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5 Success Myths We Should Stop Feeding Ourselves Right Now

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Success myths

We all, of course, want to be successful. We chase it incessantly, talk, read, write about it, and visualize it. Success feels great, tastes great and can give us an influx of endorphins. It’s a high like no other. So far so good. The culprit, though, is when we mis-interpret what it means to be accomplished and what we must do to get to the coveted sunshine land.

Here are 5 myths which we should stop trumpeting about as they are not the sure path to reaching our dreams:

1. Failure is good for you

Yes and no. We absolutely must deal with our failings stoically, take a note and move on, however, we worship success, not mishaps—we link it directly with individual worth. If someone isn’t thriving per society definitions, their stock doesn’t have much value.

Research from MIT also reveals that we learn more from success than from failure. When we win, our brain cells remember what we did and repeat it the next time around. Failure’s down feelings are stronger than the lesson learned, so the benefit may not be that great.

Admittedly, it’s easy to fall into the “everyone fails” trap and become fascinated by tales of the Silicon Valley wonderboys who started in their parents’ garage, failed a hundred times while working on the world’s next break-through and ended up billionaires.

Failure isn’t always followed by success. Sometimes, it’s just this—unsuccess. Not every downturn has a happy ending. Just be mindful of this before you start cheering up for the failing adage.

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” – Herman Melville

2. Be yourself

Approach with caution, as it can also mean: “You don’t need to improve, you are perfect just as you are.” The belief that we just happen to be a wonderful respectable person can be a flawed assumption. It proclaims passiveness and dampens the incentive to better our characters. We must seek change and learn to adapt.

Prof. Brian Little’s famous idea of “free traits” states that it’s sometimes necessary that we act as socially desirable, so we can fit in. Not all the time, but enough to get a job done. “Unless you are Oprah, be yourself is a terrible advice,” also believes Prof. Adam Grant. Being our “true selves” can damage our motivation to grow, improve, and can make us feel inferior. Instead, aim to be sincere and strive to be the person you claim to be.

Although there’s value in authenticity, sometimes, a situation calls for a different skill-set, leader or approach. Not adapting (which, for the record, is different than faking it) to these demands is likely to put us on the losing side. Remember Darwin’s theory of evolution?

3. Fake it ‘till you make it

It’s another flawed self-help motto. True, research reveals that acting more assertively can provide many advantages personally and professionally but, all this is telling us is that it pays to be confident.

“Acting out of character,” in the context of “upping our game” or shining as our best selves, is admissible. As in when you need to dazzle everyone while giving a presentation or convince an interviewer to give you the job. Stepping in a Superman suit on such occasions does create a more positive aura for us.

But it’s not sustainable. If you lack confidence, pretending every day that you do isn’t going to make you more confident. Acting as someone you are not is mentally exhausting and puts a strain on your body too. Suppressing your feelings bears the risks of eventually escalating them. But if you believe that you are worthy, as trivial as it sounds, the world will see it too. You won’t have to fake anything, you’ll simply play yourself.

4. If you don’t like your job, just quit. Follow your passion.

The small print to this should read: “Of course, this only works if you don’t have bills to pay, have substantial savings or other means of generating regular income.” So, let’s have a second thought for a moment. According to statistics, between 80% to 90% of the new ventures fail—“follow your dreams” is often not a profitable undertaking.

One option is to remain “a cog in a large wheel”—i.e. work a 9-to-5 job until your side endeavor takes off or focus on what you put your most time and effort on instead, per entrepreneur billionaire Mark Cuban. “Go with your bliss” is a terrible advice, he believes. Although you can be passionate about professional sports, for instance, doesn’t mean you can excel at it personally. So, going after a dream is absolutely worth pursuing but, “free solo” style may not be the best way to reach the mountain top.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

5. You can be anything you want

On the surface, it’s powerful—no matter your background, you can still become rich and famous. Take a note from the many rags-to-riches stories. The problem isn’t with dreaming big, it’s with the “anything” part of the advice. As kids, no one told us that we can’t become the next Beyoncé if we can’t sing, or the new Stephen Hawking if we don’t like physics and math.

That is, ask yourself why and how the accomplished individuals you adore have become so good. It’s really simple: because they were born with a certain talent, knack, mojo—whatever you call it. And they built on this foundation and perfected it.

Susan Cain, in her great book, refers to this as the rubber-band” theory of personality—i.e. we can only stretch ourselves so much. “Bill Gates is never going be Bill Clinton,” she writes, “no matter how he polishes his social skills, and Bill Clinton can never be Bill Gates, no matter how much time he spends alone with a computer.” So, we can be anything we want, but within our expanded personalities.

In the end, the achievement of what we dream of and aspire is a wonderful thing. We do need to talk, read, write and visualize about being successful—that’s how we learn, grow, and how we become our better versions.

But, just because someone tells you how they think you can become prosperous, doesn’t mean that it is so. Success trajectories are often unique and beware of the fallacy of the greener grass.

What are some success myths you used to believe in? Comment below!

Evelyn Marinoff is a writer and an aspiring author. She holds a degree in Finance and Marketing,  works in client consulting, and spends her free time reading, writing and researching ideas in psychology, leadership, well-being and self-improvement. On her website evelynmarinoff.com, she writes tips and pieces on self-enhancement and confidence. You can also find her on Twitter at @Evelyn_Marinoff.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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why you should have a podcast
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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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