Everybody wants to be successful, and everybody can be, to a certain extent. The only thing that stands between you and your success is yourself. So why can’t you ever break the barrier, how can you get out of your own way so that success can be yours? Below are some of the habits you should kick to make your dreams come true.
It goes without saying that you cannot procrastinate if you want to be wildly successful. Nothing prolongs and hinders success that could already be yours like consciously putting off action that can lead to eventual success.
Some say that procrastination is caused by lack of focus, that most people do it because they are so hopelessly distracted. Two of the most common culprits of our distraction are social media feeds and all those ridiculously adorable videos of baby cats, baby humans, baby dogs and baby humans making friends with baby cats and dogs—I digressed. However, most behaviorists say that procrastination is a product of negative feelings more than anything. Negative feelings like fear and anxiety can cause us to try and delay action so that we can try and delay our perceived negative results.
To kick this habit, adapt Nike’s “JUST DO IT” mentality. Decide what needs to be done, tell yourself it doesn’t matter how it turns out or how you feel about it just as long as you do it.
The only thing worse than procrastination is indecision. There is no successful man that is not decisive. According to Napoleon Hill, one of the pioneers of the self-help industry, a successful man is one who makes swift decisions and hardly changes his minds. One such man, according to Napoleon Hill, was the great Henry Ford whose dogged determination about his decision to create the then impossible V8 engine earned him a reputation of being so determined to the point of being obstinate. He may be obstinate, but he did get that engine made, didn’t he?
More than a few studies have shown that successful people, especially entrepreneurs, tend to be positive. They are not positive because they are naive, no. These successful men and women became positive because it was a coping mechanism against defeat. No pessimist can ever be wildly successful, their mindset does not allow them to try and try and try against the odds being stacked against them and despite there being no evidence that things will get better.
The great statesman Sir Winston Churchill had the following to say about optimism and pessimism:
“The PESSIMIST sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The OPTIMIST sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
“I am an OPTIMIST. It does not seem much use being anything else.”
Another reason to take an optimistic mindset when pursuing great success—In a study between people who identified themselves as either optimistic or pessimistic, optimists were found to be more “sensitive” to opportunity. The proponents of the study had both groups read a newspaper, in which the researchers had printed adverts announcing lotto winnings and job opportunities. Surprisingly, it was only the optimists who ever noticed the adverts, pessimists passed by all the adverts despite one of them being half a newspaper page big.
Another thing that trips most people up is overthinking the actions they need to take to reach their goals. This overthinking leads to anxiety and that anxiety either leads to more anxiety or to procrastination to find some temporary relief from the stress.
To avoid going on this vicious cycle focus on daily habits or what experts refer to as “lead measures” instead of focusing on your goal. First, identify your goal. Second, make a plan. Third, break down that plan into things you can do daily that will, inch by inch, lead you to where you want to be. By doing this, you remove the anxiety from whether you are reaching your goal or not. Because truth is, you are NOT at your goal 99% of the time because you’re still on your way there. By choosing to focus on your goal, you will feel unaccomplished about 99% of the time. If instead you would focus on your daily lead measures, you can celebrate small daily victories on your way to the big goal.
THINKING YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING
There is no truly self-made man—not a successful one anyway. Ask anybody you feel is out-of-this-world successful and they will tell you that at one point in their lives, usually the point that turns the tide to their favor, they find a person with much more experience who teaches them the ropes. Finding a mentor is probably the best thing you can do if you are really serious about your success.
Usually, the more successful and higher up the ladder your mentor is the faster your ascension to success will be. So quit fantasizing about how you will do it all on your own and actively search a mentor as if it were the most crucial part of your business plan (as it very well may be).
After all is said and done, we can only really wish that the road to success was easy enough so as to be able to create a “guideline” of do’s and don’ts that can assure the fulfillment of our business plans. That, fortunately, is not the case. The road to success is a great adventure, full of victories great and small, obstacles and quite a lot of inward looking.
If you make the commitment moment-to-moment, day in, day out, that you will become successful no matter what it takes, success will not be too far behind.