The Key to Success? Changing Your Internal Monologue

Success Is In Your Head
Why can’t 2014 be your best year yet? To find the answer to this question, start by asking yourself, “What didn’t I accomplish last year? What were the things that I really cared about  and yet still didn’t make them happen?”

Why didn’t you achieve your goals in 2013? What was holding you back? By digging to find the true source of your failure —this all-important WHY — you’ll discover the biggest obstacle to your success. The simple key to getting better results in 2014 is not to uncover all of the roadblocks you put up for yourself — but to identify the biggest ones standing in your way. And then to find the way around each of them. How exactly are you’re going to do this? I’ll begin by sharing about my experience — what personal roadblocks I found, and what I did about them.

Listen to the Stories You Tell Yourself

Why can’t you have your best year yet in the coming year? If you’re like me, the answers are all too easy to find. Just ask the ever-present voice in your head, who will instantaneously provide the reasons. For example:

I’m too busy.
I can’t afford it.
I’m too old.
I’ve already had my best year yet.
I don’t know how.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a terrible cold since New Year’s Day, when we usually make our personal plans for the coming year. Maybe I was just too exhausted from the holidays to think about the next year, let alone day. Whatever it was, this year I couldn’t get beyond the blahs to find a bit of excitement (let alone confidence) about the coming year.

As I explained to my husband Tim, I’m just too busy. Yes, as he gently reminded me, I know we recently sold our business, and we have enough to live comfortably without having to work, but…

Every day I wake up to the to-do list.
Things still have to be done.
I need to be at my desk by 9 a.m., and there’s always enough to keep me there most of the day. 

It goes on and on — I just can’t stop! My nose is stuck to the grindstone, and I have no idea how to unstick it.

I hope you’re not shocked hearing this discouraging internal monologue running through the mind of Mrs. Best Year Yet, but all I could see was more and more proof of my complaints. It was all too real — I’d be kidding myself if I pretended it was any different. And, you see, this is why I can’t have my best year yet: Because every day I tell myself why I can’t.

Identify How You Are Limiting Yourself

What’s your list of reasons why your best year yet going to happen for you this year? These concepts, these complaints, these theories, these perceptions are the answer to why you can’t have your best year yet. So please do what I had to do: be completely honest with yourself about what notions you make up, then believe, and then allow to dictate what you do and don’t do. Make a list of the ways you limit yourself in this way.  For example,

I just don’t have time.
I have no idea how to get started.
I’m really going to make this happen, but first I have to…
I don’t have what it takes.
I’m not the kind of person who makes big things happen.
I’m lucky to have what I have now.

Grab a paper and pen and write down your answers, and force yourself to uncover every single story you tell yourself about yourself. Write this prompt: “I can’t have my best year yet because…” Listen carefully to your responses and write them all down — no editing.

Once you’ve captured all that occur to you, look back through the list and tell yourself that all these statements are true. There’s nothing you can do about it — that’s just the way it is. So, what are your chances for success in this situation? Hopeless, right?

Your thoughts, beliefs, and ways of looking at your chances of success are the ONLY roadblocks that can stop you from having your best year yet.

What’s Your Biggest Obstacle?

We’d be crazy to try to dissolve or shift all of these beliefs at once, because it’s just not possible. The secret is to choose the biggest one on your list. Which belief has the greatest power to stop you? Which of these stories do think is a true assessment — not just a limiting belief? It shouldn’t take you too long to find your strongest limiting attitude, belief, or paradigm. To give you the best chance of having your best year yet, you have to direct that ONE narrative in a new direction in the coming year.

Take a deep breath. Yes, all this stuff exists. Yes, there’s a lot to do. Yes, there are issues and problems. But, remember it’s your attitude (as mine was ‘I’m a victim!’) that keeps you from having a great year. That’s the source of your stagnation, but it’s also an issue that you can change — because you made it all up in the first place!

How Do You Shift That Strongly-Held Belief?

As down as I felt, I turned my mind to finding the state of being that I wanted this year by asking myself, “What would be true if this were really my best year yet?” My answer?

I’m free at last!

That’s the reality I want to manifest — and focusing my energy on this new story was immediately much more fulfilling than holding onto my victim mentality. Just saying these new words brings me a thrill. Not only is Tim right about where we are in life, but I can already sense that the meaning and significance of this statement are going to expand as the days and months go by.

No, your new reality doesn’t come true just by finding your new paradigm — but discovering that I have a place I want to go made it possible for me to let go of all those reasons holding me back from my best year yet. The answer to the question, “Why can’t you have your best year yet?” is the same for all of us:

There’s no reason why I can’t have my best year yet — it’s up to me!

Other than letting go of our reasons why it’s not possible, there is nothing more useful we can do to make this a great year. Reminding yourself that your success is up to you is truly the key to your personal transformation.

Use the power of a new empowering paradigm or attitude to strengthen the argument for your success in the coming year. Take your strongest limiting statement and imagine a state of being where it is no longer true. Dissolved. Gone! Now make that thought into a statement that describes what you want. Make it personal and present tense — this is the new reality you’re going to create in the coming year. Here are some examples:

I’m powerful enough to create whatever I put my mind to.
I’m ready to have a loving and supportive relationship.
Money is abundant in my life.
I’m making an enormous difference!
I’m empowering myself to have whatever I want.

Shifting to this new way of thinking isn’t always easy, but you already have all the wisdom and strength you need to do so. Every time you catch yourself wallowing in your old limiting attitude, toss it and put your attention to your new paradigm.  The best secret is that this new paradigm is already true. It’s not just a new positive aphorism designed to pump you up in a fake kind of way. It is the truth — and in your heart you know that’s the case. The lie is your old paradigm.

The Power of Your Attitude

When you hold onto a negative attitude long enough, it becomes your reality. Once that happens, proof of its accuracy begins to accumulate in your life, and the actions you take and the results you secure are a perfect match for this attitude.

But here’s the good news: That exact same powerful dynamic works when you create a positive attitude, belief, or paradigm.  For example, when we shift to a new paradigm — by investing our energy and thoughts into making it our new reality, the proof begins to pile up that you can have what you want, rather than being a victim of circumstances.

I invite you to turn your fear and anxiety into a whole new world for yourself — your best year yet! By identifying your biggest obstacle, you’re off to a great start.  I promise. To learn more about how to set a clear, actionable plan for 2014, check out Best Year Yet — featuring a special surprise guest (me)!


Jinny Ditzler

Jinny S. Ditzler is the author of the best selling book, "Your Best Year Yet!" now translated into 12 languages and in its 20th printing in the U.K. She is the founder of the personal and executive coaching industry, having originated the process in the U.K. in 1981. Jinny is also the founder of Best Year Yet, a global business that has trained over 400 Program Leaders and Coaches, who have worked with over 750 companies in 14 countries.