Bob Proctor, one of the most legendary figures in personal development has died aged 88.
He was a coach, mentor, successful speaker and the author of the New York Times bestseller You were born rich.
As a young man, in the 1960s, Bob had low self-confidence and little ambition. His prospects of success were clouded. Until one day when Napoleon Hill’s Think and grow rich fell into his lap. It was the first book he had ever read and it changed his life forever. He began applying the book’s teachings and soon enough, he was earning more money and was being successful.
In 1984, he wrote You were born rich. The book is a step-by-step guide to unlocking the limitless potential that lies within each one of us. Although Bob Proctor went on to write more books, this one is his masterpiece.
Bob Proctor was featured in The Secret (2006), a movie consisting of a series of interviews. The movie has attracted a lot of media attention worldwide and interest from public figures such as Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Larry King.
He later co-founded The Proctor Gallagher Institute, a business coaching and consulting, providing professional training, speaking and coaching.
As a way of paying our respects to Bob Proctor, let’s revisit some of his essential insights and ideas that have positively influenced millions of lives worldwide.
Bob Proctor: 6 powerful insights to improve your life
1. We become what we think about
The mind is the most powerful resource we humans have. You may believe your mind’s main job is to work in our favour. Although this is mostly true, that’s not always the case because sometimes the mind works against us.
The athlete who’s been training hard all year can still be crippled by fear of failure before the competition. Their mind begins unravelling negative thoughts and the athlete’s confidence is crumbling. It takes the athlete a conscious effort to clear the mind of negative thoughts.
2. Don’t let the outside world control your inside world
The outside world has a great influence on our inner world, our thoughts and our emotions.
When we’re children, the biggest figures in our lives are our parents and grandparents. As teenagers, we long to belong to a certain circle of friends and we seek the approval of our peers. As grown-ups, we choose our friends, our life partners and set healthy boundaries with our parents.
Depending on the emotional profile, this can prove challenging for some of us. If you don’t know how to limit how much the outside world can influence and control your inside world, you can reach out to professionals and learn how.
Free yourself from the influence of others, and learn how to express your emotions healthily.
As Gabor Maté writes in his bestseller When the body says no, repressing emotions over a long time turns into emotional stress which is directly linked to disease and illness.
Decide who you are and what you want to achieve and don’t let others change your mind.
3. Pay attention to what you want to do
What is it you want to do or achieve in life? Once you have figured out what you want to do, focus your attention on that.
Make a plan of how you are going to get there, write it down on a sheet of paper and decide on the resources you need to realize the plan.
You will find that people around you are quick to express their opinion about your goals. Some might root for you while others might try to mock you. Don’t listen to them! Keep your eyes on the prize and build your way to it.
4. Don’t let criticism knock you down
Criticism is about focusing only on the problem and highlighting the negative aspects. Criticism is difficult to handle and the person at the receiving end may feel disheartened and their self-confidence shattered.
People that criticize often mean well but they are not aware that if they want to help, they should provide feedback, not criticism. Feedback weighs in on both the negative and positive and also provides improvement solutions.
When faced with criticism, the best way to handle it, according to Bob Proctor is to react calmly and say thank you, I don’t choose to do that. If you don’t react calmly it’s mainly because your self-esteem needs improvement.
That’s where your journey should start: build a solid foundation for yourself, where your self-esteem helps you stay on track.
5. Be confident in yourself
Before other people believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. Know your talents and develop your skills.
Once you know your strengths, you can feel confident about how much you can achieve and the field in which your expertise lies. Love yourself and have a healthy conscience about who you are. The first person you need to befriend is yourself.
6. Dwelling in the past makes you miserable
Living in the past is damaging to your future and makes it harder for you to enjoy the present. It’s normal to feel nostalgic about the good old days.
But when you find yourself sharing old stories with your friends every time you meet over drinks, that’s a sign you should stop and think about it for a minute.
Observe your discourse: are you frequently using should and shouldn’t statements? I should have been a successful lawyer, I should have had kids by now, I should make more money.
Should statements are tools for self-punishment and can lead to increased panic, anxiety and even depression. To curb this abusive behaviour, practise awareness – it’s healthier and helps you break the emotional barrier of should statements.
You may be thinking about your past in terms of making mistakes. Only they are not mistakes, they are decisions. At that particular time, the reasons behind your decisions were correct.
It’s what you decided based on the information you had at that moment. Once you realise this, you will feel empowered and you will finally be able to let go of the past.
Header photo: Bob Proctor, image credit & source: Facebook OfficialBobProctor
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