by Brian Tracy

Do you say to yourself, "Okay, what's the first step? How do I get started?" Or do you think, "There's no way I can pull this off"?

Whether your thoughts are positive or negative can have a strong influence on your success.

Brian Tracy suggests that we consider our thoughts to be "causes" and our circumstances to be "effects." By doing this, we acknowledge that our thoughts are responsible for how successful we are in our personal and professional lives. "You become what you think about most of the time," he said. "Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Your beliefs become your reality."

So what do you think about most of the time? Do you think of yourself as a great parent/spouse? A valuable employee? A skilled entrepreneur? If you think of yourself as a success, you're on the right track. As Tracy explained, "We're where we are and what we are because of the way we think."

That's why negative thoughts ("I'm a failure" ... "I'm not good enough") are so dangerous. When you allow your mind to fill with negative thoughts, you get stuck. Instead of moving forward toward a goal, you're mired in negativity. Only positive, productive thoughts will help you achieve the effects you want.

If you're spinning your wheels in the muck of negative thinking, Tracy suggested asking yourself how you can accomplish your goals.

"When you ask the question 'How?' it's like stepping on the accelerator in your mind. It throws off sparks of ideas, and every idea is an action you can take."