Last night I accepted an invite from a good friend, Kevin Leighton, to attend a Sole Traders Networking group in Bristol. The speaker for the evening was Jim McLeod and the topic was “ A Positive Attitude, the difference between Success and Failure”
I consider myself, these days, to be a fairly positive person and through dipping in and out of NLP over the years I feel fairly confident in my ability to give myself a good talking to if my attitude takes a negative swing. I therefore found that a lot of what I saw and heard were things I knew or had previously encountered, but I got great value in the way Jim put them together, and the important reminder of how powerful we as humans can be if we really put our mind to it.
The Guy in the Glass
There were a couple of things that resonated with me and that I took away from the evening and one of them was his recital of the poem ‘The Guy in the Glass’ by Dale Wimbrow. If you haven’t read it before, then I urge you to do so as it’s an important lesson in being true to yourself and being your own greatest supporter. It brought back memories to me of a time in my past where I was unable to do that…
I was staying at a friend’s flat in San Fransico and we were both getting showered and dressed in the morning ready for the day. She had the bathroom door open as she was styling her hair and I heard her say to herself: “Wow Sharon, you look great today! Your hair is shiny, your eyes are bright, you are a good looking, intelligent woman and today you are going to have a great day!” I asked what she was doing and she told me in a matter of fact way that she was just encouraging herself. She asked me to have a go. Feeling very stupid, I stood in front of that mirror and said “Hello Paula, you are looking ugly today. I hate your hair, you have bad skin and….” I turned to her and laughed thinking she’d find it funny and was shocked when I saw she had tears in her eyes. She said to me “That’s the saddest thing I’ve heard Paula. How would you feel if someone came and said that to you? You’d be hurt and hate them for it and yet you’d do it to yourself? If there’s one person in the world whose love and support you always can rely on, it’s yourself. If you don’t even have that, what do you have?”
I think it goes without saying that that incident had an effect on me. I have often thought back to it and hearing Jim recite the poem was one of those times. I can’t say I’m at the “Wow Paula aren’t you fabulous!” stage yet and am not sure I ever will be, but I can certainly say that I draw on the positives and treat myself in the way I expect to be treated by others, and that’s a lot nicer than the place I was back then.
What motivates and inspires you?
The other thing Jim showed us that got me thinking was a selection of inspirational speeches in films that he had put together. It was a stream of about 40 clips put together in a 2 minute showing that contained a massive boost of positivity to him of words and scenarios that give him strength. Each one of these clips in itself had inspired him but seeing the power of them collected together – what a great thing to have on tap if you are having a lull in positivity!
I see people often have photos of family on desks and this can be a comfort and a “this is the reason why I’m doing this” motivator to some. Maybe it’s lyrics in a favourite song or a photo of a favourite place or a house you aspire to live in. We’re all working hard to achieve our goals and keep smiling and I think the idea of bringing together those things that flick a switch in us and make us say “I can do this!” is a great one.
For me, I’m starting with these two, a song that contains the lyrics, “You own it, you better never let it go. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, Cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime…” and a price tag from a jumper I bought from Fat Face saying simply “It’s never to late to be who you might have been”.
These are the 2 starters for my positivity montage. What would yours be?