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Friday, August 16, 2019

I-Can Belief. Your Route to Achievement by Stuart Goldsmith

I-Can Belief. Your Route to Achievement by Stuart Goldsmith

Stuart Goldsmith
 Stuart Goldsmith

YES! You CAN achieve ANYTHING that you want!
Well; nearly anything.....
I often say this to people only to have them give silly examples of things which they CANNOT do. For instance they will say: "I really want to fly to the moon by flapping my arms; how can I do that?" or : "I'm seventy-five but I want to become the heavyweight boxing champion of the world!"
I get exasperated at this because obviously there are many things which you cannot do and will never do. Your physical limitations (alone) will put a ceiling on your level of achievement.
I call this absolute limit to your potential the REAL CEILING. Your REAL CEILING height is set by things like your age (and hence physical ability), and by what is 'impossible', in the real sense of the world.
For the purpose of illustration, I would like you to imagine this REAL CEILING to be like the ceiling of a huge cathedral.
Imagine this ceiling to be over ONE HUNDRED feet above you.
This represents the REAL ceiling to your achievements.
It may surprise you to know that most people spend their entire lives living and working under a FALSE ceiling.
Furthermore, this FALSE ceiling is set much, much lower than the real ceiling, thereby effectively preventing people from achieving things which are readily achievable.
Now then, how high do you think your FALSE ceiling is in comparison to the REAL ceiling? You'll be amazed when I tell you that most people's false ceilings are under three feet high. YES; THREE FEET!
Let me say that again:
They are crammed into this artificially small space without even room to lift their heads. Do you see why I get annoyed at the silly examples?
People who give examples of silly things which they CANNOT do, are pointing out the limitations of a one hundred foot ceiling, whilst working under a three foot ceiling!
It is rather like saying to someone: "Hah! Your Rolls Royce can only go at 130 mph", when all the time you are riding a child's tricycle!
YES, there are things which you cannot and will not achieve; but these things are so far above your present FALSE ceiling that they are irrelevant.
Why worry about not being able to fly to the moon if you haven't even taken a holiday for the last five years?
Why worry about being heavyweight champion of the world if you cannot even give up smoking?
Why worry about being able to buy America if you cannot even pay off your mortgage?
I'll tell you something else: Although the real ceiling to your achievements is one hundred feet high, your wildest dreams of wealth, power and happiness are set at around the fifty foot mark; in other words, they are well below the real ceiling - they are easily achievable! I'll say that again in case you missed it:- Your wildest dreams of wealth, power and happiness are easily achievable.
The statement at the start of this chapter should say: "You can achieve anything providing it is sensible and within human capabilities." But this doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?
So I say that you can achieve ANYTHING AT ALL, and trust that you are sensible enough to realise the implied human limitation of the one hundred foot ceiling.
Stand Up Straight!
Think of the fantastic feeling of relief that you would experience if you could raise your FALSE CEILING from its present low height to the full one hundred foot height! It would be like being born again! You could do ANYTHING which any other human being with similar abilities to yourself had done before; or even something which NO-ONE had done before!
The possibilities are staggering:
You Could Become a Millionaire!
YES, YOU could become a millionaire! Why not? Millionaires are common! There are tens of thousands of them around the world. It's not so very special. In fact, this is one of the EASIER things to do.
Why do I say that becoming a millionaire is one of the easier things to do?
Well it's obviously not that difficult otherwise tens of thousands of men and women would not have achieved it!
There is nothing SPECIAL about these people. Only a small percentage achieved their wealth by inheritance or luck. Most of them are ordinary people like you or me.
They don't all have special abilities or talents which are excluded from you or I. They are not a breed apart, some exclusive elite to which we can never aspire - this might have been true a hundred years ago, but it certainly is not true now.
Most of them are honest and hard-working, and they do not have any secret knowledge from which we are excluded.
I became a millionaire in eight years, starting with an overdraft! I promise to you now that I am just an ordinary guy with no special gifts or talents for making money. I wasn't lucky either; in fact I had a lot of bad luck. I just BELIEVED in myself and my abilities. I raised my false ceiling, not to the full one hundred feet but to at least fifty feet! I still have another fifty feet to go!
But having a fifty foot ceiling sure as hell beats having a three foot ceiling!
Believe me, there is a very, very big difference between having a THREE foot ceiling and having a FIFTY foot ceiling.
Let's All Make Excuses
Perhaps at this point, you are probably thinking things like:
"That's all very well, but......" "He makes it sound easy, he should see where we live..." "If it was that easy, everyone would do it." "I bet he hasn't got children/dogs/sick mother/wooden leg...."
And many other things like this. In fact I hope you ARE making excuses otherwise you shouldn't be reading this book!
Excuses are what people use to cover up or justify their lack of
PSI and I-CAN belief.
I hope you will forgive me for calling them excuses, but THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE! I'll show you WHY you feel you have to make excuses and HOW to stop making excuses by raising your I-CAN belief from the present three foot FALSE CEILING to as high as you can go.
I vividly remember the time when I made all sorts of excuses for not achieving success. Do you remember that I told you how I used to blame anything and anybody other than myself?
I blamed my lack of money, I blamed my lack of contacts, I blamed society for favouring the rich, I blamed the depression, in short, I blamed everything except myself!
Why do you think I made these excuses?
Simple! I made excuses because they LET ME OFF THE HOOK!
If something else or somebody else was causing my failure then I wasn't to BLAME was I? What could I do about it? It wasn't MY fault. After all, I had all these handicaps like lack of money and lack of ability!
"Anyway," I told myself, "what's the point in even TRYING? The only people who make it in this world are either rich to start with, or lucky, or dishonest....... Even if I make lots of money, the taxman would take it all, so what's the point?"
I didn't take responsibility for my own life. It was easy and convenient for me to blame someone or something else for my failure.
Do you see how not taking responsibility for your own life is VERY CONVENIENT? The pay-off is obvious. By blaming external agencies you absolve yourself from responsibility, which, in turn means YOU DON'T HAVE TO TRY.
These excuses were formed very early in your childhood, and they served the purpose of preventing you from having to make changes to your I-CAN World View.
For example, there was a time when you had to struggle to learn the basics of mathematics. Love it or hate it, this level of mathematics CAN be understood, with some effort, by most children . Somewhere along the line you learned the neat trick of saying something like: "I'm useless at maths, my Daddy and teacher both say so. I've always been useless at it, and I always will be."
This gives you the perfect excuse! If Daddy AND teacher both say so, then you have the approval of high authority for your imagined weakness. The pay-off is obvious. You no longer have to struggle to learn maths! After all, what's the point? You KNOW that you'll never be any good at it.
Note that this hardly affects the PSI belief (although the two types of belief are intimately connected). You don't necessarily feel bad about yourself over this, you just believe that you are no good at maths - or whatever subject applies to you.
This type of belief is also nicely self re-enforcing. The more you believe that you are useless at maths, the less you will try, ("What's the point?"), so the worse you will get, ("I told you so!")
Now here is something really interesting: Our society often gives out POSITIVE strokes to people who demonstrate a lack of I-CAN belief, PARTICULARLY TO GIRLS. This is one of the many reasons why women are disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts; they are actively encouraged (albeit by subtle messages), to demonstrate a low level of I-CAN belief.
Here are two fairly typical examples:
JOHN: "I'm useless at maths!"
DAD: "Nonsense son, you'll just have to try harder."
Compare this with:
MARY: "I'm useless at maths."
DAD: "Never mind sweetie, you can't have a pretty face AND be clever at everything can you?"
Going right back to the beginning of this book, do you remember that I told you how I read every 'Positive Thinking' book that I could get hold of, then synthesised my own method?
Well one thing that really struck me after about the fifth book, was that women were totally excluded from these books. In every single book, the reader was always referred to as "he" NEVER "she" and the books were all crawling with nice little sexist examples using a boss, (always a man), and a secretary, (always a woman), as the main characters.
Why do I make this point? Because 'Positive Thinking' books are rarely aimed at women. Women are NOT encouraged by our society to raise their level of I-CAN belief. In fact it is definitely frowned upon if a woman appears too capable or appears to believe in herself (unless that belief is confined to 'safe' subjects like cooking or bringing up babies). Most women who do possess a high level of I-CAN have long ago learnt the trick of playing it down - especially in front of male associates.
It is not my intention to explore the subject of sexism at length in this book. I am not qualified to do so, and it has been well covered by other authors. I only wanted to use this as an example of how a lifetime of training in lowering a person's I-CAN belief, can result in their being confined under a very low ceiling.
I said earlier that most people are confined under a three foot ceiling; if you're a woman reading this then subtract one foot!
Lack of I-CAN belief EVEN IN ONE OR TWO SUBJECTS is a crippling disease. If you don't take the trouble to correct the problem then WHOLE AREAS of life are forever closed to you. In the case of our example, you may not consider maths to be a great loss, but you would be wrong.
Maths is an amazing, wonderful, subject; you could devote a lifetime to it and hardly penetrate its mysteries. I'm not saying that you should immediately go out and study maths, but it is a sheer tragedy if, every time you brush against the subject, the mental shutters come down and you switch off.
It is TERRIBLE to be crippled like this.
It is the same with ALL subjects. They are ALL intensely interesting; it is only your lack of I-CAN belief which prevents you from finding them so.
When you raise your level of I-CAN belief, it is like raising a curtain on the world. EVERYTHING becomes possible; EVERYTHING is interesting. There is NO SUCH THING as a boring subject; there is nothing which you could not become proficient in, given time.
This does not mean that you have to become a leading mathematician and scientist; play the cello to concert standard learn nineteen languages and become a free-lance brain surgeon - but you COULD do any one (or more) of these things if you wanted to. We are talking here not about doing all these things, but about allowing yourself to believe that you could do them if you decided that you wanted to.
It is this belief in your abilities which signifies a high level of I-CAN. This means that ANY opportunity which comes your way is OPEN to you; not closed by your low I-CAN. You can learn anything you want.
You may not WANT to learn Arabic but you KNOW that you COULD if you wanted to. The I-CAN'T person would say something like:
"I've always been useless at languages."
You may not WANT to learn to water-ski but if the opportunity came along, you KNOW that you COULD master it, given time. The I-CAN'T person would say something like: "I'm hopeless at sports; I've always been that way; I'll never change."
You may not WANT to start your own business, but you know that thousands of ordinary people have done just this, and so could you if you wanted to. The I-CAN'T person would say: "It's too complicated; all those figures, I could never do that."
So, we have learnt that due to laziness, the brain learns to make excuses for lack of ability. The pay-off for making excuses is that you don't have to TRY anymore, so you don't have to risk failure. These excuses are self re-enforcing. They lower your level of I-CAN belief and bar you from whole areas of life.
Let me give you one excuse and two examples which serve to illustrate exactly how shallow these excuses can be: The excuse is: "I'm too old/infirm to do anything."
There is a lecturer at Cambridge University who suffers from a crippling progressive wasting disease which prevented him from walking. He wanted to carry on working so he bought himself a wheelchair and continued lecturing.
Then the disease paralysed him so that he could only talk and move one hand. He modified his wheelchair to be operated by one hand and carried on lecturing.
As if this was not bad enough, the disease attacked his voice box which had to be removed surgically. Did he give up? No. He had a friend design a computer linked to a voice synthesiser. He now uses one hand to select from a menu of words from which he constructs sentences and feeds them to the synthesiser. He now carries on normal conversations by means of his computer voice. He is still lecturing.
I still think of this man when I am tempted to moan about my physical problems.
I used to go hang-gliding. I thought this was a young person's sport until I found out that one of the champion hang-gliders was over sixty five! He took it up when he was sixty!
A very great many of the famous people throughout the centuries have done some of their best work during their so- called 'old-age'. Age was not a barrier to them, why should it be to you?
How easy it would have been for any of these people to give up, call it a day, say "I'd love to do that, if only...."?
These are just a few of the many thousands of people who have triumphed over the most amazing difficulties. You'll find that the people with the most severe handicaps are often the ones who do the LEAST moaning and excuse-making. It is often the people with quite mild problems, or even no problems at all, who use it as an excuse.
I used to know a chap in a wheelchair who hitchhiked around Europe! Yes...hitchhiked! He would sit in his wheelchair on the verge of the road and thumb a lift! Drivers would be so amazed to see him that they would stop. The wheelchair would be put in the boot, and Stephen would be helped into the front seat.
Where was the problem? He got a lift more easily than able- bodied hikers!
Being too old/young or claiming a physical disability are just two of the many excuses which people make for not achieving the success that they deserve.
When you raise your I-CAN belief, you stop making excuses!
All of us have restrictions which we could use as excuses.
We're all either poor, lacking in ability, lacking in opportunity, bogged down with responsibilities, too old, too young, ill, infirm, the wrong colour/race/sex etc etc. The list goes on.
Here are a few of the excuses which people use to justify their lack of success:
"I never had a proper education." "The trouble with me is that I'm too highly qualified!" "It's all right for you, I was in my first job at thirteen, what chance did I have?" "Mummy and Daddy were very rich, consequently I didn't have to do a stroke! If only I'd been made to get a job at thirteen, that would have given me the toughness which I lack!" "Everything costs money nowadays. Even if I could think up a good business scheme, I haven't got a penny in capital." "My problem is I'm too well off! Consequently I just dabble around at things and don't take anything seriously. If only I had less money; I'm sure I would try harder."
To Moan or Not to Moan?
How can you tell an excuse from a genuine complaint? Simple!
Excuses are nearly always given as a REASON for inaction. Complaints are just moans and groans; they rarely stop people getting on with things after they have had their moan.
There are other little ways of spotting an excuse, either in yourself or someone else; for example, key expressions often give away excuses. Expressions like:
"If only ....." "It's all very well but......" "I could never do that." "It's all right for you...."
A person uses an excuse to justify why they HAVEN'T done something. If they just outline their problems without using it to justify their inaction, then it is probably not an excuse, just a moan.
For example: "This weather plays havoc with my arthritis," is just a moan, but: "What's the point in taking a holiday in this country when the weather is so awful!", is definitely an excuse.
There is an acid test of an excuse: If someone demolishes the excuse, is another one immediately offered in its place?
This is a cast iron test of excuse-itis, caused by lack of belief. For example, here is an imaginary conversation with ARTHUR:
ARTHUR: "I've always wanted to go to Disneyland, but I can't afford it."
ME: "That's amazing! Just this morning I was given an 'all expenses paid' holiday to Disneyland because I met my sales target. I'm booked up for a holiday already, so why don't you go in my place? I owe you a big favour anyway."
ARTHUR: "Really? Thanks a million. I'll go!"
In this example, Arthur was not using excuses to maintain a FALSE CEILING. He saw an opportunity and seized it. However, supposing the conversation had gone differently and he had responded to my offer as follows:
ARTHUR: "Wow! I'd love to go but I get really scared in aeroplanes; it's a real phobia."
ME: "It's your lucky day! This is a sea cruise taking in the sights of New York, then traveling by Greyhound bus to Disneyland."
ARTHUR: "A sea cruise? Hey, won't that mean that I have to be away for over a month? I couldn't do that!"
ME: "Sure you could! What's stopping you?"
ARTHUR: "What about work? I couldn't take all that time off."
ME: "I'm your boss. Take a month off, you've earned it."
ARTHUR: "Well you see I have this collection of rare snakes which have to be fed every day. I couldn't leave them."
ME: "Snakes? Hey, wow, I love snakes. Do you think I could feed them for you?"
ARTHUR: "But I'm expecting an offer any day from my agent, I'd hate to be out the country when that call came through."
ME: "O.k. Get him to call you at your hotel."
ARTHUR: "Her."
ME: "Him; her; what's the difference?"
ARTHUR: "It's a great offer. Look, I'll think it over and let you know tomorrow."
Build That Wall!
Do you think Arthur will go? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! Did you notice the way he kept inventing a new excuse every time I demolished his previous one? I call this effect the BRICK WALL EFFECT. Not content with having a three foot high ceiling, people also build brick walls around themselves! The bricks are the excuses; one brick for every excuse. Take a brick out of their wall, (by demolishing the excuse), and out comes the trowel and cement and another brick goes right in its place.
When I meet people suffering from acute 'brick wall' syndrome, I like to play the 'brick removal game'. Just like in my imaginary conversation with Arthur, I attempt to remove their bricks one by one and see how good at brick- laying they are!
Some people are expert bricklayers. They're so quick that you can't take bricks out of their wall fast enough to cause a noticeable hole before they have closed up the damage with new bricks.
Other people are a little slower, and you can get quite a few bricks out. These people usually get angry or into a huff; then they'll run away to repair the damaged wall at their leisure!
Here's an example of a conversation with a slow bricklayer:
ME: "You've just said that you can hardly make ends meet; but it doesn't have to be like that. You can earn as much money as you like if you start believing in yourself."
BL: "What are you talking about? I'm unskilled. The most I can earn is £200 a week. You have to be a supervisor to earn more."
ME: "Why aren't you a supervisor then?"
BL: "Why? I'll tell you why, since your asking. You need to pass your exams to be promoted to that grade. I left school at thirteen so I didn't have much of a chance, did I?"
ME: "O.k. so get your exams at night school."
BL: "At my age? You must be joking! Anyway, I can't study, I'm no good at it, I never was."
ME: "Actually, you'll find that most of the people at the classes will be older than you."
BL: "Anyway, what's the point? My boss hates me so I'd never get promoted."
ME: "Then change jobs."
BL: "You think its easy don't you?"
ME: "No, but if you really want to improve your standard of living, then you'll find a way of getting a better job."
BL: "It's all right for you. I expect jobs are ten a penny where you live. Your sort make me sick trying to tell people how to run their lives!"
At which point he stomps off as he is not used to having his excuses attacked so relentlessly!
Why are people so rarely challenged when they make an excuse?
There are two main reasons for this:
Reason one: It is considered 'impolite' to contradict or challenge someone, particularly if you don't know them well. For example, this type of conversation would be unlikely to win you many friends:
JANE: "I'm hopeless at dancing. I've always had two left feet but I'd give anything to learn to dance properly. There's not a chance of doing that because of my responsibilities and lack of money."
YOU: "I disagree. If you really wanted to learn to dance properly then you would find the time and the money."
Whilst what you said was true, Jane would almost certainly be slightly offended by your reply . The "polite" response would have been:
YOU: "Yes, it is difficult to find time when you have a growing family."
This reply subtly re-enforces Jane's negative position.
Reason two: By AGREEING with the excuse-maker, you find a 'partner in crime' who will help you re-enforce your OWN lack of I-CAN; for example:
DAVE: "This weather is awful. My wife wants us to take a holiday but I can only enjoy myself when it's sunny so there's no point is there?"
MARY: "None at all. I would love to have a nicer garden but with the weather we've had, when would I enjoy it?"
DAVE: "Exactly. Speaking of gardens, I've always wanted a swimming pool in the garden, but there's no point if you can only use it for two weeks every year. Anyway, the price of them! I'd buy one on credit but I can't budget; I'm useless with money."
MARY: "I know! Everything's so expensive nowadays. I went to the travel agent the other day to see if we could get away for a week, but when I saw the prices I just turned around and came right out! I can never seem to save for things like that, money just slips through my fingers."
DAVE: "If you think holidays are expensive, have you seen the price of new cars recently? I'm sick of driving my old banger so I thought I'd trade it in. I soon forgot that idea when I saw that the CHEAPEST car was...."
And on and on. This secret complicity is absolutely RIFE within our society. In fact, so normal is it to play this game that people think you are REALLY STRANGE, and even get offended if you refuse to play the game with them. If you don't believe me, see if you find either of the following conversations a little strange or off-key: Two strangers are talking at a party:
JILL: "I love ballet but I never go; it's impossible to get tickets, they're sold out months in advance."
DONNA: "That's not true. I often go to the ballet, it's easy to get tickets, you just have to book months in advance."
JOHN: "I'd love to trade my old car in for a new one, but there's absolutely no way I could afford it."
DAVE: "I thought that, but then I knew that I deserved a new car so I went ahead and bought one anyway!"
Jill would probably deduce that Donna was a know-it-all, whilst John would figure that Dave was a narcissistic big- head!
In our society it is considered impolite to be positive!
It's amazing isn't it? People tend to think that you're either showing off, or gloating over your own good fortune at their expense. Being negative is far more socially acceptable because it piles the blame onto external events which are out of your control, then everyone can join in and have a good moan.
They can all go away feeling happy because their lack of action has not been criticised - rather, it has been praised.
Which is Which?
How can you tell a lack of PSI-belief from a lack of I-CAN belief?
The answer is that often you cannot.
For example, if someone says to you: "I've always wanted to ride a horse, but animals hate me," they could be suffering from a lack of PSI ("Rich people ride horses, I'm a second class citizen therefore I don't deserve to do this.") or they could have a strong PSI but be lacking in I- CAN belief, ( "Animals hate me, they always have done.") or they could have a problem in both areas.
In the examples given throughout this chapter, the excuses could be caused by a lack of PSI-belief OR a lack of I-CAN belief.
The two are fairly closely linked anyway; that is why later in this book I give you methods which will dramatically raise BOTH types of belief together.
There ARE methods which you can use to spot which belief is most lacking:- If lack of PSI is the problem, then the actual excuse will be irrelevant. If you demolish one excuse by argument, another will be put in it's place. The 'brick wall' syndrome is more indicative of lack of PSI belief than lack of I-CAN belief.
However, if the person offers one excuse and sticks to it; then shows an interest when you try to indicate ways in which they COULD achieve success; then lack of I-CAN is likely to be the trouble.
Look at all the different types of I-CAN'T belief there are:
Specific I-Cant's
These I-CAN'T beliefs are unique to the individual:
"I'm useless at sport, I always have been. I was so bad that I was the only person in our school to be excused games permanently."
"History is just not my subject. I switch off when I hear anything historical; it's so boring."
"I can't handle money."
"I'm no good with animals; they hate me."
"I don't have enough intelligence to run my own company."
Gender-related I-Can'ts
This category mainly limits women. Society has trained most women from the cradle to expect a lot less than their male counterparts, so typically they have I-CAN'T beliefs such as:
"I could never be a company director." "I could never be a millionaire." "I'm useless at figures, science, woodwork, DIY, car mechanics etc." "I don't understand a thing about electricity, it's so complicated." "A woman's place is in the home, not following a career." "Men need looking after. They can't wash clothes, iron, cook or tidy the house, so I do all that."
Men do not escape from this category! Society has trained them also:
"I could never look after a baby, men just aren't tolerant enough." "I can't sew, knit, bake, or cook." "I have no decorative sense, my wife does all that; women are so much better at it."
Race/Regional I-Can'ts
"You have to be white to make it in this town." "You have to have lived in this village for at least twenty-five years before they acknowledge you." "I'm a foreigner and can hardly speak the language; what chance do I have?”
Social I-Can'ts
"I never had a chance of a proper education; we were dirt- poor and we all had to go to work instead of school." "It's not what you know, it's who you know." "It's easy to make money when you've got money." "Property is mainly owned by the upper classes." "It's impossible to get a job around here, there just aren't any."
The secondary pay-off is that CHANGING your I-CAN'T beliefs into I-CAN beliefs takes EFFORT and COURAGE. Your subconscious mind is HAPPY with your set of I-CAN'T beliefs because it feels nice and cosy. Just like with PSI-belief, your sub-conscious will RESIST any attempts by yourself to change it's I-CAN World View.
Let's just take one example and examine it in a little more detail. I could choose any example, but I have decided to choose the excuse about men not being able to look after babies.
The PAY-OFF for the man is that he avoids some difficult work and does not have to master a whole new set of skills. Every time the baby cries, all he has to do is call for Mum.
He avoids smelly nappies and mopping up vomit because he's "All fingers and thumbs when it comes to doing that sort of thing."
He doesn't have to get up in the night when the baby cries because: "Babies need their Mothers when they are crying, men are too rough."
His additional pay-off is that he doesn't have to radically change his I-CAN'T World View. This is the part of his World View jigsaw which says:
"Men are not suited to looking after babies, that's women's work. Women are naturals at it, men are too rough, careless and intolerant. Any man who looks after a baby must be a bit of a sissy; you wouldn't catch me wheeling a pram down the road, what would my mates think? Men just don't have the necessary skills or knowledge to make a good job of it; anyway, even if they did the women would soon be up in arms, it's about the only thing they can do."
To change his I-CAN'T belief into an I-CAN belief, he has to change this whole section of his World View, and there are some pretty major pieces of the jigsaw puzzle contained here. HIS SUBCONSCIOUS WILL RESIST THIS CHANGE PURELY OUT OF INERTIA.
Remember, the thought of change produces FEAR which causes INERTIA which tries to prevent the change.
But this I-CAN'T belief closes off a whole area of life experience to the man. Yes, it is very difficult looking after a baby, but it also brings a huge set of rewards which are unique in human experience; ask any mother.
I found out how enriching, (and exhausting), this could be after the birth of our twins. I held some of the I-CAN'T beliefs mentioned above, but there was no room for the luxury of them with twins around! I had to do my fair share otherwise we would never have coped. I soon shook off those old attitudes and I'M VERY GLAD THAT I DID. Yes it was totally exhausting working all day, then going home to a second job. Being woken ten or twenty times a night was the hardest thing I think I have ever coped with, but there is no doubt that I am a better person for it, and I hope, closer to my children.
The Corridor of Life
Imagine life as a long corridor with many doors leading off to each side. Every door is labeled with a particular opportunity, an exciting adventure in life. Behind many of the doors lie success and fortune; behind others are life- enriching experiences. Each door leads to a world of possibilities!
With strong PSI and lots of I-CAN belief, EVERY door is open to you; all you have to do is decide which room to go into and how long to dally there before sampling the delights of the next room.
With poor PSI belief, OVER HALF OF THE DOORS ARE SLAMMED AND LOCKED FIRMLY SHUT, because you don't believe that people like you deserve to go through them. These rooms have gold-plated RESERVED signs on them, and it never even crosses your mind that they may be reserved for YOU!
With lack of I-CAN belief, many of the doors are forever closed to you. Instead of these doors bearing a sign spelling out an opportunity, they each have a large red sign saying DANGER! NO ADMITTANCE - HIGHLY SKILL PERSONNEL ONLY!
With so many doors firmly shut, it is not surprising that, after walking down the corridor of life for a while, you begin to wonder why you never get 'the breaks' or why opportunity always seems to pass you by? It is YOU who are passing opportunity by!
After walking down the corridor for a while and trying a few doors, only to find them locked shut, you naturally become cynical; you stop believing that there is anything behind the doors at all! This has the effect of preventing you from even bothering to try any more handles!
What Causes I-CAN'T Belief?
It is a learned response. When you were born, you had no pre-conceived ideas about your abilities. All of your I-CAN and I-CAN'T beliefs were painstakingly built up BY YOU over the years.
YOUR ENVIRONMENT DIDN'T LIMIT YOU! You may have had a tough time as a kid, perhaps your parents were very poor, perhaps you were brought up in a slum and beaten every day; but in the end, it was YOU who DECIDED that this would be a limiting factor. After all, THOUSANDS of people had worse backgrounds, yet still made a huge success of their lives. Quite a few even admit that their terrible environment spurred them on the succeed. They knew how bad things could be, and they wanted something better.
I agree that it's not EASY if you had a bad environment as a child, but who said it SHOULD be easy? If it was EASY it probably wouldn't be worth doing!
It's no easier for a rich kid. They had everything on a plate when they were children, as a result they didn't value anything or appreciate the good things in life. Consequently they find it hard to succeed because they are used to getting everything they want instantly, so they find it hard to apply themselves.
Nevertheless, at some point you learned that you could use the excuse of your poor environment to great effect. It stopped you trying any more. After all, what could you do? You never had a chance did you?
OTHER PEOPLE DIDN'T LIMIT YOU! Your parents and teachers might have hated you and called you useless, stupid, hopeless and a waste of space, but YOU chose to listen to them and believe them.
They may very well have tried to limit you when you were a kid, BUT YOU'RE GROWN UP NOW! You don't have to listen to them anymore, they can't touch you! The world is absolutely wide open to you, and, if you had a limited childhood then you will appreciate all the exciting opportunities MUCH MORE than someone who is used to being able to do anything they please.
I am hammering this point home because it is VITAL that you understand and believe completely that it is YOU who are limiting yourself with I-CAN'T beliefs, not your ENVIRONMENT, and not other people, but YOU. The ultimate I- CAN'T belief is this:
"I CAN'T succeed because there is nothing I can do about it; it is not under my control. My failure is caused by someone or something else."
Nevertheless, when you were younger, you LISTENED to the people who told you you were useless at sport. You BELIEVED the people who told you that you would never go to college, never make the team, never BE anybody. You valued other people's opinions more than your own. If someone told you that you were stupid, you believed them!
This may be understandable when you were five years old and the person telling you how stupid you were was an adult; naturally you will believe them, and it is at this time that I-CAN'T beliefs are formed. BUT YOU ARE GROWN UP NOW! You are not five years old any more!
They are relics, fossils of a bygone time. They are someone else's hang-ups passed on to you. YOU DON'T NEED THEM ANYMORE.
Sure, your subconscious won't LIKE changing the World View.
It will HATE throwing away all those nice neat pieces of the jigsaw, it will FIGHT any changes you try and make, but my response is: TOUGH LUCK! Your subconscious WILL change if you use the correct methods. It is like a stubborn donkey, if you are insistent enough, it will walk, but if you are wishy-washy and half-hearted, it will just stand there.
You CAN and MUST change your I-CAN'T belief into I-CAN belief if you are to succeed, otherwise thousands of opportunities will just pass you by. You have to grab EVERY opportunity as it gallops past you if you are to succeed. Blink and it's gone; charging away into the distance until reigned-in by some braver soul.
Without I-CAN belief, you WON'T RECOGNISE opportunity even if it stops and licks your face!
Here are a few invented examples of the sort of opportunity which will pass you by:
A friend will suggest that you set up a partnership with her and run a book-shop. You want to do it, but will decline because you know nothing about books.
Someone will give you a red-hot investment tip, but since you've never bought shares before and don't know anything about it, you will play safe and not invest.
You will see an advert for a sky-diving course; you want to do it but think that you are too old, or not fit enough, so you don't.
You want to buy your own house but don't think that you can understand the legal/financial technicalities, so you stay in your rented flat.
So now you know about I-CAN belief. I have told you that I- CAN is about believing in your own abilities as opposed to PSI which was concerned with belief in your own worth. You know that I-CAN is a learned response stemming mainly from the things people said to you as a child. You also know that It is convenient for you to retain these I-CANTs because they prevent you from having to bother to try - and possibly fail.
Having gained your I-CANT beliefs, they become a part of your World View, often they become central pieces of the jigsaw. As you know, the subconscious mind does not like changing central pieces of the jigsaw because this causes FEAR and INSECURITY. To prevent you tinkering, the subconscious uses its master weapon of INERTIA. Inertia prevents you from changing.
Clinging onto old I-CAN't beliefs cripples you and isolates you from many of life's enriching experiences - it effectively prevents you from succeeding. The extent to which your success is inhibited depends upon the type, degree and number of I-CAN't beliefs held by you, but ALL I- CAN't beliefs are bad and life-depressing.
In a later chapter I will be explaining my powerful technique for eradicating I-CAN't beliefs from your subconscious, meanwhile, let's have a look at the third barrier which is preventing you from a achieving everything which you desire.

Extracted from the book 'The Midas Method' by Stuart Goldsmith
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