I’ve recently been reflecting on how things have changed for me in the past nine years. I used to be afraid of my own shadow, terrified of failure and even more afraid of success. I focused on my weaknesses and drove my self esteem down as a consequence.
And I meet people who are doing the same thing I used to do, and don’t know how to get out of it. As much as they want things to change, they seem to feel powerless to do anything differently.
I think much of it is because they don’t know how to change the habits they’ve taken years to practice.
So I’ve written this article as – hopefully – a guide to what to do. Let me know what you think!
Success Key #1: Turning up is 50% of success
There is nothing to be gained from holding back and ‘waiting for the right time’, the ‘right mood’, or for when you’re not ‘so busy’. That moment will never come, because each of these excuses have been carefully crafted to protect you from actually doing anything.
Successful people have had to overcome this natural desire to put things off. They’ve had to stop allowing that part of their brain that wants to keep them safe to rule their life.
They’ve had to develop the emotional muscle to recognise when something really needs to wait, or if it’s just the ‘Procastinator’ in them willing them to make another excuse.
Turning up is 50% of the battle towards success in any field. Nothing happens unless you show up. Thinking about it doesn’t count. Wondering what it will be like when you do show up definitely doesn’t count. Waiting for the ‘right moment’ doesn’t even come close to counting.
You either show up, or you don’t.
If you make it this cut and dried for yourself, you’ll know when you’re really on your way to success.
People who show up are admired by others and are a source of inspiration to the people around them.
Success Key #2: Consistent progress is more important than one off attempts
Whilst turning up is a good, solid start, what you do next is just as important. There’s no point in taking the first step – showing up – if you don’t follow that up with some consistent, ongoing action.
Again, this can take some initial overhauling of how your mind wants you to behave. If success has eluded you then it’s learned how to control you and this is what it does – builds dozens of ways to help you stay home and do nothing. It will keep you busy, distracted, stuck in drama, emotionally stressed and/or confused as long as it can to help you not take action.
So, like I said, that first step is a great one – but the second and third are just as important.
Successful people have an organised approach to what they’re great at. They have a diary which prioritises their passion. They schedule time for what’s important to them, even if it’s a little scary to them in the beginning. They know the importance of consistently coming back to the thing they want to succeed at.
Because they know that if they don’t, their old habits of busy-ness, distractions and excuses will kick back in.
Successful people are on a mission to change things for the better, and they do something every day towards fulfilling that dream.
People who take constant action are seen as the leaders of their community. They are admired and sought out for their persistence. They are trusted because they have demonstrated their ability to commit to completion.
Success Key #3: Be a learning machine
Your thoughts, it’s said, create your reality. If you want a different outcome, then it follows you need to change your thinking.
If your thinking is clouded with uncertainty, confusion, overwhelm or stress, then you don’t have a strategy for becoming successful. You have a strategy for feeling uncertainty, confusion, overwhelm or stress.
Successful people have conditioned their thoughts to support their endeavours, not sabotage them with self doubt.
They undo and overcome years of negative ‘stuff’ by educating themselves on how to communicate with themselves in a positive, supportive and ‘can do’ manner.
They don’t bog themselves down with negative self talk. They don’t discourage themselves. They build the language of ‘let’s do it’ into their minds so that when faced with a challenge they move towards it.
They don’t see a challenge as evidence of ‘it’s not worth it’, or ‘maybe it’s not meant to be.’
They see a challenge as an inevitable part of the desire to achieve something and educate themselves on how to overcome the challenge.
Get educated on how to have a healthy approach to challenges, and get educated on the thing you want to succeed at. You will amaze yourself with your results!
Success Key #4: Hang out with other people who play the way you play
On your way to success, whatever you do, don’t hang out with people who will try to drag you down, remind you of how ‘hard’ it is or otherwise try to steal your dreams. There is no room for ‘Dream Stealers’ on your way to success.
Surround yourself with people who are on their way, too. Surround yourself with people who support your quest. Surround yourself with unreasonable friends – friends who will expect more of you and insist you have a go, rather than give up.
It’s too easy to critique someone’s efforts. Australians seem to be pretty good at it. But there is no room for Armchair Critics on the path to success.
Successful people get with people who are already playing the game they want to play. They get in front of examples of success and inspiration and they observe, learn and then do what they have seen works.
People who are clearly ‘on their way’ and involved, contributing and adding value to their community are sought after for their commitment and their generosity.
Success Key #5: Build on your strengths
Mediocre results come from doing what mediocre minds do – and that’s focusing on shortcomings, weaknesses and faults. Think about it. It’s a perfect strategy to justify never actually doing anything. Just convince yourself you have enough problems to deal with right now, what with your lack of confidence, your inability to take action and your previous setbacks – and voila! Instant justification to not improve, not attempt something new and exciting and to not have a go.
This is what mediocre people do EVERY DAY. How completely, utterly exhausting.
No one becomes successful focusing only on their shortcomings. Put another way, no one succeeds in having a beautiful garden if they only look for and pull out the weeds. You’ve got to plant something fabulous, tend to it, nurture it and watch it grow.
You’ve got to focus on your dream, and you’ve got to focus on your strengths.
Successful people are so busy getting on with what they CAN do, they’re not even noticing where they don’t have an A game.
People who focus on their strengths build their certainty in themselves and therefore find it eas to help others feel certain in themselves too.
Success Key #6: Don’t react with fear, respond with a thought out plan to deal with challenges
If you want to be successful, then when you hit a challenge, pause, pause some more, welcome the challenge and then respond to it.
Challenges are NOT evidence of how this ‘was not meant to be’, or that ‘maybe I wasn’t cut out to…’
Challenges are an inevitable part of pursuing something that matters to us. We can’t have progress without challenges. There is no growth when we know all the steps, can handle all the obstacles and find it all easy. That’s not growth. That’s boredom.
By setting our sights on something to achieve, we immediately invite along the challenges that come to achieve it. So we may as well know how to handle them well!
Successful people not only handle challenges and uncertainty – they welcome it.
In fact, the more uncertainty someone can handle and enjoy, the more success they will have. If you are constantly seeking to feel safe, comfortable and not stretched, you’re not progressing, therefore you can’t expect to succeed.
People who handle large amounts of uncertainty tend to be attractive to others, are trusted and are relied upon during ‘tough’ times. They are admired because they seem so capable.
Success Key #7: Appreciate what you have
You’ve seen it – someone complaining about how ‘tough it is’ and you just KNOW that they make it tougher because of their lack of appreciation for what they DO have.
Who do you want to be with? The person who complains about their bad luck or the person who is focused on where they’re going, what the DO have to get them there and who is appreciating every bit of help along the way?
Easy question to answer.
Which are you?
Successful people are fulfilled. I don’t think success without fulfilment is success – I think it’s failure. And fulfilment comes from a genuine appreciation for what you have.
Your life is enriched with meaning when you are grateful for what is.
Success – ultimate success – is a life of meaning, fulfillment and love.
The path to achieve this is in the other six steps! J
I trust you enjoyed this article. I’d love your comments and insights – you can post them directly below and I look forward to reading them!