WINSTON Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” If you are to be successful, you need to be positively expectant. Belief systems are the building blocks for our life. This is the intrinsic wiring or our personal mental models. No one can change you besides you. The more you see life in a positive light the more you attract positive things. The reverse is equally true.

Tony Robbins, in his book Awaken The Giant Within said, “Holding those limiting beliefs is equivalent to systematically ingesting minute doses of arsenic that, over time, build up to a fatal dose”.

Psychological scholars will tell you that your brain can’t differentiate between something you are actually experiencing and something you vividly imagine. A good example is that of Roger Bannister. Before 1954 no athlete had run a mile in less than four minutes, but on May 6, 1954 Bannister ran a mile in 3:59.4 minutes. The four minute barrier was broken and after that the four minute time tag has been broken several times by different athletes. What does that mean?

The belief that a mile can be run in less than four minutes was now in the minds of athletes and it was not a problem to translate that to physical reality. Most people would argue that their outer world is a reflection of their inner world. Your outer world corresponds with your deep seated pattern of thinking or your paradigm.

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Life is not necessarily about “what you want”, but your sub-conscious state. That is your belief system; your inner software that regulates how your whole mental system functions, perceives and sifts things and in most times without you being aware. Belief systems can be compared to an operating system in a computer. The computer performance is mainly determined by how effective and efficient its soft is.

Belief systems create boundaries or limitations in your mind. They determine your destiny. All people are always thinking. The major factor is what you are thinking about.

Some people are obsessed with obscene, dangerous, limiting, destructive and demeaning thoughts. Television, internet entertain and control some people’s mind and that should not be the case. Not every thought that flies over your head should be entertained.

Philosopher and psychologist William James once said: “The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.” Take control of your belief systems! Winning in the market place takes more than meets the eye. Success in business and leadership is governed by laws. Breaking the law has results. In this case if you break a success law, you will not be arrested, but they are negative repercussions. For the past decade I have invested in myself more than I did in all other things. I have learnt that to win I have to learn more about myself and improve.

Most people fail on their own before they can even fail in the market place. I call this the “mirror principle”; it is all about you. The use of the mirror is to see yourself. If ever there is something not right, you spruce yourself up. The guy you have to blame or praise for who you are, is no one, but yourself! The guy you see in the mirror might have caused most of the problems you have encountered than anyone else has.

The mirror principle scrutinises you. Who has to examine you? It’s you. You are a sum total of your thoughts. It is not what happens to you that is a problem, but what happens in you. So if you change the way you see yourself, it changes your results in life. Your mind pattern is one thing you must work on; your paradigm. Your mental programme that has control over your behaviour. Who you are determines the way you see other people, what you see, how you see others, how you see the future, how you treat the past, what you do and the behaviour you flaunt. You have to work on yourself and you must start now. Here are the things to do:


There is a salient question that I am asked in almost every seminar I host. The question is: How do I discover what I am supposed to be doing with my life? Some put it this way: How do I know my career? Others phrase it like this: What do I do to become fulfilled? Those three question bounce back to self-discovery? Don’t ever waste time doing what you were never created for. To discover the purpose of anything, you have to ask the manufacturer. He or she has the full knowledge of the functions.

Arthur Marara an author, speaker and attorney in his book Personal Development Toolkit (2013: 53) says: “You start to live the moment you discover what you are supposed to be living for. A great number of people pass through earth without knowing who they are and what they are capable of doing.”


Do you know that most people negatively judge themselves before even other people grade them? The issue of self-concept describes how you view yourself. This determines your attitude, behaviour and ultimately your results in life. Inferiority complex makes you see yourself lesser in value than others. Whereas confidence exudes and aura of self-worth.


This is the ability to see yourself different and uniquely, special in your own way. Most people, because of low self-worth want to be other people. They want to dress the way other people dress. They emulate other people. Others dress to extremes, so as to try to express themselves and be seen.


Your image defines your brand and what you stand for. This emanates from what you believe about yourself and your value systems. The image is what others buy into. Let me give you an example. If you fry two pieces of chicken in a pan then take one piece and wrap it in an old newspaper and try to sell it. Then take the other one and wrap it in a proper way. Which one do you think people will go for? It’s obvious. Both pieces are good, but the packaging is different. So it is with people, what they see first is the packaging not the interior. Work on your image.


Self-belief is about what you believe about your-self. Some people believe they are rich even way before they can attain material wealth. Whereas others have deemed themselves unable, incapable, weak and useless. Belief systems are created by a number of issues that include our past experiences, what we have learnt in life and our surroundings. Positive self-belief can be shaped by an individual or though influence.


This in an issue of integrity. You have to be honest with yourself first. Honestly, if you would choose a life you want to live the rest of your life, what would you be doing now? If you are to drop negative attitudes, habits or traits, what will you drop? Be true to self and enjoy. Never try to please anyone because that is akin to living a lie.


Live your own life and make it work. Some people will spend their lives thinking that there is someone who is responsible for who they are. They blame the politics of the day. They think it’s the economy. They think it’s their parents et cetera. Be responsible for your own success. Take a personal and a conscious effort to make life worth living for. After all, if you don’t do anything about your life, no one else will.


The last issue is that self-development can’t be replaced by anything. Improve your mind, associates and your life. If your stop growing you start to die slowly. You are paid to the level of your worth. The moment you add value to yourself, you choose what the market pays you, but if your value is still low the market chooses what you are paid. So to improve your worth, you have to improve yourself.

Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and certified leadership/business trainer. He is the author of Inspiration for Success and Success Within Reach.