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at the negative words people use to describe themselves. I call them barrier-words. Words like “I am ‘shy’,” “I’m ‘negative’,” “I am ‘antisocial’.”
If someone believes these descriptions of themselves just imagine the catastrophic consequences of decisions made based on these beliefs. How can anyone fix their future fast if they don’t know who they really are to begin with? The truth is there’s no such thing as a negative attribute: only positive ones turned upside down by time and circumstance.
Jackson told me he was shy. His mother told people he was shy when he was growing up. “Oh yes Jackson’s such a shy boy.” “Oh Jackson. Stop being so shy!” Well jeepers. He’s listening to all this and so the seeds are sown. When Jackson discovers there’s no such thing as shy and that he’s actually “cautious and reserved,” his negative self-esteem turns around in a flash and sends him along a different, stronger path.
After a speech I gave in St. Louis, Emilie said, “When you mentioned that bit about ‘millions of introverts having to masquerade as extroverts just to make a living’, you were so right. I planned this event tonight and yet I’m totally antisocial.” I told her I didn’t believe there was such a thing as antisocial. “I’m guessing,” I said to her, “that you were probably born super-sociable. And when you were very young someone hurt you so badly in your “super-sociableness” that you turned that particular “core attribute” upside down and said no-one is ever going to hurt me like that again. On the bottom of that attribute

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