Being tied to failure, inability, inefficiency, or underachievement can be crippling. While most underachievement’s are situational, it is very easy to take it personal and interpret these labels as a claim to your identity. Don’t do it!
Anyone who has underachieved or has been accused of underachieving has experienced a level of emotional defeat. Your success is not tied to your circumstantial performance. Your success is directly correlated to your ability to persevere, overcome, and spin previous underachievement into your future success.
I’ve learned from coaching hundreds of millennials that underachieving qualities can also be overachieving traits for success. Millennials continually are given, wrongfully or justly, the label of underachiever. As I tell all my millennials, plus everyone else I coach struggling with underachievement, “So what? Your previous underachievement does not dictate your future overachieving success. Use it!”
Powerfully successful people like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Tony Robbins, and more have once been given the underachieving label in school, in a job, in business, in relationships, or in life. However, none of these individuals got stuck on their underachievement, but rather leveraged their underachievement toward their success. Just like these powerfully successful individuals, your struggles can be the reasons for your success.
Here are 7 ways labeled underachievers can be powerfully successful:
1. Forget Other’s Dreams
Your inability to get excited about other people’s dreams, especially your boss’ can be a big career killer. Spin it though. You are waiting for a dream worth joining or starting yourself. This underachievement trait tells me you have the desire to discover a dream worth living for. Go find it and join it or start it.
2. Keep Daydreaming
Daydreaming is an escape into our default network. Your “default network” can increase your creativity, attention, memory, and happiness if you use it correctly. However, avoid daydreaming at the wrong times.
When you need to focus, pay attention. Then when you have the freedom to exercise your mental state, use daydreaming to propel you into powerful success by daydreaming about real people and possible future successes in business, health, and relationships.
“Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.” – Bo Bennett
3. Stoke the Rebellious Fire
If your rebellion centers around pushing the limitations in your life, rebel. While you might have been labeled as self-centered in your rebellious state, discover why you rebel. If you are rebelling for selfish purposes, then find a purpose outside of your personal gains.
Your rebellion needs to be focused against the limitations holding you back from serving other people or elevating your future success that helps people and this world. Use rebellion to your advantage.
4. Challenge Management
You may not like management, but do not be disrespectful of management. Many overachieving successful people get frustrated at management because it seems to hold back further growth.
Management is key to keeping order in the current situation and this is important, but it doesn’t mean you have to like it. You just need to respect it. Wildly successful people will challenge management and you can too in order to keep progressing forward, just stay respectful in the process.
5. Keep Talking
Of course you can’t stop talking. You have something to say and want to share it with the world. You just need to know what to tell the world. Forget talking about meaningless subjects and promote to talking about matters that will make a difference in the world.
Powerfully successful individuals that talk too much have learned to discipline their jawing mouth to meaningful topics for progress.
6. Always Be Skeptical of Intention
Use your questioning to push others into success. Do not be a devil’s advocate without a reason. Questioning intention can be very powerful to advance your journey into success. Many other successful people are looking for people to help find errors or weaknesses in plans, strategies, or projects.
You might find your success in collaboration with another powerfully successful individual by asking great thought-provoking questions. These type of questions push ideas, concepts, plans, and strategies into success often.
“Asking high quality questions produces a high quality life.” – Tony Robbins
7. Ignore the Rules
This may be the most common underachieving trait that leads to your outrageously successful future. Your rebelling, questioning, and disobeying compliance to the rules can push you into the fringes where only a few people are daring to go.
Success tends to exist in the margins in life—where few dare to take the risk. Do not only ignore the rules, but the limitations, boundaries, excuses, and impossibilities. Use your ignorance towards rules as your greatest success ingredient to your future progression.
Bust through your underachievement into your powerfully successful life. Stop listening to others who believe you will never succeed and have labeled you an underachiever. Reverse your underachievement by recognizing the powerful success traits sitting behind your inefficiencies. Your success is hiding behind your faults.
How have you used underachievement to your advantage? Please leave your thoughts below!
What Les Misérables Taught Me About Our Values
Who am I? The ultimate question many of us try to answer. When I think of values, I think of Victor Hugo’s 1862 book, “Les’ Miserables”. In Hugo’s book, Jean Valjean, is used as a protagonist to highlight the power in redemptive love and compassion. Valjean goes into prison for stealing a loaf of bread, entering as a simple and decent man. His time in jail seems to have an unrepairable effect, where he emerges from the chain gang as a tough, bitter criminal who hates society for what it has done to him. (more…)
7 Ways You Can Increase Your Concentration Right Away
In today’s world, an overabundance of information and a large number of distractions is making it increasingly difficult to concentrate on performing the necessary tasks. In this article, I propose 7 simple methods that will train your ability to concentrate, while not taking you from your usual activities. (more…)
5 Simple Hacks to Help You Develop the Habit That Will Transform Your Life
It’s excruciating when we know what’s killing us but we can’t do anything about it because as you know, it is not easy to pull the brake on a high way. According to Napoleon Hill, “remember this always – the best (and one might say the only) way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the undesirable ones”. (more…)
Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?
When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?
As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?
Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.
Let’s park this one for now and we will come back.
Categorization is essential to our survival
There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses.
The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.
An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.
In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.
When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting!
Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.
- lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin
- lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin
The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.
Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored.
This amazing skill has its drawbacks
As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.
Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)
Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.
This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.
Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.
The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people?
We can overcome unconscious bias
Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals.
Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms.
Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds.
The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals.
What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!
10 Pieces of Wisdom You Can Find in Popular Young Adult Novels
The Go-To Guide for Creative Problem Solving
A 10 Step Action Plan for Instant Motivation
What Les Misérables Taught Me About Our Values
7 Ways You Can Increase Your Concentration Right Away
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
(Images) 56 Inspirational Picture Quotes That Will Motivate Your Mind, Body & Soul
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
Success Advice4 weeks ago
7 Must-Read Books on Self-Development, Wisdom, and Leadership
Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
4 Non-Business Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read
Life4 weeks ago
3 Ways To Not Let The Pressure Get The Best Of You
Success Advice4 weeks ago
Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: Which One Do You Have?
Success Advice4 weeks ago
Self-Awareness Is the Key to Unleashing Your Potential
Motivation2 weeks ago
5 Highly Effective Strategies to Staying Motivated as a Business Owner
Life3 weeks ago
5 Things You Can Do to Fend off Boredom and Stay Focused
Success Advice3 weeks ago
Effectiveness Kills Creativity: 7 Steps to Help Strengthen Your Innovative Thinking