Staying Positive

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People Around You Can Shape What Happens to You: Avoid the Negative Affirmations of Others

Harrison Barnes
By Nov 12,2014
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In this article, Harrison explains the incredible connection between the mind and the environment around you. To understand your world and the people and occurrences related to it, you need to first understand your role in shaping them. What you believe is what your world becomes. The power of your imagination, faith, and trust in what your world is like, actually attracts forces which shape your environment the way you think it to be. Hence, you need to avoid negative beliefs and people with negative influence on you. Placing immense faith on what your heart believes is what makes a phenomenal difference in your life and career. Harrison advises on harboring positive thoughts so that what you desire to accomplish is what you actually accomplish.

Although there is a great deal of historical debate about the specifics, legend has it Hermes Trismegistus–one of the most important sorcerers of ancient Greece– had a tablet in his tomb with the greatest secret in all of history written on it. When the tomb was opened centuries later, it was said people waited with a sense of wonder for the wisdom of the tablet to be revealed. The secret written on the tablet was:

As within, so without;
As above, so below.

This statement has been made in one form or another by others, such as Buddha, Isaiah, Jesus, and Moses. Countless books and studies have been devoted to the meaning of this statement. If you take the time to understand it, I believe it will be among the most important you ever read. As I see it, this is the significance of this statement:

Whatever we believe inside of us becomes expressed in the world around us. Your belief about what is true is reflected by the world around you, its conditions, events, and circumstances. Simply put, if you believe you are successful, the world around you will manifest in that way. You will find yourself surrounded by the accoutrements of what success means to you, whether they include a certain type of car, home, mate, or even a jet. If you believe you are a failure, the world around you will manifest that as well. This will show in the form of recurring failures, whether in the form of financial losses, divorce, substance abuse, or poverty.

Whatever exists in your mind is also what will exist in your environment, circumstances, and physical surroundings. Your mind creates its own environment.

As humans, we have the ability to imagine things that do not exist and to create the world around us the way we want. We have the ability to attract the people and experiences we want. Similarly, we have the ability to repel circumstances we don’t want. No other animal in the world has this ability. It is an ability you, too, can use.

In respect to how we influence ourselves, it is important to understand the people around us also have the ability to influence us in a way that has a great impact on who we become.

I am about to share some extremely important advice I believe could permanently alter the course of your life and that you can use to change the lives of others. The best teachers and coaches practice this idea with their students and many times it separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

  • Understand your role in shaping your world, the people in it, and the occurrences related to it.
  • Strongly believe what you wish your world to become.
  • Build the power to make your imagination attract the forces that shape your environment the way you want it to be.
  • Placing immense faith in what your heart believes, makes a phenomenal difference in your life and career.

I at one time was a reporter for my college newspaper, the Chicago Maroon. I was assigned a story about a high school senior who’d recently won the most prestigious science prize for high school seniors in the country, the Westinghouse Science Prize. The student’s teacher taught at a private high school on the University of Chicago campus. As I interviewed the teacher, I discovered several of his students had won this prize. In fact, despite the fact that only one of these prizes was given out nationally each year, three or four of his students had won over the past several years. After speaking with the teacher at length, I realized this was no coincidence. I believe the students’ success had a lot to do with the suggestions he gave them about what they could achieve. I remember probing specifically about why so many of this man’s students had won the award. Essentially, he said the following:

“Every few years, I have an exceptional student, and I start telling him over and over he is going to win the award. When I do this, most times the student ends up winning.”

I had a teacher like this in high school as well. After we had discussed colleges, and after I had decided where I thought I would like to go, he told me, “Then that is where you will go.” Incredibly, out of all the schools I applied to, this is where I ended up going.

Great teachers, great parents, and great coaches make people believe in themselves. They also make them take on the characteristics of what they want to achieve before they even achieve it. How is this relevant to your job search?

When I was recruiting, I had an uncanny ability to place people at the firms I believed were their best fits. Keep in mind I was not the one getting my candidates jobs; they were. When each person began his or her job search, I would say something like, “I am confident you are going to get a job at this particular firm.” I would keep repeating this over and over again. Despite the fact that (1) the firm might have been out of the candidate’s league in terms of their qualifications, (2) the person might have been looking at 20-plus law firms, and (3) I might never have had a candidate interview at that particular firm before, when I did this, my candidates often got jobs at these “target firms.” What was happening here? Why was this occurring?

When people start believing they are capable of achieving something, they begin to take on the form of what they believe.

When someone believes they are going to get a job with a certain employer, and really feels it deep down, things start to fall into place. I am not sure why this is. Nevertheless, I have seen it over and over again in my work as a recruiter.

Another thing I have learned as a recruiter is the importance of sharing positive news with people, not bad news. Building up job seekers and not sharing negative information about rejections works wonders. In fact, it is largely this skill that separates good recruiters from average ones. When I work with someone, I make sure to share inspirational and motivational information because I know negative energy and information will bring the person down. This is a basic yet essential skill I learned long ago, and it works.

Remember: You control your own mind. You control what you allow in and what happens within your own mind. If you let negative information in, there is a good chance the world around you will also become negative. If you choose to let positive information in, there is a good chance your world will become positive.
Your job situation, financial condition, health, social status, and friends are all a reflection of how you feel about yourself. This is the real meaning of what is “within” and what is “without” in your life. This is why it is extremely important you control your thinking in your life.

As a recruiter I have dealt with individuals who were fired from their previous jobs. People who are fired are often difficult to work with because future employers view them suspiciously. Basically, most employers feel these candidates are likely to cause problems in their next job. While it does not always come up in interviews, if someone is not currently working, a future employer is likely to wonder why.

I always tell my candidates to write down and memorize words like the following: “I was not fired from my job. I was a huge asset to my last firm. I am going to do even better in my next job than I did in my last. My last employer loved me!” Writing down and memorizing words like these can be a real asset. In fact, when people write things like this down, the subject of their having been fired almost never comes up in interviews.

This brings me to a very important point about your job search and your current job. In every company’s social network there are people who send out negative information about you, your employer, and others. Parents, friends, and others do this to us all the time, intentionally or not. When this happens, you need to understand this will influence you in a certain way. Choose not to believe this negative information. Avoid it. It can do severe damage to you and your future.

If someone tells you you’re not capable of getting a certain type of job or doing a certain thing you want to do, tell him he is wrong. I am often forced to cut off contact with people who do this to me. People who do this to you do not have your best interest at heart. Usually they are trying to maintain some sort of control over you or the relationship they have with you.

Protect your mind and fill it with positive thoughts about yourself. In order to reach your full potential, there is really no other way.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit

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