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5 Ultimate Drivers of True Success

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what does success mean

Everyone has their own definition of what success looks like, feels like, and will allow them to do, be, and have.  But many times, success is viewed as something “out there” – if we strive enough and work hard enough, we’ll get.  

The truth is, success is always an inside job; it’s a combination of understanding what speaks to you from your core so you can transform those messages into something real on the outside.

Here are the 5 drivers that will help you ask the right questions and set you up for ultimate success:

1. Know your values

People are endlessly attracted to shiny new business ideas only to have their enthusiasm burn out in a few weeks or months. Their interest wanes, they’re muddled in disillusion, and they can’t actually remember what made them so attracted to the idea in the first place. Many times this is because the shiny business idea didn’t actually reflect their values; it didn’t reward them on a deep enough level to keep them going through the highs and lows that come with starting or maintaining something, even if it’s profitable.  

You can sidestep this problem and get really clear on what you value by asking the following questions:

  • What routines do I have each day that are most sacred?
  • What do I most cherish in my personal and professional life?
  • What three things reward me most?
  • What types of behavior do I believe to be “right” or “good”?

Time spent jotting down ten to fifteen important values can help you understand what will motivate, reward, and drive you most – and whether what you’re chasing is really your version of success or someone else’s.

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” – Elvis Presley

2. Notice your need for approval

Everyone needs to feel validated and appreciated but when this need overshadows your ability to work and live in ways that leave you feeling satisfied and successful, you may find yourself questioning everything – most of all, yourself.  

When this happens, take a step back and ask the following:

  • What behaviors do I engage in that cause me the most inner conflict?
  • Who do I have the most conflict with in my personal life and why?
  • Who do I have the most conflict with in my professional life and why?
  • Am I living and working in ways that feel authentic or am I “faking it”?  If I’m “faking it” – why and for whom?
  • If I am totally honest about what I want – both personally and professionally – who would I be the most scared / anxious/ nervous to tell and why?

When thinking about success, take a moment to be honest and determine if the vision you have for success is your own or one that will be met with approval by others.  And remember, you can have a vision you’re excited about and that is wholeheartedly approved of by others.

By noticing your need for approval, you can figure out where you may be hindering yourself by avoiding a difficult conversation, making an unpopular decision, or not getting in touch with what’s really important to you.

 

3. Get rid of distractions

One of the most influential quotes I’ve ever read takes a bottom line approach to both life and work. It was famously said by Jim Rohn, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”

If you want to be truly successful, you must embrace the concept that time is your most valuable asset.  And in order to maximize this asset, you must eliminate distractions. Start by looking at your current routines and streamline or eliminate anything non-essential. Can you delegate something at work to someone else on your team? If you’re a one person show, is there a way to batch certain tasks together to do them more efficiently?

Can you outsource a few things that aren’t in your wheelhouse and use that time to make progress on something else?  Install time tracking software on your tech tools that allows you to monitor how much time you spend surfing sites that have no direct personal or business benefit and start limiting that surfing.

Then, figure out what you can add into your new open time blocks that will generate the most value – both in terms of job productivity and through a personal sense of satisfaction.

 

4. Combine your passions in new ways

One of the most fun ways to feel successful is by solving problems or creating new products by combining one or more of your passions. Think about what you like, what you’re good at, what you value, and what people ask you to help them with. Even if these things aren’t part of your current job.

Then try and link two or more of those things together to create something new and useful. Think about how excited you’ll be if what you do allows you to express yourself in a way that benefits others on a deep level. Combining passions also gives you a larger base of ideas to work from, increases your opportunity for collaboration, and can provide you with more than one revenue stream.

“It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness.” – Sheryl Sandberg

5. Embrace change and unpredictability

Lastly, understand that the only constant in life and work is change, and with that comes unpredictability.  As you learn and grow – both personally and professionally – know that your definition of success will change. Think of the unpredictability that life brings as a new opportunity to experience who you are in both your personal life and your career.

Which one of these do you feel is most important and why? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Brooke Davis is a Life and Career Strategist, writer, and photographer.  She is the founder of Roots of Abundance where she teaches online, self-paced classes that focus on active career and life management.  By combining decades of corporate world experience along with a love of creativity, her classes help others gain clarity, manage their fear of change, and take meaningful steps toward living their most abundant lives. Connect with her on Facebook.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Prajeesh

    Nov 17, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Excellent points. Avoiding distractions and using time meaningfully is very important. Also i felt every other points are equally valid. Great job!!

  2. Michal

    May 12, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    An extremely important article. Thank you.

  3. Tim Denning

    May 8, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Brooke I feel your most important point was distractions. We are all glued to our phone and it’s sucking the life away from us. We must learn to have time away from our phone and not be on call to them all the time. Thanks for your post.

  4. Brandon

    May 8, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Noticing your need for approval. For me this is paramount. The search for approval can be emotionally and spiritually draining. Noticing the facets of life in which this applies to you can not only take a huge weight off of your shoulders but potentially help provide you with the necessary energy and time to maintain productivity.

    Great post! Thank you

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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