Source: Web exclusive: August 2010
Have you ever noticed that some people just stand out? Regardless of their industry or profession, they rise to the top. They are a testament to the fact that when it comes to success, it’s not what you do, but how you do it.
The "how" refers to your attitude, work ethic, effort and discipline. It has less to do with talent and skill, and more to do with commitment. You have more control over your success than you realize. Success isn’t magic or simply luck. If you look at the many examples of successful people in any industry or endeavor, there are certain common habits that the majority of them exhibit. Incorporating these habits will help you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, in any area of your life.
Habit #1: Successful people are plugged into their passion
Most people who have achieved great success love what they do. Anyone who has risen to the top of their given industry, profession, sport or hobby has had a passion for what they were doing. Success generally requires hard work, commitment, persistence and discipline. All of these things can sound very daunting unless you are passionate about the task at hand.
How passionate are you about the goal you are pursuing? How much passion do you have in your life in general? Take an inventory of how often you get to do what you love. When you infuse your life with activities that excite and inspire you, it takes much less effort to stay committed to your goals. Make sure that whatever you are pursuing, you feel passionate about it.
Habit #2: Successful people make decisions and take action
Successful people are good at making decisions. Often the biggest opportunities in life come and go quickly; those that take action tend to have the advantage. This doesn’t mean we should be irresponsible with our decisions, but sometimes we need to take a risk and follow our intuition and simply take action. It may not be perfect, but we learn from our mistakes, and course correct accordingly.
What decisions are you avoiding? Perhaps joining a gym, getting a personal trainer, starting a course or new hobby, or updating your resume? What is the worst that could happen? What is holding you back? Inaction is the antithesis of success. Mistakes and failures are part of the game. Most successful people fail more than they win, but first they get in the game.
Habit #3: Successful people are focused
Successful people focus on one thing at a time. They don’t try to be great at tennis and football. They don’t open two businesses at once. They don’t study to become a chef and teacher. They pick one thing and devote their time and energy to becoming great in that one area.
Are you focused on your main goal? Are you trying to do too much? It’s not about making sacrifices and choosing one area of your life over another, but rather, knowing that not everything can happen all at once. Many of us take on too many goals at once and we end up distracted, conflicted and ultimately frustrated with ourselves for not being able to ‘do it all.’ Pick one big goal that is over and above your regular commitments and devote all of your effort and attention to doing your best in this one area. When you achieve it, be sure to celebrate your success.
Habit #4: Successful people surround themselves with great people
There is great truth to the saying ‘You can’t do it alone.’ Everyone who has accomplished something always has a long list of people to thank, from friends and family to team members, co-workers, teachers, mentors, trainers and coaches. Successful people surround themselves with great people‘people that are positive, supportive, inspiring, talented, knowledgeable and successful.
When you look at the circle of influence around you, are you surrounding yourself with the best possible people to fuel your success? Do you have the support; motivation and inspiration that will help you reach your goals? Do you have people around you whom you admire and who genuinely want you to succeed? If not, make a conscious decision to seek out and meet more like-minded people.
Habit #5: Successful people believe in themselves and their dreams
There is absolutely no substitute for positive thinking. Successful people are able to see their success before it happens. Even if they are not certain, they believe it is possible. They believe in themselves, their abilities and their own potential. They believe that hard work, persistence and practice eventually pay off. They are confident and optimistic.
To what extent to you believe in yourself? Are you optimistic or skeptical about your success? Do you hope for the best but prepare yourself for the fact that you may not reach your goals? If you notice that you are being negative towards yourself or about the goals you want to achieve, begin to consciously and deliberately work on your beliefs. Write down or say out loud a positive statement every time you catch yourself being negative.
Habit #6: Successful people strive for excellence
Successful people don’t settle for ‘good enough.’ They aren’t content with being average or mediocre. They hold themselves to higher standards. They have an exceptional work ethic and expect more from themselves than even others expect of them.
How much do you expect from yourself? How high are the standards you set for your own personal level of excellence? Where in your life are you settling for ‘good enough?’
The truth is that the more you expect from yourself, the more you will be able to achieve. Pick one area in your life where you would want to be above average. Set a goal that stretches you. Don’t settle. You are worth more than that.
Habit #7: Successful people take care of themselves
Successful people recognize the importance of ‘recharging their batteries.’ They understand the need for balance and the fact that in order to operate at a certain level, they must take care of themselves’physically, mentally and emotionally.
How well do you take care of yourself? Do you often feel like you don’t have enough left to be able to focus on your goals? Do you take time to take care of your physical body and emotional well-being? The first step in self-care is to learn how to say ‘no.’ Find a way to put yourself on your priority list. To reach your goals, you must pay attention to your own needs, and value your happiness as much as you do everyone else’s.
Victoria Joanna Bailey is a life coach and nutritionist, committed to helping people make lasting changes that lead them on the path to health, happiness and a fulfilling life.
Ready to reach your fitness goals? Dare yourself to make a change today by registering for the Vichy Best Health Challenge.