When most people talk about “success,” they’re often referring to outer things like money, title, and promotions. But in reality, these outer accomplishments almost never bring a lasting sense of happiness or success. They’re fleeting, and the goalposts are constantly shifting.
Instead, real success is a deeper, more satisfying experience of the heart, mind, and spirit, where the individual has committed to continuous, bold and empowering action that helps him/her feel confident, authoritative, and valuable to others in ways that are personally meaningful.
In over 10 years of working with career professionals, I’ve seen that the majority of people who reach out to me are actually not in a state of readiness for the success they desire. They think they are, but they haven’t taken the right actions or developed appropriate mindsets and behaviors that would help them reach – and sustain — the success they dream of. They’re just not there yet.
There are nine core categories of career success readiness that need to be mastered for professionals to achieve the success and fulfillment they long for (and these applies to any industry, field or function, and any level, for both men and women).
These nine categories of career success readiness are:
Understanding yourself deeply
You can’t achieve success on terms that are personally meaningful to you if you don’t know yourself. Each of us has a distinct set of values, interests, histories, standards of integrity, non-negotiables and preferences that make up our own unique picture of success. If you don’t know yourself intimately, the outcomes you’re focused on won’t end up generating the experience of success you want.
Using your natural talents>/b>
I learned this the hard way, as have many of my clients – just because you’re great at a certain skill set doesn’t mean you enjoy using it in your work. The most successful, fulfilled professionals use talents every day in their work that come naturally to them, that emerged early in their lives and they enjoy immensely. You need to identify those natural talents that you use instinctively, with ease and grace. Those are the talents to focus on in your career if you want a lasting experience of success and happiness.
Engaging with people you respect and admire (including mentors and sponsors)
You can’t create lasting success if you operate alone, in a vacuum, with no one in your corner to support you. If you find yourself isolated, with no role models, mentors, or sponsors, it’s a sign that you’re not ready for the success you dream of. You need fabulous people in your support community to help bolster you to the next level.
Setting goals and making decisions that support you
The type of success most people want isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s not a prize that just falls in your lap. Forget the idea of a tipping point where you suddenly wake up “having it all.” Success requires hard work (often tedious and painstaking) and continued commitment. It also takes effective decision-making and S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goal-setting.
Committing continuously to your growth
A key to helping people grow exponentially is helping them stretch out of their comfort zone and close their “power gaps.” Power gaps are areas where people feel most insecure, vulnerable, and ashamed. When people address, heal or revise those areas, the growth is quick and astounding. What are the areas in your life and work where you feel “less than” and insecure – and what can you do to close those gaps today? Relating in a healthy way to money, and having a keen understanding of financial and business realities Lasting success will elude you if you’re broken down in how you view, and deal with, money. Many of us have a damaged relationship with money, and are forever chasing or resenting it, instead of attracting, embracing, and appreciating it. Money is a form of energy, and if you’re blocked around it, so will be your experience of success. In addition, if you’re running your own business, you need a solid, emotionally-neutral understanding of the financial and business realities you’re facing. A “Build It and They Will Come” mentality without a solid financial and business grounding is a recipe for disaster.
Balancing and integrating life and work (and dealing effectively with stress)
I know so many people who’ve achieved outer “success,” only to have sacrificed everything in the process. They wake up, often in midlife, to the horrible realization that they’ve given up everything that matters to them, just to rise to the top of the heap in their field. If you aren’t able to integrate or balance successfully your work endeavors with your identity as an individual outside of the work you do, you’ll suffer. And if the stress and strain of your work is making you sick and sad every day, it’s time to rethink your definition of success.
Being of use in the world
Thousands of people hit midlife and suddenly feel an aching disappointment – they realize that what they’ve been clamoring for in their 20s and 30s now feels empty and meaningless. Perhaps it’s seeing the world through older, wiser eyes, or experiencing the mortality of their parents and friends that awakens people to wanting to do something more purposeful in the world. (This was me, and here’s a brief video of my story.) Whatever the cause, midlife professionals often wake up to the desire to build a new legacy that they can be proud of. In the end, you won’t feel successful if your work is meaningless to you.
Marketing yourself in a compelling way
Finally, in today’s times, because of the global competition we all face, if you can’t market yourself and communicate powerfully about your great talents, you won’t succeed in the way you hope. Gone are the days in which you could leave marketing to someone else. You have to know how you’re special and amazing, and how you stand apart from the best of the best in your field, and share that openly and confidently. You need to be your own best advocate, and you can do it without being a braggart. You just have to learn how.
3. Use your mental states to create physical spaces.
The next step in keeping your work and home lives healthy and pristine is creating physical environments that support each side. Let’s start with your homespace. Find the spot in your current domicile that best matches the feeling of your mental home state—a room, a corner, the box your refrigerator came in. Bring into this space any objects or beings that make it feel even homier. These may include your kids, your parakeet, your softest quilt, and your dog-eared copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (just not at the same time).
Next, use the same strategy to create a workspace, whether you’re a full-time parent or a merchant marine. Find a space that—no pun intended—works for you, and bring in the people and things that make you feel productive: a fresh notebook, a team of coworkers, a mule. I myself am motivated by high-quality tools (anything from a fancy-schmancy computer to a hammer), absolute solitude, and of course my writing chair, writing glasses, and writing gum—the combination makes me itch to work. Whatever places, people, and things support your internal work state, gather them!
How do those who are deeply passionate about their work balance their lives? I have written a few articles on the topic of balance and could list several ways “to balance your life” but that does not seem to answer the deeper part of this question, which is much more complicated than the basics of work/life balance.
I had someone say to me once that part of the root meaning of the word “passion” is “to suffer”. I suspect that those people who are truly passionate about what they do can relate to this definition of passion — to be passionate about something is to be consumed and driven by it. Where in this experience is the concept of balance? Passion might compel you to write at 3am and work for days without showering, with little sleep, and barely eating. This is not balance — and this is not the work-alcoholism of the typical American that might be remedied by the standard concept of balance.
Anyone who has been passionately connected to his or her work knows that the self is not always maintained in the process. The creative element that is a part of visioning and passionate action requires dissolution of the self. This makes it challenging to deeply understand what balance is all about under these circumstances.
However, if we substitute caring for ourselves in place of balance, we get a bit closer to something that might serve those of us who are so intimately connected with our passion. While balance might imply that we spend a certain amount of time doing separate activities, caring for ourselves implies that we are an essential part of our passionate work. If we are not healthy, then our work is not healthy either.
If we are not healthy then our work is not healthy.
Period and no exceptions.
While the metaphysics of this statement are intriguing, answering the following question will help us to apply it to our lives: How might your approach to work change if you looked at it from the perspective of the above statement?
You might be diligently doing your work –finding out everything that you need to know to be happy and successful. You have done your vision board and your vision statement, you have created a one year plan and even a ten year plan but maybe you have yet to ask yourself –how good can I stand to have it?
If you find yourself stopping before the finish line, if you seem to sabotage your success, it might not be because of some deep and troubling issue.
It might be because you have not upgraded your tolerance for joy, ease, or inner peace.
We are just as inclined to hold ourselves back from good stuff as we are to shy away from the bad. We are naturally inclined to keep things the same. The “same,” in our primal brain, is equated with being safe. Every change introduces a level of risk –even if the change is good.
Let me show you what this looks like:
You are starting your business and you just made your first big sale. First you are excited and then pretty soon you are terrified. You think, “I can’t do this. What was I thinking.”
Or, maybe you never have that thought, you just forget something really important.
Maybe this sale will drastically change your income or portends more success. You have wanted both of those for so long but now just as you get them everything starts going haywire.
What can you do about it? You can practice tolerating positive feelings and experiences.
I did say tolerating –one step at a time. With change and the risk that comes with it also comes discomfort. It is the discomfort that you really need to tolerate –the discomfort that comes from having things be REALLY good.
At this point we need to work with those impulses to stay the same.
Mentally, we can work to imagine our new way of being and set intentions. Emotionally, we can begin to label and experience our feelings differently. For example, fear can become excitement. Spiritually, we can learn to step out of our ego self and connect to our higher purpose. The purpose that makes these temporary discomforts seem minuscule in comparison.
If you really want to step into your fulfillment and success, you will need to stop looking at the past or sometimes even the momentary and start working towards creating the future you really want for yourself.
We are so quick to judge the events of our life. There are the things that we want to have happen and the things we do not want to have happen. There are the good things and the bad things. Right?
It all really depends on where you stop the story. If you look at all of the difficult events of your life as the final result of your actions then you are doomed to meaninglessness and failure. If on the other hand, you view your end results when something positive happens, you life and actions are meaningful and productive.
The easy and difficult are inevitable. The good and bad are inevitable. No one has a life full of all good things or of all bad things –we all get a mix.
So what are you going to choose today?
1. Love yourself to safety
Love is truly the most powerful force. We often spend a ton of time trying to figure a situation out or do something to change it. However, if we learn to be loved and bring love to the situation, amazing things happen! Easier said than done — for most of us — but well worth the effort.
2. Never give up!
To get what you want, it actually feels better to keep trying — even after we fail again and again — than it does to just give up. Trying for something even in the face of great challenges keeps us opening up — it keeps us growing. So, worry less about failure and more about what you think is most important.
3. Hide nothing. It will destroy you!
It might not always be on the outside that we see these problems, but, when we hide things, we are doing damage inside ourselves as well. We feel out of integrity. That’s a big price to pay — all for supposedly saving some face.
4. Don’t expect any guarantees
It can be so easy to go through life looking for someone to ensure us a safe passage. And there just isn’t one. The only things we have left at the end of the day are our intent and our integrity. So it helps when we stop looking for safety, start being who we know we should be, and start acting the way we know we should act.
5. Care more than makes sense
If you want to be fulfilled, a sure-fire way to get there is to “give a damn,” as I would say. In the face of uncertainty, care. In the face of problems, care. When people say you should not care or that it is hopeless, be brave enough to care. It will change your life forever.
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One of the things that seems to get everyone in their business /life from time to time is rejection. You need to put yourself out there so many times. You need to hear “No” more than you hear “Yes”.
Suzanne Evans said recently that if you cant tolerate hearing “No” you shouldn’t be running your own business. Getting used to rejection is an important part of staying on track in your business and your life.
Rejection comes in all shapes and sizes: client rejection, colleague rejection, job rejection, relationship rejection. Any time that a door closes we can call that a rejection. Here are some keys to how to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.
Cultivate self love: We need to be able to hold on to our value even when other people do not see it. We are best able to do this if we practice regular love and kindness toward ourselves. If you do not treat yourself fabulously, find a simple way to start and keep developing it.
When a door closes…: Yup. The reframe. I really believe that we are guided and that when a road gets blocked off it is to move us in the direction that we need to go. Do your absolute best and surrender to the outcome.
Sometimes this can get confusing. We can’t tell the difference between when we should persist and when we should throw in the towel. Learn to listen to your gut and your head and remember it is IMPOSSIBLE to make a wrong choice. There is no such thing.
Gather your support: You really can’t do it alone. Know the people who love you and show up regularly to give and receive love. There is nothing that will strengthen you more than the love and support of people who believe in you.
I swear I have a little gremlin inside that pokes me every time I don’t get the results I want. And with this poke, all of a sudden I am back in grade school wondering why I was never the first person picked for anything.
Crazy! And common! All in one package. Funny thing is — or not so funny — people believe they are “not supposed to” feel this way. I am not saying we should just take this interior abuse. I am just saying we should stop trying to hide from it.
We are social animals and have developed biologically to care what others think. The people who tell you they are totally over this are either enlightened or lying.
The likelihood that we are going to entirely escape this emotional jab to the ribs is slim. However, there are potential solutions that makes this more bearable. I am going to give you three.
A recent study shows that only one out of every three Americans is actually happy. On a list of the top 20 happiest countries in the world, America just barely ranks at #17. This is kind of ridiculous when you think about all the freedoms and conveniences Americans enjoy that less wealthy nations will never experience. Even if you are not happy, it is likely you know someone who is. Think about how much you adore them and why. Observe them closely for a while and you might notice a surprising amount of room for growth in your own habits. Here are some of the things happy people do to make life better for everyone around them.
They Are Nice
It might seem like an overly general term, but happy people are usually nice. They are well-liked and pleasant to be around. They are respectful, warm, considerate, and helpful. They don’t get jealous. They don’t waste time gossiping and complaining. They seem to have infinite patience and give freely of themselves. Traits like these can only stem from a deep-seated sense of contentedness. Nice people create a social climate that puts everyone else at ease.
They Are Honest
True happiness cannot coexist with lies. Those who lie to themselves are more likely to lie to others and struggle with unhealthy relationships. Honesty starts with an informed sense of self. Happy people know who they are and aren’t afraid to show it. They are consistently themselves and do not feel the need to wear masks or pretend to be something they are not for any reason. Life is a lot less complicated when you allow yourself to be the same person at all times. By letting go of lies, happy people set an inspiring example which encourages those around them to flourish.
They Are Cooperative
Happy people are not overly concerned with dominating, yet they tend to come out on top. Victory is meaningless to the happy person without a team to share in the glory. There is a reason why it is customary for people who win awards to stand up and give a speech about all the people who helped them along the way. It is because nobody gets there alone, and taking all the credit for yourself is just mean. The idea of winning or dominating denotes pushing other people down on your way to the top. Those who recognize the efforts of others and freely share the joys of success tend to live much happier lives.
They Have Beautiful Smiles
There is a huge difference between smiling for the camera and smiling as a function of happiness. Anyone can show their teeth. Happy people smile with their entire bodies, and sometimes with all the energy in a one-foot radius. A real smile cannot be faked. When you run around emanating a radiant glow in response to all the joys of life, you are bound to attract some admirers.
They Are Well Adjusted
Happy people revel in life’s small pleasures. This gives them access to sources of joy that pass most people by. At the same time, they don’t get bogged down by the petty little details that seem to keep plenty of others stuck in the dumps. They know what is worth savoring and what to disregard. Happy people have a rational sense of scale to keep them grounded. The resulting positive perspective can turn any problem into an opportunity for growth.
They Surround Themselves with Happy People
Whether they actively seek out other folks with similar habits or they have the effect of raising the positive charge everywhere they go, happy people do not often stand alone. Glee is contagious. Groups of people tend to observe each other and subsequently imitate the most attractive behaviors they find in those around them. If enough folks agree to treat each other the way they would like to be treated, the result will be infectious and irresistible to bystanders.
They Are Spontaneous
A good relationship with the value of each passing moment is an essential component of happiness. If living in the present is so easy to do, why is it so many people are preoccupied with thoughts of the elsewhere, the future, and the past? Happy people are comfortable in their skin. They are content and aware in whatever moment they inhabit. This allows them to see opportunities for fun and adventure which others might overlook. It is part of why happy people are always the life of the party.
They Are Good Listeners
Communication is about more than just barking a bunch of orders and wondering why nobody is listening. Harmony cannot exist in a vacuum. Can you imagine trying to sing in a barbershop quartet without being able to hear the other singers? In order to create a resonating chord, you must listen to what is happening around you and find just the right place for your own vibrations.
Happy people are always looking for new perspectives as a way of informing their own. The feelings of others matter deeply to them because they know the greater good involves far more than just their own desires. Happy people have made a lifelong commitment to constantly learning, and they know the only way to do this is to be quiet and listen.
They Expect Less
It stands to reason that if you expect less, you will be satisfied with less. This mindset allows a more sustainable and unmaterialistic approach to life. Those who focus on what others should be doing for them are often disappointed more often than they are satisfied. True happiness comes from within, not from deeds or objects originating outside the self. Happy people know this, and they expect more from themselves than they do from external sources. They are more likely to accept than to demand, simply because a state of acceptance is a much healthier place to be than one of constant unmet demands.
They Don’t Judge
Nobody likes being judged. This is because the majority of judgments we make about each other are false and misinformed. Happy people understand through their own experiences that life is a perpetual learning process and everything we go through changes us in some way. With this knowledge, it just doesn’t make sense to hold a bunch of grudges. Happy people accept that we all struggle with different weaknesses, and everyone has the potential to figure things out in due time. This makes happy people better and more patient companions than those who are always judging others for their weaknesses.
The road to happiness is not an easy one to travel. It requires a sense of humble honesty which does not come naturally to everyone. Happy people are popular and successful for a reason. Anyone who smiles that much has got to be doing something right. It’s time you realized how much you have to learn from them. Happy people do not want you to be jealous. They want you to share in their joy by opening yourself up to the lessons all around you. They want to learn from you while inspiring you with their example. This is why we love happy people, and the world would probably stop turning without them. Hug your local happy person today. Let them take you by the hand and lead you toward a better life.
reblogged from www.lifehack.org
Q:Why do you believe that having a business coach or mentor is important? How have they helped you?
Having a coach or mentor is really important because they are an independent sounding board with business experience and great wisdom. A coach is not a consultant who comes into your business and tells you what to do or does it for you. Rather, a coach spends time listening to where you’re at in your business and then initiates discussions to facilitate problem solving and strategic planning.
This concept was a little hard to get my head around at first, I couldn’t believe that I was paying a lot of money to do all the work myself. However, the ‘coaching’ technique is definitely invaluable because it is not the quick fix that many consultants who come in and out of your business in a hurry usually provide. Instead,
When I started my business I was definitely an experienced electrician but I had no real idea about running a business. Eighteen months along and working almost 90 hours a week, I employed the services of a business coach and have never looked back.
The best thing about a coach or mentor is that they keep you accountable to your vision. Often as a small business owner you can get caught working in your business and not spending enough time working on it and moving toward your business goals. Having weekly or even fortnightly meetings with a coach forces you to take a few hours out to specifically think about your business and where it’s heading.
Although taking this time out is extremely important, small business owners often say they are too busy and don’t prioritize it. This is dangerous and small business owners often don’t meet their goals because they don’t spend enough time strategically planning. This is where coaches keep you accountable and regularly challenge you on your progress.
I have also found that having a coach can stop you from learning the hard way and making big mistakes. Because I have listened to the words of wisdom of other people, it has allowed me to progress quickly without too many deterrents as a result of making wrong choices.
Joshua Nicholls is the owner of Platinum Electrical Contractors, which in just four years has experienced a growth of 790%. From it’s humble beginnings, Platinum Electrical has now grown to have over 30 employees and has been a finalist and won many small business awards.
reblogged from www.businessblueprint.com.au