Each one of us has an image that we carry about who we are and how we relate to the world around us. For some the image we have is one that has been deliberately developed causing us to function optimally and efficiently, for many it is an image developed subconsciously through experiences which are detrimental to progress.
Understand that we are unable to function beyond the image that we have of ourselves. We see this a lot as we watch TV shows like Dr. Phil, watching how he counsels people who have developed a warped story of their life into a paradigm through which they view and interpret all their experiences. They are unable to see the reality of their situation, and they live within the shadow of their brokenness, because their image has been compromised by a bad experience, abusive parents or relationship etc. On the other end are the stories of self made men and women who chose to see their potential beyond their circumstance at that time and against all odds they made it in life, all because they refused to believe the story that their environment tried to associate with them.
So how do you see yourself? When things happen in your life, as you go day to day, what interpretation do you give the events of your life? What thoughts are going on in your head? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Do you see yourself as one who is just struggling to make ends meet? These questions you must answer to yourself because a good percentage of our lives are formed unconsciously by the stories we tell of ourselves, and the images we develop.
One of the greatest revelations of human spiritual experience and psychology is that what we hold as true in our minds eventually becomes our reality, whether real or not. In essence, you eventually become what you think about the most. Your thoughts and perception about your situation cause you to make choices consistent with your belief. With a flawed belief system, you are bound to make bad choices which will eventually lead you to a compromised place or failure.
Take for example a man who believes that there are not opportunities in a certain career or industry for him. Such a person will not have the confidence to take even the slightest risk that may produce a reward. He will not expect that there will be any interest in him, his skills and what he has to offer. He will eventually end up blaming something or someone other than himself for his failures and lack of progress in life.
If you see yourself as a victim, having no skills or ability to learn, not being able to make above $50,000 a year, not having any character or as one nobody would like to deal with, then this eventually becomes true for you. Even if situations that present opportunities to the contrary come your way, you are likely to miss them or make a decision that causes you to loose and eventually reinforces your belief about who you are.
So what do you do?
Understand that I am not saying to ignore your present circumstance and simply “think positively”. No! Positive thinking is good, but really wont change much. Firstly you must see your situation as it is, and not worse than it is. Hence, get the facts, know exactly what you are dealing with. Be as objective as possible in your current scenario.
The next thing you want to do is to find out what is needed and what it would take to change things. Money, resources, people, education, lawyers, choices etc. Whatever it is, understand the cost of change and success against the odds. Many people fall short here because the costs are either higher than what they are willing to pay or perceived to be beyond their means. However it is amazing how much abundance there is all around us if only we choose a different and more enabling perspective on life.
Thirdly you should develop in yourself the confidence to overcome your situation and pay the price. One of the greatest abilities we have as humans is the ability to make choices. Choices that lead to success require intentionality. You see the situation for what it is, you know what it costs to change it, and you make a choice to pay the price and change it because you can, you are able!
You have to daily affirm, meditate, or write until you have built within you a consciousness of ability to choose and make a change. Take for example you are currently earning $25,000 a year and you would like to earn $50,000 a year. The fact of your situation is that people with your skill level and within your industry make at most $35,000 a year. You know you must get some more education or learn some more skills which may cost some money.
Now the situation is clear and what you have to do is clear. Begin to write what needs to be done; get more education, pay for additional training for the purpose of increasing your income. Affirm this, meditate on what is needed and see yourself as having completed all these. Build your confidence and self image. Begin to see yourself in light of the new you, rather than your current self, and then make a decision.