Les Brown: Stop Negative Thinking and Believe in Yourself (Full Transcript)

Les Brown

Here is the full transcript of motivational speaker Les Brown’s powerful speech: Stop Negative Thinking and Believe in Yourself.

Listen to the MP3 Audio: Les Brown – Stop Negative Thinking and Believe in Yourself


It is something I’d like to share some ideas and thoughts with you. I’m not asking that you believe anything that I say. I’m not asking that you agree with me. I’m merely asking that you stand on and in the conversation that we share with you this evening. And if there’s something that I say that can fit and work for you, I say use it. If not, discard it and let it be. Is that all right? Say that’s fair enough.

[Audience: That’s fair enough]

Very good. All right.

One of the things I have realized and many of us have, that if you want something out of life, if you want to change yourself, if you want to acquire something, if there’s some goal that you want to reach, that is really not easy as some people will make us feel, that living your dream, changing your behaviors, overcoming negative habits, it’s challenging, it’s hard. That living alone is just very difficult.

And once we begin to come to grips with the fact that living is difficult, life is very challenging. I heard a song once by a guy named Dippel’s called: “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another.” I say to you, if it ain’t one thing, it’s 12 others. Always something — you will never ever have a problem-free moment in life. Somebody said, I like this that are you either in a problem or just left water or headed toward wood… anybody found that to be so, raise your hand if you know what I am talking about. I mean there’s always something…

So how do we begin to nurture that hunger? What are the characteristics or the qualities of people that are hungry? What will it take for me to get some of the things that I want? And being hungry for those things.

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Number one, you’ve got to work on yourself. It’s very important that you engage in an ongoing process to develop you. Spend more time on yourself in which you’ve been spending. It’s very important you owe that to yourself. I was reading the book by Og Mandino called the University of Success. Read one line, gave me a chill. I didn’t have to read anything else in the book. He said, “Many of us never realize our greatness because we become sidetracked by secondary activity. We spread ourselves too thin. Don’t know how to say no, and we find ourselves doing all kinds of things and never ever have time to do those things that we need to do to work on ourselves and then there goes a second, there goes another second, there goes another second and we can’t stop it whole time. And before you know it, you wake up one day and you’re behind in your dreams and your bills.”

So decide that you’re going to take some time to work on you that you deserve that, from yourself that your life deserves some prime time because you are creating your own production. As Michael Todd would say, “You are the star of your show.” You are the director. You’re writing the script and you will determine whether your life is a smash office hit or flop. You determine that. Working on yourself; talking to yourself. That’s so very important.

Overcoming the negative conversation, that inner dialogue is going on all the time, all the time, even when you don’t want it to be there. You can’t stop yourself right now from thinking. You can’t do it. It’s going on. And so learning how to empower yourself, part of doing that is standing up to yourself. You’ve got to stand up inside yourself sometimes and say shut up. You’ve got to do this.

I was going to give a presentation and this voice inside of me saying “You can’t do this. You don’t have everything it takes.” Shut up! I’m behind on my bills and you’re telling me what I can’t do. I have got to do it.

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You get scared sometimes. Your mind will go blink on you. Some people you will allow to unnerve you and you wonder what’s wrong with me, I’m not crazy. That’s why you’ve got to learn to make a conscious deliberate determined effort to stand up inside yourself, working on yourself, watching that inner dialogue, it will determine the quality of your life. “I don’t believe this”, “I know this”. I’ve had a challenge of losing weight. I’m walking through the air for this voice, why don’t you have some M&M peanuts. No! Well, just one. Then after you eat that, your body will have a snicker now, you sucker!

I mean it’s challenging. My mother fixed the counter sweet potato pie, you can’t eat with your shoes on. You have to take your shoes off, so you can wiggle your toes. It sticks on my fingers. It says eat it, one little bite won’t hurt. That voice… constantly, little demons from Colonel Sanders driving my car in there. I said no, no, no, no, I’ll die it tomorrow. I saw skinny man get hit by a truck and had he had a little bit more weight, he might have lived.

Some of you know what I’m talking about. Raise your hand if you don’t…that voice is awesome. So you have got to stand up to that voice. When you’re working on something you want to achieve, you have got to stand up to that voice. You’ve got to sell yourself every day on your abilities, on what you’re doing, on the goal that you want to reach. You’ve got to sell yourself every day, every day, every day. According to your level of belief, it will manifest itself in what you’re doing.

Whatever we have right now, whatever we’re demonstrating in our lives is a result of what we believe subconsciously that we deserve. And part of increasing that belief level is that you have got to convince yourself every day. You’ve got to sell yourself. I do a lot of training for many corporations and I conduct sales seminars and I’ve heard all kind of guys doing techniques and training — people techniques of how to close sales and how to work within and begin to control the sale and how to ask for the clothes.

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Let me share something with you. You can learn all the techniques in the world. If you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t happen for you. I learn all of it. So that’s why I do a training called focus on the seller. You’ve got to focus on you and as you convince you, as you sell yourself every day, every day, every day, you will begin to see a difference in the things that you’re doing. Selling yourself on your ability to perform a job, to achieve a certain objective, telling yourself every day, hey I go again and I’ve got what it takes. This is my day and nothing out here is going to stop me. And when you go out there, life… come over here. Say it again, well I’ll be back tomorrow.

That brings me to the next thing. It takes courage to act. Part of being hungry, when you’ve been defeated, it takes courage to start over again. I used to do door-to-door sales, and I was working with another friend of mine. And door-to-door sales, I mean it’s punishing, it’s cruel and unusual punishment. And I was a little boy, knocking on the door, “Hello, would you like to buy a nice working television set?” No, bam! They slam the door in your face. And the friend of mine that was working with me, they slam the door on his face and I look back and he was gone to the car. He said, ‘I can’t do this’. And he sat down in the car and he said, ‘You go ahead. I’ll be here when you get back’.

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