Wayne: “Ok – we’re in Madonna’s bedroom… Whoa!”
Wayne and Garth [bowing to her]: “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”
Madonna: “Ok shutup – you’re both worthy.”
— [Wayne’s World, 1991]
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in their Saturday Night Live sketches had a lot of fun with their “I’m not worthy” bits.
But in real life, our endless variations of negative thinking are not so comical.
“Stinking thinking” can impact anyone, even a “sophisticated tough guy” actor like Pierce Brosnan [‘James Bond’], who has admitted he knows “what it’s like to loathe oneself. To feel that deep self-loathing. It’s painful and ugly and f**ing unwanted. And it got in the way. I can dip in there, into the old black-Irish melancholy. You think ‘Am I smart enough? Am I equipped enough to deal with it all?’ You don’t want it to happen, but it’s part of life.”
And Nobel Prize winner poet and writer Czeslaw Milosz once said, “From early on, writing for me has been a way to overcome my real or imagined worthlessness.” [Quoted in my article Being Creative and Self-critical.]
Many personal development teachers and writers say our critical inner voice and other expressions of our beliefs can hold us back from success and creative achievement.
Bob Proctor, in an issue of his newsletter, writes that “All the great religious leaders, philosophers and self-help gurus have told us to believe and succeed. He quotes famed psychologist William James: “Believe and your belief will create the fact.”
Proctor notes our thinking can be changed for the better: “I have found that our belief system is based on our evaluation of something. Frequently when we re-evaluate a situation our belief about that situation will change.”
In his article Notes on The Secret DVD – about the documentary which features a number of other experts talking about beliefs and success – he says, “All the great leaders all down through history, as far back as you want to go, have complete and unanimous agreement on one point, that we become what we think about.”
Bruce H. Lipton, PhD in his book The Biology Of Belief writes about how our “thoughts and mind create both our internal (biological) and external (social) life experiences.”
Roberta Jamieson, chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River and CEO of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, addressing other Native people struggling with life problems and success, said “You must release yourself from the repression of your mind. You are entitled to make decisions. You have gifts to share that belong to your people. It is your responsibility to share your talents with others. Throw off the shackles that keep you down – stop tearing at yourself and others because you don’t feel good about yourself.”
[From the book Success Built To Last – Creating A Life That Matters, By Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery and Mark Thompson – based upon 10 years’ of interviews with the world’s most enduringly successful people such as Maya Angelou, Jimmy Carter, Michael Dell, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and 300 others.]
Critical inner dialogue corrodes self-regard, confidence, conviction and other qualities that support our life success.
Jenna Avery, a coach for “Highly Sensitive Souls,” says in her audio interview that one of the issues for highly sensitive people is constantly questioning “Why can’t I fit in? Why don’t I react to things like other people?”
Healthy criticism can help refine our talents and creative projects in the pursuit of excellence. But when it is based on a excessive perfectionism or an unrealistic self concept, criticism can be destructive and self-limiting, eroding our creative assurance and vitality.
And our financial health.
T. Harv Eker, now a millionaire, recalls a time in his life when he was so poor and struggling he was living in his parents’ basement. For the third time.
“I began challenging my mental approach whenever I began thinking in financially negative or counterproductive ways,” he writes in his article The Inner Game of Wealth [an excerpt from his book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.] “In the past, I believed that what my mind said was truth. I learned that in many ways, my mind was my biggest obstacle to success. I chose not to entertain thoughts that did not empower me toward my vision of wealth.”
Consciously counteracting or reframing distorting thoughts with realistic, more empowering ideas can be very effective.
When Michael Jordan quit basketball to play baseball, reporters asked him: “How can you quit basketball after being voted the most valuable player? What if you fail at baseball?”
Jordan said: “I’m strong enough as a person to face failure and move on. If I fail I won’t feel bad. I can accept failure. What I will not accept from myself is not trying.”
[From the article Attitude Control: The Key to Lasting Success, by Neil Fiore, PhD – “Effective Self-Coaching means that we offer ourselves safety rather than threats, criticism and worry.”]
Professor Srikumar ‘Sri’ Rao, who teaches the famous course Creativity and Personal Mastery at Columbia Business School, notes in his book Are You Ready to Succeed? that our mental chatter, including the Voice of Judgement, is clearly an “insidious and noisy” monster, but only an enemy if allowed to operate without our awareness.
He says that cultivating a mental Witness to observe and categorize our constant chatter, focusing intently to become more aware, allows us to see clearly the how much we frustrate ourselves and act in self-defeating ways.
And this practice of awareness can “turn your life around” he says. “When we aren’t conscious of their power, we frequently pick up mental models that we do not want, ones that don’t reflect our values, The Witness exposes us – and our models – to ourselves.”
Being aware and dealing with negativity requires a very active approach, as business and success teacher Jim Rohn warns in a recent newsletter of his: “We must all wage an intense, lifelong battle against the constant downward pull. If we relax, the bugs and weeds of negativity will move into the garden and take away everything of value.
“Humility is a virtue; timidity is a disease… You cannot take the mild approach to the weeds in your mental garden. You have got to hate weeds enough to kill them. Weeds are not something you handle; weeds are something you devastate.” [See his articles at article authors / titles
But especially for those of us who read and otherwise experience media and entertainment, there are many influences that can impact our thinking and beliefs.
Actor Scarlett Johansson, herself the subject of plenty of media attention, thinks our fascination with celebrities has some dark sides. “I think people today are very cynical. They need to bring other people down. Reality television and tabloid magazines [fuel a] need to see movie stars taking out their garbage.” [Parade, March 11 2007]
Media and mainstream entertainment often feature the dark sides of human nature, and behavior that is dramatically destructive.
Maybe it would be good for our personal growth to read and see more stuff about people who succeed in life. Along with “Ghost Rider” of course.
Article publié pour la première fois le 12/03/2007