Gear Up for Success: Part 3

As I have written previously, here, and here, in a perfect world, you’d get all the success you deserve without any struggle. Rewards would readily come your way whenever you did the work to earn them.

But the present world often requires some extra struggle, and rewards are sometimes withheld unfairly. So it’s helpful to be good at what we do AND ALSO to learn some coping mechanisms and positive attitudes that will help you make progress toward your goals.

Here are a few more of the important ones:

Action Breeds Confidence

Confidence is important, and it breeds more confidence – in yourself and others. That’s why most of the successful people you’ll ever meet were confident before they were successful, not just afterwards.

Fortunately, confidence is something you can build. One way is through preparation. Another is through looking backward at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved.

A third way to build confidence is through action. That’s right, the simple act of doing something that’s likely to lead you toward your goal is also likely to give your confidence a boost.

So when you’re feeling unsure of yourself and uncertain of the best way forward, take a step anyway. You’ll find that taking one step forward makes you feel more confident about taking another.   

Hide Your Insecurities

There’s much said and written about authenticity, so it’s a little unconventional to advocate hiding your insecurities. But in my experience sharing my uncertainty about my abilities to achieve a certain outcome can sometimes be demoralizing to the people around me.

“I’m not sure we can accomplish this” is far less inspiring than “Follow me, girls and boys. I know the way.”

What’s more, when others fully commit to a project or an effort and contribute their best efforts, the odds of accomplishing the goal actually increase. So although I may not “know the way” in detail on my own, in the company of others a good sense of direction is often enough to trigger collaborative plans and activities that get all of us where we want to go.

Take the Rougher Road

The human animal is hard-wired to prefer what’s easier and simpler. But in certain situations, you’ll learn more and better enhance your skills and abilities when you intentionally accept a bigger-than-necessary challenge.

One way is to “tie one hand behind your back.” For example, if a project will normally take five days, you can intentionally try to do it in four. If you’re adept at a certain procedure, instead you can challenge yourself to learn and utilize a more complicated one.

Tackling a more difficult task or working to a higher standard is a great way to strengthen your skills, talents, and abilities so that you’ll be capable of greater accomplishments in more demanding situations, as you encounter them in the future.

Invest Your Time in Others

Because other people are central to your productivity and success, you can view every minute you spend developing and strengthening relationships as an “investment” that will pay dividends in the future.

Building strong relationships with other people will motivate them to cooperate with you more willingly. They will go farther out of their way to help you. And they will care more about your interests, and your success. People strongly connected to you will be more helpful and valuable to you in every aspect of your work and your life.

But even better, important psychological research shows that strong relationships are the most significant indicator of a happy, fulfilling life. Those with more such relationships look back on their lives much more positively than those with fewer of them. Strong relationships may even help you live longer!

It’s difficult to identify the exact recipe for success. However, these and the other characteristics I’ve previously discussed are certainly among the important ingredients that will help you improve the results and satisfaction you get from your efforts.

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