A friend recently asked me: “What qualities or attributes have led to your success?” An interesting question… After reflecting on my life, I summed up six main qualities that lead to success and have included a specific mantra for each one.
6 Main qualities that lead to success
Once you make a firm decision to do something, you do need to maintain your resolve to the outcome. It really is essential to help you get through all the set-backs, hurdles and detours and to deal with the naysayers, etc.
Research scientists and inventors are classic examples of people living their lives with determination. Sometimes it can take years and thousands of experiments before they have the breakthrough they’ve been working towards. That takes focus, grit and determination.
Determination often stems from you having a high-value goal. It must be really important to you to achieve the goal or you won’t commit to it fully. That high-value determination drives you to never give up.
Mantra: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
Have you ever heard the expression, ‘We were a seven or ten-year overnight success?’ While it is not unheard of for some people to achieve success in short periods of time, for many of us it can take years. So, never losing sight of your vision is also essential.
Sometimes some fairly big things need to change, so patience with yourself and the universe may be needed.
- For example, I wanted to be a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force and for the first 3.5 years of having that vision, it wasn’t possible because they didn’t accept women for pilot training. I just kept saying with conviction: “Don’t worry. It’ll change.” And fortunately, it did.
Always keep your vision alive in your heart and mind. Your ability to visualise or imagine the outcome you’d like to achieve is one of your greatest skills.
For some reason as adults we forget to play in our imaginations like children. Making time for creative thinking and dreaming is key to bringing your vision to life.
Mantra: Reach for the stars; if you fall short, you’ll still reach the moon.
True success comes from personal or intrinsic motivation. Nobody else can make you do anything, short of threatening you in some way, but you know what I mean. You can be coached, guided and supported but ultimately it comes down to you taking action.
Again, being clear on your vision and knowing why it’s important to you will give you the desire, willingness and enthusiasm to achieve your goals.
Achieving success will often require repetitive practise, consistent action-taking and sacrifice, so you will need high levels of motivation to kee
p going through all the low times or boring but necessary tasks. Think of top athletes. They don’t get there based on natural ability alone. Action is rewarded!
Mantra: If you stop now, you will never make it, but if you keep going, you might. Keep going!
Self-belief helps you to strive for those big exciting dreams that will push you to expand in the process of achieving them. It is very important to have a realistic appreciation of your potential, which might be quite different to how others perceive you. I suspect that if you’re willing to contemplate a dream then you’re probably capable of it.
I liked dreaming dreams and setting goals that seemed a little out of reach, but somewhere deep inside I knew I could achieve them if I gave them my all. Remember, just because you haven’t achieved something before doesn’t mean you can’t. You probably just need to learn a few more skills or gain more experience.
Embrace every success you do have and keep adding it to your ‘self-belief file’. And if your self-belief ever waivers you can reflect on all of the things that you’ve already achieved – big and small.
If you’re suddenly thinking to yourself that you haven’t had any successes of note, go back to learning to tie your shoes, reading, times tables, riding a bike, learning to drive, iron, hammer a nail, change a tyre, cook, draw, dance etc. Be creative.
Sometimes others will help you to believe in your potential and it is beneficial to have at least one person in your life who is supportive and believes in you, but you must also trust yourself and think the best of you.
While I may feel embarrassed, disappointed, foolish if I try and fail, I know that I will always be proud of myself for trying regardless of the outcome and my comfort zones will always expand in the process.
Believing in yourself enough to give something a go is better than not trying and living a life of regret. Do your best.
Self-belief is a form of personal leadership – helping you to create a safe and empowering internal environment or mindset for you to thrive.
Mantra: If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. You can do it!
5. ‘Screw you’ attitude
There have been plenty of times in my life where I have had to deal with the naysayers or people that have projected their own fears or limitations onto me:
- You can’t do that.
- You’re not smart enough.
- You’re not…
- You don’t really think…
- That’s too big…
- Etc, etc.
When I was younger I would often take that personally and think: “Don’t underestimate me. I’ll show you.”
I can now appreciate that their negativity was more about their own lack of self-belief or feelings of inadequacy than anything to do with me.
The bottom line is that there will always be people telling you that you can’t or won’t achieve something and be obstacles in your path. At times like this you will need a healthy ‘screw you’ attitude to stay focused on your dream and motivated to keep taking your action steps. Your life is yours to live, let them worry about their own.
Mantra: Just watch me!
Generally, we perceive success to be some ‘big’ achievement. Making small changes or having small wins will give you a degree of satisfaction but you may not necessarily feel successful. For us to achieve our own version of success, it will generally require personal excellence and significant growth or expansion. Of course, you are unlikely to find this in your comfort zone.
And so, yes, courage is most definitely required for you to be successful. Courage will help you be prepared to:
- do things you’ve never done before
- say things you’ve never said before
- behave in ways you’ve never behaved before
- learn things you’ve never learnt before
- practise like you’ve never practised before
- believe in yourself like you’ve never believed before
- put yourself out there like you’ve never put yourself out there before
- push your comfort zones like they’ve never been pushed before
- take a leap of faith
In my experience, the bigger the dream or vision, the more courage you need to stay true to the course. Every time you have a set-back, your courage will help you to keep going. And remember, it’s often the case that the bigger the risk, the bigger the pay-off.
Mantra: Fortune favours the brave. Just do it!
The six qualities that lead to success are important for all dreams and goals.
However, please remember that success for you can be completely different to what we perceive as society’s version of success.
- Perhaps you grew up in a harsh or abusive environment and through determination, vision, motivation, self-belief, courage and a healthy ‘screw you’ attitude, you become a standout loving, kind, compassionate person who is able to deeply connect with others.
Just as God, spirituality and faith are often deeply personal experiences, I believe success is the same – measure it by your own standards. But please, set your standards high to honour the power and beauty of who you truly are!
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