After we sat down to order our sushi, we started talking, and I got a little more relaxed.

And then she looked me straight in the eye…

“Why did you wait so long to say hi to me?”

You probably think I stuttered and stammered and dodged the question.

But the fact is, I felt so comfortable and honest with her and answered immediately…

“I was afraid.

“I figured I knew what kind of guy you wanted to be with and I’m not that guy.

“You know—the fun-loving party guy.”

She paused a minute.

“You mean the I-want-to-get-you-drunk-and-get-in-your-pants-guy?

That’s the last guy I want to be spending time with.

The guy I want to be spending time with is you.

Someone who is open and honest and treats me like a person.

Someone who will have an actual conversation with me.”

I couldn’t believe it…

Everything I used to think about myself was wrong….

The reality I had created for myself was nothing more than some make-believe illusion.

And everything I had been doing in my previous life was framed through that false reality.

I thought to myself, this sobriety thing is pretty cool.

I was just myself tonight…

And that was good enough.

How many times had I stopped myself from going after something I really wanted because I didn’t think I was “the right kind of guy?”

How many times had I stopped myself from taking a risk because I thought I was inadequate, or that I didn’t belong there?

How many times had I let the picture I have of myself stop me from going after the things I really want?

I’ll never forget the feeling I had after that first date…

All that work in my newfound sobriety had finally paid off.

Things were going to be so much easier now…

I really felt like I was transformed.

I was sober.

I was putting on more muscle.

I had a little side hustle going building websites…

I just had dinner with the girl of my dreams.

I had arrived.

And I realized that the desire to improve the way I saw myself was motivating all of my behavior.

My improved circumstances were the result of creating a clear picture in my mind of who I wanted to be.

I figured I’d found the secret to real transformation.

I was so excited!!

Until the next day when I got a rude awakening. I discovered that there was a whole missing piece to what I was doing.

And that I’d never really be able to experience lasting change or accomplish my goals until I mastered it.

During group, I was talking about how difficult it was for me to make new friends…

Someone in the group yelled out…

“You never smile, you look like a dick; you make no attempt to be friendly.”

Then I thought, what an asshole.

But, that day at the gym a couple of guys interrupted me while I was on one of the machines…

“Hey, can we work in you?” one of them asked.

I got really defensive. “You’re going to have to wait!”

“He responded, that’s not how this works, buddy.”

They were pissed and it felt like a fight was coming…

Then they left laughing…

Throughout the day I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Why was I so defensive?

Why was I so aggressive with these guys?

All they wanted was to work out with me.

And I realized I was this way with just about anybody I didn’t know…

Or anybody that even approached me.

After group, people would come and introduce themselves wanting to start a conversation and I would defensively brush them off.

And I certainly wasn’t going out of my way to be nice to people either.

That’s when it hit me…

I WAS AFRAID.

This had nothing to do with those guys at the gym.

It had nothing to do with anyone else at all…

It was me.

I now realized how the alcohol had helped me before I quit…

IT NUMBED OUT ALL MY FEAR.

But fear of WHAT?

What was I so afraid of?

What was so scary that it kept me drinking for fifteen years?

What was so terrifying that I would push away everybody that came into my life?

And I knew then what it was…

Deep down inside was a belief I’d carried since childhood…

And I was afraid that anyone who got close would see the truth…

That I just simply wasn’t good enough.

So the price I paid to stop that fear was getting drunk.

And it almost ruined my life.

Now that I’d stopped drinking, I was paying a different price…

I was surviving.

But I was alone.

I was isolated.

So now I needed to make yet another change.

I had to start letting people into my life.

Even the thought of this scared me.

I was afraid.

Really afraid.

And this time I didn’t have getting drunk to numb the fear…

Or protect me.

Or give me courage.

But I knew what I had to do…

Instead of waiting for people to be friendly with me…

Instead of being standoffish, defensive, and aggressive…

I needed to change my attitude.

To be open to people.

To become friendly.

I had to see that they weren’t going to completely judge me…

And they weren’t going to see that I was worthless…

I had been blind to this.

I was so conditioned to isolating myself.

I’d been doing it for so long.

I just wasn’t aware of it.

So I started just by smiling at people.

And people smiled back!

I began to practice this daily…

Just like going to the gym…

And just like the gym…

Things started to improve.

I started to feel better about myself…

I wasn’t as defensive.

I wasn’t as aggressive.

My self-image was improving.

And I discovered that the people I was afraid of weren’t judging me.

Weren’t rejecting me.

Weren’t thinking that I was worthless…

I’m not saying this was easy…

It’s still not easy.

It takes a lot of effort to break through that defensive shell…

To overcome that fear.

But the shift comes when you become aware of what you’re really afraid of…

And how that belief is a lie.

When I created a new story in terms of how I viewed myself, it shifted the way I viewed other people…

And how I viewed my circumstances. I realized they were nothing more than a reflection of how I viewed myself.

By improving my self-image, everything began to improve around me.

At this point, everything seemed to be falling into place.

I had this new awareness about myself and felt more in control of my emotions and life.

And I read this quote one day by Neville Goddard that pulled everything together…

He said,

“Change your conception of yourself and you will automatically change the world in which you live. Do not try to change people; they are only messengers telling you who you are. Revalue yourself and they will confirm the change.

You can rest confidently in the knowledge that every man’s conception of himself is going to be his reward. For life makes no mistakes and always gives man that which man first gives himself.”

I was so moved by that and understood how everything I had gone through was a gift teaching me who I needed to become to accomplish my goals as opposed to something that was unfair…

All those obstacles were nothing more than opportunity in disguise…

So later that day as I was walking home from the gym heading back to make my dreaded fifty cold calls per hour as I was grumbling to myself about it, I thought of that Neville Goddard quote I just read.

Change your conception of yourself and you will automatically change the world in which you live. You can rest confidently in the knowledge that every man’s conception of himself is going to be his reward. For life makes no mistakes and always gives man that which man first gives himself.

But if that’s true why do I need to stay stuck in this job I hate?

So have I been given that crummy job just because that’s what I’ve given myself?

And I realized I don’t have to stay trapped in this telemarketing job, hiding from myself and people…

I have more potential than this…

My improved circumstances since I gave up drinking were a reflection of who I was becoming…

I could keep my routine and focus all my attention on helping other people create powerful money-making websites.

And eventually, my determination to keep improving and changing led me to a realization that proved everything I had gone through…

I had purchased a book a friend of mine had recommended several months back called Psycho-Cybernetics By Maxwell Maltz

And as I started to read it line for line and word for word it was describing everything I had gone through since I had joined that gym.

Not because I was getting in better physical shape but because I was seeing myself differently.

And one thing Dr. Maltz said hit me with the biggest “AHA Moment” of all…

“The self-image is the golden key to living a better life. All your actions, feelings, behavior—even your abilities—are always consistent with this self-image.

“In short, you will ‘act like’ the sort of person you conceive yourself to be.

“Not only this, but you literally cannot act otherwise, in spite of all your conscious efforts or willpower.

“It’s the key to human personality and human behavior. Change your self-image and you change your personality and behavior.”

Maxwell Maltz

In that moment of clarity, I realized what had allowed me to take control of my life.

Why I was able to accomplish my goals and change my circumstances automatically…

Without effort, without willpower, or positive thinking!

This book revealed the secrets to success in any and all undertakings we attempt in life!

How I had quickly and dramatically changed my life—mentally, physically, and financially…

It all fell into place…

The true answers to the mysteries of life that, up to that point, had eluded me…

Click here to continue…