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8 Reasons Why Adventurous People Are To Be World-Class Leaders

8 Reasons Why Adventurous People Are To Be World-Class Leaders

The spirit of adventure has been inside every great leader in history. Great achievers like Queen Elizabeth and Steve Jobs; along with movers and shakers like Lady Gaga and Walt Disney, all share a common thread: they weren’t afraid to try something new.

To succeed in life and lead others you must acquire, possess, and maintain an adventurous attitude. Even if you’re afraid to eat at new restaurants and try new foods, or you’d rather die than embarrass yourself in public; you can still learn to be adventurous!

You don’t have to do something that scares you every day (as Eleanor Roosevelt suggested), but you have to get over your fears eventually. Stepping outside of your comfort zone on most days is a good place to start. Consider the following traits of adventurous people to learn why they make phenomenal leaders.

They Have a Vision

Walt Disney believed in his dreams, in spite of a world that told him he was crazy. He knew that it was his optimism and persistence in pursuing the things he had dreamed about that was behind his great success. As he said, “The more a vision can be expressed in a vivid, imaginative way, the more it will motivate people to action in the present.”

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They Do Not Conform

Lady Gaga did not try to imitate or emulate anyone. She wasn’t afraid to go against the norms. She credits these facts with leading to her success. She set standards for herself and ignored naysayers. By trusting her instincts and refusing to conform, the bullied girl that felt out of place as a youth became one of the best-selling musicians of all time, breaking records that no one but herself thought she would break.

Gaga holds 13 Guinness World Records, 6 Grammy Awards, and a Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Contemporary Icon Award (the first ever recipient). She was also listed by TIME as one of the most influential people of the decade in 2013.

They Aren’t Afraid of a Challenge

Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion on HBO’s wildly popular Game of Thrones. He was never afraid to face a new challenge. Born with achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism), Dinklage faced many challenges on his way to becoming an award-winning actor. He credits his sense of humor and natural optimism with readying him for the many obstacles that would come between him and becoming a star.

Dinklage was not afraid to do things others said he couldn’t do – such as becoming a leading actor at only 4-feet, five-inches tall. He knew that without risk there could be no success. He embraced the challenge and succeeded.

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They Are Independent Thinkers

Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory, was expelled from school at 16 for laziness and lack of original thought. Despite his teacher’s disdain for him, Darwin trusted his own judgement and his ability to figure things out independent of other people’s beliefs.

His independent thinking led him to revolutionary insights into the process of Natural Selection and the nature of life on the planet. His Origin of the Species was published in 1859 amid great controversy, but has consequently changed how we all see the world.

They Radiate Persuasiveness

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers, was able to convince the world that they could not possibly live without a personal computer. He was able to sweet talk people into following his vision of the future. To become a leader like Jobs, you must be able to win trust and influence the actions of others through sheer force of will.

They Have a Natural Sense of Wanderlust

Padma Lakshmi was always curious about the world around her. She was anxious to see it. Despite a devastating car accident that left her horribly scarred, Padma had a desire to travel the world as a model.

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Many powerful agents told her that she had little chance of succeeding in the modeling world without major reconstructive surgery. Without any major operations – but with a heart that longed to explore – she not only became a model, but she also became an actor, author and successful television host.

The lesson here? Don’t be like the absurd amount of Americans who don’t take their paid vacation every year. Soak in everything you can from your experiences as you roam away from home.

They Are Courageous and Determined

Tina Fey had the courage to step outside of her comfort zone and become a performer. She is now one of the most successful writers and actors in television and films. Fey is best known for her roles on Saturday Night Live, Thirty Rock and as writer of the feature film Mean Girls.

Her original desire to write comedy was soon abandoned as she realized that she must step in front of the camera to live the life she dreamed. She was bold enough to quell her anxieties, get over her stage fright and achieve the success she craved.

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They Have No Regrets

Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing in Hawaii when she was just thirteen years old. She refused to dwell on her misfortune and had absolutely no regrets about what befell her.She returned to surfing within a month of losing her arm and won a National Surfing title just over a year later.

Adventure comes to those who look for it and embrace it. You can adopt an adventurous spirit even if you’re not among the lucky few who were born with the trait. You can train yourself to be adventurous by opening your mind to new possibilities.

I leave you with the following two reminders. 1: Step outside your comfort zone at every turn. 2: Take every possible opportunity for adventure that presents itself.

Featured photo credit: Pete R. via photos.bucketlistly.com

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Anum Yoon

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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