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Why You Have To Own Your Swag To Be Successful

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It’s a Tuesday night, and I’m at the bowling alley with a group of guys from a tech company that I deal with. I haven’t bowled for a while and secretly plan to focus on the conversation rather than my lackluster bowling performance.

Before I start, the man that invited me gives me some bowling tips. He has real swag and looks like he’s going to be awesome at bowling. He’s got the walk, the way of holding the ball, and he’s psyching me out with the way he stares.

After the first game where I hit a gutter ball, he gives me a tip and says that I need to the hold the ball with different fingers. I figure I have nothing to lose and take his advice. Then, for the next six odd games, I hit mostly gutter balls.

The decision from this point onwards is easy; it’s time to use my own swag and do what feels right. I change the ball to a slightly heavier one and go back to my old grip. Even though I am going against the rules of the sport, I bowl three strikes in a row and another shot where all the balls except one fall over.

Had I have kept trying to follow my colleagues swag and not embraced my own, I would have failed miserably. As it turns out, I nearly won even with all the gutter balls at the start. Now I’m described as being some bowling genius, and they think I have some secret skill.

My secret skill is my swag and having a go – nothing more. Here are the 4 ways to embrace your own swag:

 

1. Trust your instincts

Everyone has an opinion about how you should do a particular task; that doesn’t mean you should listen. Your instincts come from your animal ancestors from thousands of years ago, and you have them for a reason. Deep down, you know when you should listen to someone and when you should embrace your swag.

Learning to trust your decision-making ability based on feelings is a hard thing to master. Feeling your way through life without utilising logic goes against what we are taught in school and college. Every problem is supposed to have an answer, isn’t it?

Wrong. Predicting your future is never going to happen. There are a ton of studies that show how your gut instinct is worth acknowledging and is generally right for you. When something feels right, like the way you bowl, embrace it and love that you have your own style.

 

2. Your swag is you

I’m not sure why, but we humans seem always to want to be everyone else but ourselves. What’s so horrible about the way we are?

“There’s nothing wrong with you and the things that make you different are where the coolness lies”

Part of the challenge is that we think we have to follow a path that has previously been traveled. We don’t. The path we choose in life comes down to what is right for us individually. There are millions of ways to do almost anything so don’t feel like you have to do it like everyone before you.

There are times when it’s good to mirror other people’s success and then there are times to just make up the story as you go along. I prefer to make my own future and then change the world through what I believe that can be somewhat extreme.

Whether it’s a sport like bowling or the way you make money, do it using your own swag. Love your swag and how out of control it can be at times. Swag it out and be proud of who you are right now, and who you’re becoming thanks to all of the growth and personal development you are engaging in.

 

3. Know it’s okay to look silly

How you look might seem undesirable, but nine times out of ten, no one even notices. My bowling style probably looked stupid to most. It didn’t have the beautiful lines and the fancy footwork. The ball would hit the wooden floor with a sudden thump each time.

To make matters more challenging, all the people present were consuming a fair amount of beer. Strange old me went to the bar and ordered a bottle of water. Did I care if people thought that was weird? No. In fact, people became intrigued and started asking questions.

After these mini-conversations some of the guys looked at their beer with a different view. While they didn’t say it, they wondered what benefit they were getting and if there was a different perspective that might change their future success.

Everyone that was present that night is not going to forget my bowling swag and water drinking antics. In a business context, this makes me stand out from my competitors. Remember, people do life with people and people also do business with people.

“Having the same style as everyone else makes you forgettable and unsuccessful in the long run”

Your swag is cool because “cool” nowadays is about not being afraid to look silly and forgetting about how people might judge you. Every unknown sport is weird until someone achieves success at it and then it becomes mainstream and popular like kite surfing.

 

4. Not having an experience is worse

I could have just said I can’t bowl so I won’t go and hang out with these tech guys. I won’t embrace building new relationships and expanding my horizons. It would have been very easy on that rainy, windy, cold Melbourne day to curl up in bed with my favorite lemongrass and ginger tea, and consume endless social media content.

I could have admitted I was no good from day one and never stepped out of my comfort zone. The problem with the way of thinking I have just outlined (that was very tempting by the way) is that I would have missed out on life.

Maybe I would have met my future business partner at the bowling alley. Maybe I would have got a new idea for a business and gone on to be a high achieving entrepreneur of a tech startup because of a chance meeting that happened on this day.

You just never know what you are missing out on by being afraid of your swag and not using it to your advantage. By having very few experiences, you are doing more damage than using grit and pushing through any potential embarrassment or struggle. It’s only a struggle if you think it is.

What is unique about you? Do you have your own swag? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or on my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Christopher Bassoo

    Dec 14, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Love your article I posted it on my blog (www.chrisbassooblog102)
    Many thanks!
    Christopher (Chris) Bassoo

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Having a scarcity mindset means fearing you’ll lose your source of income, shying away from taking risks, and believing there’s a set amount of success in the world. Its counterpart, an abundance mindset, believes that there’s opportunity for growth, risks are worth taking, and when we win, we all win together. To succeed in business, you need to adopt an abundance mindset. But how do you change your perspective?

Here are 6 ways you can change your perspective immediately:

1. Decide You Want to Change

The first step in changing your scarcity mindset is to acknowledge who you are and decide that you want to change. I compare it to the time twenty years ago when I decided to quit smoking. 

Smoking is clearly stupid, but back then it was widely accepted. Still, that’s not an excuse. The first thing I did was admit that I was addicted. The second step was making the commitment to quit. I had to decide that I didn’t want anything to have control over me anymore.

Those who want to change their scarcity mindset have to do the same thing. You may have to break your goals down into doable chunks, but you also have to keep your oars in the water. You have to keep rowing, put your back into it, and look for better opportunities. 

One of the hardest challenges will be changing how you view the ideas of others. You can’t think of those ideas as a threat, or the people as a threat. Don’t worry so much about personal success as you do about the success of the group. Remember the adage: there are three ways to do things—my way, your way, and a better way.

This notion of abundance goes beyond wealth. That’s part of it, of course, but embracing the idea of abundance means you want to experience more. You want to help more people. You want to have a greater impact on your family and your community. You have to acknowledge that you’re tired of worrying about your car breaking down and reassure yourself that if it does break down, you’ll find a way to fix it or get a new one. If you decide to buy a new car, donate your old one to the humane society so they can help animals. That’s abundance.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

2. Stay on Your Path

If you’re an entrepreneur starting a business, you probably already have an abundance mindset. That’s excellent. But you still need to keep working on your idea, regardless of the failures or setbacks you encounter. Just because you’re optimistic about your future doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard and swim against the tide from time to time.

3. Talk about the Obstacles You’ll Face

Having an abundance mindset doesn’t mean you blithely glide over every hurdle. You won’t. Instead, you have to anticipate potential problems and start plotting how you’ll get past them. If you’re confident and optimistic, the answers come more quickly and in greater numbers, thus improving your chances of success. You can’t assume your business idea is going to be a mega-hit right from the start, and that you’ll make tons of money. That might happen, but chances are you’ll have to work long and hard hours first.

4. Develop Good Habits

It’s vital that you set strong goals and adopt the habits that will help you reach those goals. Networking is key to learning and to building contacts and community. It’s not just about the help you can receive, but the help you can give. Find ways to appreciate the uniqueness of others, whether you’re working with them or having a cocktail at the local pub.

“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.” – Lewis Howes

5. Address One Problem at a Time

Starting a new business is often daunting. You may have a dream of what you want to accomplish, but the task in front of you seems overwhelming. Where do you start?

I like the approach Desmond Tutu once advocated. He said “There is only one way to eat an elephant, [and that’s] one bite at a time.” What this means is that the bigger the endeavor, the more crucial it is that you break up the challenge into smaller pieces. The problems seem less intimidating and more doable when you look at them in smaller, discrete portions.

It’s not unusual for people to freeze up or get discouraged when faced with a big, hairy task, so in addition to the wisdom of Desmond Tutu, it also helps to keep in mind this observation by Mark Twain: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” It’s much easier to make progress in your big goal when you chip away at the challenges.

6. Don’t Kick the Can

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Instead, just make a decision. Whether it’s the right decision or the wrong one, at least you did something. If it turns out to be the wrong decision, at least now you know what not to do, and you’re halfway there. You’ll learn and you’ll be able to adjust. You miss those opportunities when you put off making a move.

Once you have an abundance mindset, the possibilities open to you will seem endless. 

How have you developed an abundance mindset in life? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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