Last week I shared with you a story that illustrated how input (what people tell us) can affect how we think about ourselves, and ultimately the image we have of ourselves.
If you remember, I told you the story of the Eagle and the Chickens. In this story, the chickens told the baby Eagle that he was a chicken. The Eagle believed the chickens, and as a result-he never became what he was capable of becoming because he thought he was a chicken
This week we tell a TRUE STORY of how this can really happen;
The Story of Victor Seribriakoff
When Victor Seribriakoff was fifteen, his teacher told him he would never finish school and that he should drop out and learn a trade. Victor took that advice and for the next seventeen years he was an itinerant doing a variety of odd jobs. He was told he was a “dunce” and for seventeen years he acted like one. When he was 32 years old, an amazing transformation took place. An evaluation revealed that he was a genius with an I.Q. of 161. Guess what? That’s right, he started acting like a genius. Since that time he has written books, secured a number of patents, and has become a successful businessman. Perhaps the most significant event for the former dropout was his election as chairman of the International Mensa Society. The Mensa Society has only one membership qualification, an I.Q. of 140.
The story of Victor Seribriakoff makes you wonder how many geniuses we have wandering around acting like dunces because someone told them they weren’t very smart. Obviously, Victor did not suddenly acquire a tremendous amount of additional knowledge. He did suddenly acquire tremendous added confidence. The result was that he instantly became more effective and more productive. When he saw himself differently, he started acting differently. He started expecting, and getting different results. As he thought more of himself, he did more. He became more.
Be careful how you talk to yourself. Be careful how you let others talk to you, and what you choose to believe about yourself. It’s impossible for us to perform in a manner that is inconsistent with how we see ourselves. That simply means; if you see yourself as someone who can – you will. But if you see yourself as someone who can’t – you won’t.