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John C. Maxwell!15 Golden Rules of Personal Development! Mirror Principle

John C. Maxwell!15 Golden Rules of Personal Development!

Chapter 3 Mirror Principle

Life becomes easier and more beautiful

when we can see the good in other people. ― Roy T. Bennett

You must see the value in yourself and add value to yourself

I often ask myself what is stopping people from being successful.

Everyone has within them the seeds of success.

All they need to do is plant those seeds,

water them, and then they will grow up.

That’s why I’ve spent my life trying to bring value to people.

I love seeing people “bloom”!

So why are so many people not growing

and reaching their potential?

I think one of the main reasons is low self-esteem.

Many people do not believe in themselves.

They do not see the possibilities God has given them.

They possess many abilities,

but never cultivate them

because they think they cannot learn

and grow into great people.

“Be nice to people.

It doesn’t cost anything.” – Grant Cardone



Such was the case with Johnnetta McSwain,

with a story I recently heard.

For more than 30 years,

she saw little value or potential in herself.

But honestly,

there are a lot of good reasons for her low self-perception.

Her mother is a single mother,

she did not want to give birth to her and told her so.

She and her sister,

Sonya, who is five years her senior, along with a cousin,

were raised by their grandmother for the first five

to six years of their lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

But they also had to live with three other uncles,

who abused all three children psychologically,

physically and sexually.

Johnnetta suffered both physical and mental injuries.

“When I was five years old,” Johnnetta said,

“I began to believe that I was not only inferior,

but a child abandoned by my own mother.

As a child, I had nowhere to go,

to say nothing and nothing!”

When Johnnetta

and Sonya’s mother learned of their abuse,

she moved the three girls to a new home.

But the abuse continued,

this time from the men her mother led home.

In the end,

Sonya responded by living on the street

and becoming an addict.

Johnnetta is not addicted to drugs,

but she spends most of her time wandering the streets

and dropped out of school in 11th grade.

She became pregnant unexpectedly and had her first child at 19,

the second was born when she was just over 20 age.

She mainly lives on social housing,

government subsidies and extras from her partners.

To get designer clothes to wear, she steals.

Sonya’s view is a bittersweet synthesis of the situation they’re going through:

“Everyone in my family has been in prison,

addicted to drugs and not well-educated,

so I have to live for what?

What should I strive for?

Nothing! What do I have to accomplish? It’s nothing!”

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up. ― Nelson Mandela



Johnnetta’s 30th birthday made her look in the mirror.

She doesn’t like her appearance.

She wrote:

That day, I woke up to realize

that I had absolutely nothing to celebrate – no money,

no full-time job,

no home,

no husband,

no basis,

not even the will to do better. …

Finally, I know it’s time for a change.3

She is unhappy with her life,

and she realizes

that if she continues in the direction she is going,

her two sons will also get into trouble.

As far as she knew,

none of her male family members had ever attended high school.

Many died young or went to prison.

She didn’t want that to happen to her children.

For Johnnetta, the process begins with working toward a GED.

She took a 12-week course to prepare for and then take the exam.

You need 45 points to pass.

She got 44.5 points.

But she was determined to do something on her own,

so she planned to retake the exam as soon as she could.

When she passed the exam, she was very happy

when she was chosen to share at the graduation ceremony.

None of her relatives attended.

Johnnetta knew that if she wanted change,

she needed to leave Birmingham

and make a fresh start.

And she wanted to do something no one in her family had ever done,

go to college.

She decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia,

and was motivated by a profound thought:

“I have a chance to be whoever I want to be.”4

“I have the opportunity to be whoever I want to be.”– Johnnetta McSwain

It took a three-year delay,

but she finally managed to move.

Soon after, she enrolled at Kenenaw State University,

deciding to go overboard each semester.

At this time,

she was 33 years old.

She is very quick-witted,

but doesn’t study very well at least in the beginning.

At first, that scared her quite a bit.

But for the first time in her life,

she was determined to be a better person.

And soon she realized that she could do it.

“I realized that I don’t have to be smart,”

explains Johnnetta.

“I just need determination,

motivation and focus.

This requires me to change my mind.

I had to think like a smart person.”

Not only was she hard-working and focused,

but she also went to the brightest person in each class

and offered to study with them.

She soon learns and thinks like the best students in the school.

She also maintains her vision of the future.

At the beginning of each term,

she goes to the campus bookstore,

tries on hats and gowns,

looks at herself in the mirror,

and imagines her graduation day.

One day, when a classmate was talking to her,

she realized something.

Her classmates said:

“I hate myself. I am not nothing!

Johnnetta replied,

“I still love myself, let alone you.”

And that’s when she realized,

“I love myself,” even for the first time.

She has changed.

She became the person she wanted to be,

the person she was born to be.

Johnnetta completed her bachelor’s degree in three years.

She then graduated

and obtained a master’s degree in social work. Currently,

she is working hard to complete her PhD program.

“I look for something that society tells me,

‘You can’t do it,’” Johnnetta says. “Oh, I can!”

“The universe is completely balanced and in perfect order.

You will always be compensated for everything that you do.”— Brian Tracy



Johnnetta’s story is a great example of what can happen in one’s life,

if that person realizes their worth

and starts adding value to themselves.

In Johnnetta’s case,

she was motivated by her desire to help her children,

and she began adding value to herself first,

and then seeing value in herself.

It doesn’t matter what happens first.

This compensates for the other.

It is important that the value cycle is started!

Without realizing that you are truly valuable

and that you are worth the investment,

you will never spend the time

and effort needed to grow to your potential.

If you’re not sure if you agree with that,

consider the following.

You cannot have a million-dollar dream

with a minimum wage work ethic. ― Stephan C. Hogan



I often hear my friend Zig Ziglar say,

“Don’t act out of alignment with how we see ourselves.

We can do very little positive

if we feel self-deprecating.”

Zig has shared with people

for many years his practical knowledge.

Many experts in the field agree with his assessment.

Nathaniel Branden, a psychologist

and self-confidence expert,

says: “In people’s psychological

and motivational development,

nothing is more important than the value judgments

they make about themselves.

Every aspect of their lives is influenced

by how they see themselves.”

If you believe you’re worth it,

you’re not adding value to yourself.

“In people’s psychological and motivational development,

nothing is more important

than the value judgments they make about themselves.

Every aspect of their lives is influenced

by how they see themselves.”- Nathaniel Branden



I became famous for teaching the Limitation Principle

from the book 21 Golden Rules of Leadership.

Imagine that you want to do something amazing in your life

that affects so many people.

Perhaps you want to build a large organization.

That desire, no matter how great,

will be limited by your leadership ability.

It’s a limit to your potential.

Self-esteem has a similar effect.

If your desire is 10 but your confidence is 5,

you will never be effective at 10.

You will be at 5 or below.

Man can never achieve results beyond self-perception.

As Nathaniel Branden says:

If you feel unworthy of challenges,

unworthy of love or respect,

not entitled to happiness,

and afraid of assertive thoughts,

desires, and needs,

if you lack self-confidence,

low self-esteem will limit you,

even if you have other valuable assets.”

Man can never achieve results beyond self-perception.

The value we put on ourselves is usually the value others put in us

A man went to see a fortune teller

to hear what she had to say about his future.

She looked at a crystal ball and said,

“You will be poor and unhappy until you are 40.”

“What then?” the man asked hopefully.

“Then you’ll get used to it.”

I’m sorry to say, that’s the way most people live

– according to what other people believe about them.

If the important people in their lives want them to go nowhere,

that’s what they expect for themselves.

It’s okay if you surround yourself with people

who trust you.

But what if not?

You should not care too much about

what other people think about you.

You should be more concerned with

what you think of yourself.

That’s what Johnnetta McSwain did.

As she prepared to move to Atlanta,

her friends and family all told her

there was no way that was going to happen.

When she moved out,

they told her she would fail

and return to Birmingham.

No one really trusted her.

She doesn’t care.

She had her own solution.

She said,

“You don’t have to accept

what people say about you.”

Isn’t that great?

If you impose a very small value on yourself,

then rest assured that the world does too.

If you want to be the person you have the potential to be,

you have to believe that you can!

“Set excellent performance as your standard

and strive to achieve it each day.”— Brian Tracy



I have to admit that self-awareness has never been an issue for me.

I grew up in a very positive environment,

and I always believed that I could succeed.

But I’ve worked with a lot of people who aren’t like me.

I have helped some people change

and believe in themselves as I believe in themselves.

And I hope to help you too,

if you find yourself in that situation.

To get you started,

keep these 10 tips in mind.

If you impose a very small value on yourself,

then rest assured that the world does too.

“Happiness is a by-product of an effort

to make someone else happy.” – Gretta Palmer


1. Protect the words you tell yourself

Whether you know it or not,

you’re talking to yourself all the time.

What is your nature?

Do you encourage yourself?

Or do you criticize yourself?

If you’re a positive person,

you’ve helped create a positive self-image.

If you’re a negative person,

you’re undermining your self-worth.

Where do important,

negative monologues come from?

Usually from our upbringing.

In their book The Answer,

entrepreneurial authors John Assaraf

and Murray Smith talk about the negative messages children receive

as they grow up.

They wrote:

By age 17, you’ve heard,

“No, I can’t,” an average of 150,000 times.

You’ve heard the phrase,

“Yes, I can,” about 5,000 times.

The No: Yes ratio is 30:1.

That creates a strong belief about “I can’t”.

It’s a fence too big to get through.

That’s one of the reasons 30-year-old Johnnetta McSwain began

to believe she could change.

From an early age,

people made her feel worthless.

If we want to change our lives,

we must change the way we think about ourselves.

If we want to change the way we think about ourselves,

we need to change the way we talk to ourselves.

And the older we get,

the more responsible we become for what we think,

say, and believe.

Haven’t you had enough problems in your life already?

Why put extra pressure on yourself

by depressing yourself every day

with negative monologues?

When I was little,

my favorite story was The Little Engine could.

Why? Because I find it an encouraging story!

I used to read it time and time again,

and used to think,

That’s me! I think I can do it too!

You need to learn how to be your own cheerleader, y

our own cheerleader.

Every time you do a good deed,

don’t just let it go;

Give yourself a compliment.

Every time you choose discipline over passion,

don’t tell yourself you should;

Realize how much you are helping yourself.

Every time you make a mistake,

don’t bring up all your mistakes;

Tell yourself that you are paying the price

for growth and that you will learn

to do better next time.

Every positive thing you can say to yourself will work.

Always find opportunities to make someone smile,

and to offer random acts of kindness in everyday life. ― Roy T. Bennett


2. Stop comparing yourself to others

At the beginning of my career,

I expected the annual report from the organization

to show statistics about each leader.

As soon as I received it by e-mail,

I found my position

and compared to all the other leaders.

After about five years of doing that,

I realized how harmful it was.

What happens when you compare yourself to others?

Usually it’s one of two things:

either you see other people getting ahead of you

and you feel depressed,

or you feel like you’re doing better than others,

you are proud.

Neither of those things are good for you,

nor will they help you grow.

Comparing yourself to others is really

just an unnecessary distraction.

The only person you should compare is yourself.

Your mission is to be a better person than you were yesterday.

You do that by focusing on what you can do today

to improve and grow.

Do that enough, and if you look back

to compare the you of weeks,


or years ago with who you are today,

you will be greatly encouraged by your progress.

“The best way to find yourself is

to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi


3. Go beyond your limiting beliefs

I love Jeff MacNelly’s old comic book series Shoe.

In one of my favorite stories,

Shoe is pitching at a baseball game.

During the time-out, his catcher said,

“You have to believe in your dribbling.”

“He said it was easy,”

Shoe grumbled.

“When it comes to believing in myself, I’m an agnostic.”


that’s how a lot of people think of themselves.

They do not believe that they can achieve great things.

But the biggest limitations people experience in life

are often the ones they impose on themselves.

As industrialist Charles Schwab said,

“When a man puts a limit on what he will do,

he puts a limit on what he can do.”

That’s true of Johnnetta McSwain.

As soon as she changed her self-limiting mindset,

she changed her life.

Author Jack Canfield offers a solution

to self-limiting thinking.

In his book The Success Principles,

he offers four steps to turn limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs.

“When a man puts a limit on what he will do,

he puts a limit on what he can do.”– Charles Schwab

Identify a limiting belief that you want to change.

Determine how that belief limits you.

Determine what kind of person you want to be,

how you act or feel.

Create a change statement that confirms

or allows you to be, act or feel this new way?

That is really great advice.

Once you do that, repeat the change statement

to yourself every day

until you change your self-limiting mindset.

For example, you want to learn a foreign language

to improve your career or further enjoy a vacation,

but you don’t think you can.

Once you’ve identified that belief,

see if you don’t learn that language,

how will you be limited.

Then describe what it would be like

when you learned that language.

How does that make you feel?

What does that allow you to do?

What can it do for your career?

Then write down an empowering statement

that confirms your ability

to learn the language,

outlines the actual processes you will use to learn it,

and describes how you will be affected by it,

in this development.

Remember, in the end,

it’s not who you are that holds you back,

it’s the thought that you can’t.

Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours. ―Les Brown


4. Adding value to others

Because people with low self-esteem often see themselves as unworthy

or feel like victims

(often because they have been abused in the past),

they focus too much on themselves.

They may become selfish or reserved

because they think they need to do it to survive.

If you are, you can combat these feelings

by serving others and working to add value to them.

Making a difference,

no matter how small,

in the lives of others boosts one’s confidence.

It’s hard to feel bad about yourself

if you’re doing something nice for someone else.

Plus, giving value to others makes them appreciate you more.

It creates a cycle of positive emotions

from person to person.

It’s hard to feel bad about yourself

if you’re doing something nice for someone else.

Everyone can tell you the risk.

An entrepreneur can see the reward. —Robert Kiyosaki


5. Do the right thing, even when it’s hard

One of the best ways

to build confidence is to do what’s right.

It gives a strong sense of satisfaction.

And what happens

whenever you don’t do the right thing?

Either you will feel guilty,

making you feel bad about yourself,

or you will deceive yourself

to try to convince yourself

that your actions are not wrong or unimportant.

That harms yourself and your self-confidence.

Being true to yourself

and your values ​​is a huge contributor to your self-esteem.

Each time you choose an action

that helps build your character,

you become stronger,

the harder the task, the greater the personality shaping agent.

You can really feel positive about yourself,

because a positive personality spreads

to every area of ​​your life,

bringing confidence and positive emotions about everything you do.

Getting rich begins with the right mindset,

the right words and the right plan. — Robert Kiyosaki


6. Practice a small discipline every day in a specific area of ​​your life

When I started my pastoral career,

one of the things I did was put in a little effort each day

in my Sunday sermon.

While talking to friends,

I discovered that this is not how most people in my position do things.

Most of my colleagues start their preparations on Friday.

I can’t understand why they do it that way.

It was like facing a mountain, overwhelming.

However, I find that if I do a little bit each day,

by Friday I’m confident I can get the job done.

If there’s one area of ​​your life that seems overwhelming to you,




and so on try to tackle it bit by bit each day

instead of piling it up all at once.

Since your self-worth is based on the positive habits, actions,

and decisions you practice every day,

why not build confidence

and solve your biggest problem at the same time?

Don’t fret or worry about it;

Please do something specific about it.

Discipline is a morale-building agent.

Exercise your discipline by taking small steps

that move you in a positive direction.

One way or another,

the rich people will continue to add more assets to their fortunes,

while the poor people sit still worrying about paying the bills. ― Steve Siebold


7. Celebrate small victories

This advice is a continuation of the previous advice.

When you do the right thing

or take a small step in the right direction,

what is your emotional response?

What do you say to yourself?

Are your thoughts like this?

Yes, it is a matter of time.

I didn’t do as much as I should have.

That won’t make a difference.

It’s desperate – I will never succeed.

Or will they be like this?

It’s good that I can do that.

I did the right thing – commendable!

Little by little effective.

I am getting closer to success.

If your thinking is the same as the first,

then you need to change your mind.

I have to admit,

I have no trouble celebrating small victories.

Then again,

I had no trouble celebrating the big win either.

I love to celebrate.

You should too.

Taking the time to celebrate is good for you.

If nothing ever goes well enough,

you may fall apart.

Celebrating encourages you.

It helps inspire you to keep going.

Don’t underestimate its power.

Money grows on the tree of persistence. — Japanese proverb


8. Embrace a positive vision based on what you value in life

When Reese Witherspoon won an Academy Award in 2006

for Best Actress for her role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line,

she quoted June Carter Cash as saying:

“People often ask June these days,

how she is and she’ll say,

‘I’m just trying to be important.’

I know what she means.”

We all want our lives to be important.

It’s hard to do that

when we don’t believe we’re important.

If you have a positive vision of your life

and you take action to fulfill that vision,

it will be easier for you to realize

that your life has meaning.

For example, Johnnetta McSwain loved

and valued her children,

and she had a good vision of them, there they become.

“Take effective action through quiet contemplation.

From quiet contemplation comes even more effective action.”— Peter F. Drucker

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