We look around us and see successful people everywhere, so why can’t we be one of them? Well, the truth is, we can! All it takes is the right motivation, a healthy dose of confidence, and the following golden rules.
Our society is one that views mistakes and failure in a very negative way. Of course, it’s easy to understand why this is, but if you take a moment to stop and think about it, it makes very little sense. Those of us who work in creative industries know just how important it is to learn from mistakes. After all, no one (or at least very few people) is born with the inherent ability to, for example, play an instrument. It takes many hours of practice to hone your skills and develop your own distinct style.
This is an important lesson for everyone, though – it isn’t just creative people that make mistakes. All of us, regardless of our profession, makes mistakes in our personal and professional lives now and then. The way that we react to these mistakes is what defines our character and our potential. Those who are unwilling to learn from their errors, who would rather blame others than accept responsibility for themselves, will never be able to reach their full potential. More to the point, such a character is unbecoming of a business leader. If you cannot learn from your own mistakes, you cannot set a good example for those who work under you.
This is another problem that arises as a result of the way that our society sometimes conditions us. You should not realistically expect yourself to be able to handle everything on your own, all of the time. Sometimes you will need assistance from other people. Not only this but if you are afraid to ever ask those around you for their input, you will be forfeiting numerous opportunities to improve your own knowledge and to develop yourself.
Remember, people will respect you more, and your bosses will be much more appreciative if you ask questions when you are uncertain, rather than plowing ahead and getting it wrong. This latter approach is the kind that ends up wasting an enormous amount of time and money. Whether mistakes are minor or major, it is whether they were avoidable or not that will really matter to a business. Don’t assume that asking questions will make you look bad. Instead, be confident that those you are asking are smart enough to understand the value of your being willing to ask.
A crucial aspect of success is learning to appreciate that value in yourself. If you aren’t able to value your own skills, why should anyone else? If you don’t believe in yourself, you will have a hard time convincing people that you are worth investing in, in any sense of the word. However, it is important that this increased self-awareness doesn’t boil over to the point of arrogance. If you lose sight of the value of those around you, this can be just as disastrous for your long-term prospects.
If you aren’t able to show the people that you work with, regardless of your relative seniority within the organizational hierarchy, that you value them, it will breed resentment. More importantly, you need to show that, as a general concern, you are able to appreciate the value of other people. If you gain a reputation for being unappreciative and a poor team player, you will find it hard to reach the highest echelons of success.
Learning to appreciate the value of other people means that you will no doubt find things about them that you wish to emulate. This is another key skill to develop if you want to maximize your success. You will encounter many other successful people as you progress through your professional life, no matter what industry you work in. However, just because someone is successful and has been promoted to the top, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should seek to emulate them.
It is important that you choose your role models carefully and look for criteria beyond material wealth and profitability. Being successful within one organization is one thing. If you want to have options for the future and be able to take your skills and use them to leverage another high-ranking position elsewhere, you will need to show that you can operate in more than one corporate structure.
There are a variety of things that any of us can do in order to take more control of our lives, even when we are feeling at our most powerless. One of the great things about the modern internet infrastructure, which allows us to remain constantly connected to one another, is that literally, the entire world of skills and knowledge is at your fingertips. Take something like communication skills training. With a quick internet search, you can compare different training courses and find one, online or offline, to suit your needs.
There are a number of other ways that you can take control of your destiny. The most obvious place to start with this is with your job. Our professional lives have a significant impact on how we are able to spend our free time. The wrong job can end up sucking all the fun, and even all the time, out of your personal life.
Not everyone will be in a position to simply leave a job and begin a new one, of course, but if you identify your professional life as being a source of negativity that is preventing you from achieving what you want or are capable of, you should begin taking the first steps necessary to make the change.
Of course, you can only pursue long-term changes in your professional life when you have a good idea of where you want to end up in the future. Which brings us on the perhaps the most important rule of all…
Far too often, we are all guilty of selling ourselves short or of lacking the ambition to pursue the kind of goals that we are capable of achieving. In order to achieve all the successes that you are capable of, you will need to develop your ability to set yourself goals. You will also need to develop your confidence. It is only when you are confident in your own abilities and talents that you can begin to set yourself the grandest overall goals.
It is vital that you are totally honest with yourself about what you want. Don’t get hung up on how you will achieve it, not yet anyway. Now, that’s not to say you should set yourself any goals that are too extreme, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to successfully pivot from small business owner to astronaut, for example. However, goals that you know you could achieve with the right amount of work and dedication are worth considering.
If you have always wanted to pursue a particular goal but you have been deterred by your own self-doubt, it’s time to put those feelings to one side and make a go of it! There is very little that we can’t achieve when we have motivation and willpower on our side. If you believe in yourself, you will find that other people are much more willing to believe in you too.
With these rules in mind, there is no limit to what you can achieve. Just make sure that you consistently follow this advice. Resist the temptation to ever take shortcuts where success is concerned.