and PARADE Magazine.

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