People are fixated on success. It’s the bottom line of every area of their lives. Finances, romance, personal growth, career development; people strive towards the indistinct notion of success in all of these things. And therein lies the problem; for most people, their concept of success is indistinct.

What most people are looking for in chasing success is a feeling of completion. They want to be satisfied with what they’ve achieved, and to enjoy the rewards of their work. But that becomes incredibly difficult (some would say impossible) when they don’t know what success means to them. Which leads us to another point in understanding the drive to succeed; success is personal. My success will not look like your success, will not look like someone else’s success. “Success” at playing guitar is going to be much different for a hobbyist than an aspiring professional musician. So, the first challenge of success is defining what it means to you. Does it mean a six-figure salary? A house on the water? The freedom to travel? It becomes much easier to attain success when we know exactly what it is we’re striving for.

So the first step with feeling successful is understanding what success is to you. The second step is trickier. Because the definition of success varies, the means of achieving success are equally diverse, and the specifics are best determined on a case-by-case basis. However… there are certain universal qualities and behaviours that will help you no matter your goals. Confidence. Determination. Belief in yourself. With that, once you know what success means, here are the things you need to do in order to become successful.

Focus on process over product

Whatever your definition of success, it’ll likely take time to achieve. There will be work. There will effort. It will require patience and dedication. So, in order to not drive yourself crazy with longing for what feels like an unattainable goal, you will need to learn to enjoy the process of growth. Success takes time, but happiness doesn’t have to. Learn to enjoy the journey. If we are JUST focusing on the end goal that frequently changes, and we are overinvested in the outcome, we will miss the joy of the current moment and smaller ‘successes” along the way.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

You’ve probably heard about “making your own opportunities.” Yes, this is vitally important on the quest for success. But this doesn’t always take on the appearance we expect. Sometimes, creating an opportunity means asking for a favour. When chances aren’t being freely presented, ask for a chance. Request the opportunity to prove yourself. Let your interest in advancement be known. Instead of waiting for other people to decide it’s your time to shine, call in a favour and make it your time.

Build up your confidence

This is the deep work. The personal work. This is the part that requires soul-searching, reflection, and emotional excavation. We all have beliefs that we’ve internalized, and many of those beliefs will be ones that hold us back. “I’m not good enough.” “I’m lazy.” “Someone will always be better at it than I am.”” It probably won’t work.” In order to bolster your confidence, you have to take a hard look at those beliefs so you can overcome them. Pay attention to how you speak to yourself, and change that habitual self-speak for the better. Having a deep trust in yourself and de-catastrophizing fears is essential.

Don’t give up

The road to success is littered with failure. The failures are not a signal to surrender; they are the teachers that bring us closer to what we want. From each so-called failure comes the opportunity to decide what didn’t work, and evolve accordingly. Every failure you experience is a point in your favour; it’s indicative of how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve come. Take pride in your failures, and march on. Find the strength in the experience of excitement and fear – this is proof that we are growing!, and if we’re growing, there’s a good chance we are one step closer to “success”

Be efficient

“Work smart, not hard,” is fantastic advice. Along with repeated failures, fatigue is one of the reasons people are most likely to abandon their goals. It’s important to look at your strategy with the big picture in mind. Let’s say you have eight hours every day to work on your success. If you power through those eight hours at maximum exertion, you will be exhausted and foggy-minded when tomorrow’s eight hours appear. Allowing for breaks means the time spent working will be more effective, and your success journey sustainable; powering through ultimately results in getting less done. Work smart. Play smart.

Value yourself

At the end of the day, you are your own ticket to success. Your thoughts, ideals, passions, and talents are going to carry you where you want to go. So be kind to yourself. Your achievements, your blessings, all come from you. Be grateful.

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