“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”-Bill Cosby
What quality do you think differentiates the winners from the losers? Why are some people so successful in reaching their goals while others can’t achieve them? Because of their mindset, beliefs, and habits. Your brain is the first keystone to success. The second is your everyday actions, your daily habits. This list consists of 14 habits and beliefs that characterize phenomenally successful people—14 things that can transform your life as soon as you put them in your arsenal. If you want to become successful, you should get some paper and start taking notes.
1. They Know That Time Is Their Most Valuable Asset
They don’t let others make them invest time in activities they consider boring and counter-productive to their self-development. You shouldn’t do that either. When you think that something is a waste of your time, don’t do it. Your time is an asset that IS NOT INFINITE. Nobody on this planet has unlimited time, yet people tend to spend their time like garbage. The first thing you MUST DO if you want to change your life, become more successful, and achieve your goals is to change your perception of time. Realize that your time is not infinite and that you should spend it wisely, because it doesn’t come back.Advertising
2. They Step Out Of Their Comfort Zone
The only path to personal growth is doing things that make you feel awkward. When all you do is walk inside your comfort zone, you can’t grow as a person. You stay static because your activities can’t change you. If what you do doesn’t challenge you, if it’s not uncomfortable and difficult, then you should raise your standards and increase the game difficulty. You can’t build muscle if all you do is lift feathers. You have to lift heavy rocks.
3. They Create & Pursue Specific Goals
Most people don’t have goals at all. They don’t know what they want to do in their lives. They are just walking around like zombies. Would you ever take your car and start driving endlessly without knowing where you are going? Well, of course not. So why are you doing the same with your life? This is not a game, you don’t have 8 lives, only one. Setting up goals and having a destination is essential if you crave success. But that’s only the first step. The second step is to take these goals and make them specific. A goal like “I want to lose weight” isn’t specific. A goal like “I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 3 months” is what you should have in your mind.
4. They Focus on Small Continuous Improvements
Most people try to achieve overnight success. They want results instantly! Those who succeed in life know that things take time. How much time will it need? It takes as long as it takes. There is no certain period of work that guarantees success. Instead of trying to get rich in one month, you should focus on making little daily improvements. These improvements add up as the time passes, and after months or years of daily commitment, the progress is HUGE. That’s what every successful person does. Unfortunately, people can’t see the daily effort, as they only see the final outcome. Don’t ignore the progress. It might take some time, but it will be worth it. Focus on getting better every single day instead of trying to achieve a huge leap forward in just a week or so.Advertising
5. They Dress to Impress
When you dress like a winner, people tend to respect you more. In psychology, this is known as The Halo Effect. In particular, people tend to make a perception of your whole character based on a single quality that you have shown them. If you look great and you take care of your appearance, then people assume that you are someone who deserves their respect—someone who is also successful, reliable, and kind. When Aristotle Onassis went to America, before becoming a millionaire, he spent all his money to buy clothes that would highlight his style and class. If Onassis gave such importance to his physical appearance, I don’t see any reason that you shouldn’t do the same.
6. They Maintain a Positive Mindset
Your thoughts are the brush that paints your destiny. Successful people think positive and don’t look at their disadvantages. They fight with what they have and always seek improvement. But this improvement can’t come if your mind is continuously occupied by negative thoughts and stress. Positive thinking has been found to reduce stress and, according to Mayo Clinic, it also offers benefits like:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
7. They Embrace Failures
Phenomenally successful people carry the belief that failures are the stepping stones to success. Each failure yields rewards bigger than a win because it can offer you an invaluable life lesson. Start seeing your failures as an opportunity to become better instead of letting them bring you down and disappoint you.Advertising
8. They Surround Themselves With Winners
Jim Rohn has said that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” People with who you associate play a significant role in your life because they form your lifestyle and beliefs. If you are around people who are full of negativity, you won’t be able to maintain positive thoughts. On the other hand, if you are around people who write down their goals, focus on daily improvement, and dress to impress, you will be pushed to become the best version of yourself. Surround yourself only with like-minded people who have big dreams and are eager to take the necessary steps to achieve them. They will take you to the top with them.
9. They Don’t Seek The Perfect Moment, They Make a Random Moment Perfect
What are you waiting for? The right moment will never come. The circumstances will never be ideal, and if you wait for tomorrow to get started, it will never come. Tomorrow is just an excuse for inertia. There is no perfect moment. What matters is to get started as soon as possible and make the best out of what you have.
10. They Don’t Brag, They Listen
Successful people are ALWAYS eager to learn new things. They ask questions and they listen carefully to other people’s advice. They usually don’t talk too much because they are focused on listening and processing information. On the other hand, losers always speak about how much they know and how amazing their accomplishments are. They are so blinded by their need for acceptance that the only thing they care about is to brag about what they know. And in most cases, they just talk the talk. They don’t walk the walk.Advertising
11. They Know That Education is a Constant Process.
Do you believe that you should stop learning when you finish school or college? If the answer is yes, then it’s crucial to change that belief before it’s too late. Education shouldn’t stop at school or college; you should learn new things every single day. It isn’t a coincidence that the most successful people are those who have read countless books and have spent a lifetime acquiring new skills.
12. They Help Other People
Success isn’t about caring for your selfish needs. It’s about caring for the needs of others. EVERY successful person accomplished his goals because what he did really helped others in some way. Mark Zuckerberg gave the world a tool that made it easy to connect with their friends. Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave world a system (Google) that made it easy to find unlimited information in milliseconds. Famous singers and actors help people by fulfilling their emotional needs. If you want to succeed in life, you shouldn’t focus on yourself, you should focus on how you can improve other people’s lives!
13. They Have The Courage to Say NO
This is actually a quality that really separates the winners from the losers.When you are not afraid to say no, you have already avoided the need to please everyone. Trying to please everybody is impossible and can only lead to disappointment. When you don’t want to do something, just say no without apologizing for your decision.
14. Successful People Take Ownership Of Their Actions
Most people make the mistake of pointing fingers to others for their faults. They never accept responsibility for their actions and always believe that someone else is responsible for their misery. Targeting others for your frustrations won’t help you achieve your goals, it can only hurt other people’s feelings or even create enemies. In fact, your actions or your inertia is what actually determines the quality of your life. Blaming others is just an excuse to avoid the hard work needed to change your life. Stop blaming others and take care of your future, because it depends only upon YOUR ACTIONS.
Featured photo credit: TechCrunch via flickr.com
Last Updated on January 15, 2021
7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language
The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.
Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.
First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.
- Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
- When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
- Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
- When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?
All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.
Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?
- Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
- Frowning and/or furrowing brows
- Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground
If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.
1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions
A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.
The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.
This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards
2. Relax Your Face
New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.)
To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension. You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.
3. Improve Your Eye Contact
Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics? It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.
The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.
To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).
3. Smile More
There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.
Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.
4. Hand Gestures
Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.
It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.
5. Enhance Your Handshake
In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:
“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”
It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.
6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures
As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.
Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.
Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.
Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.
If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.
More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language
- Increasing Confidence with Body Language
- 8 Fatal Body Language Mistakes To Avoid During Presentations
- Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips
Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com
|||^||Berkeley News: The 16 facial expressions most common to emotional situations worldwide|
|||^||Science Daily: Teeth grinding and facial pain increase due to coronavirus stress and anxiety|
|||^||National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint & Muscle Disorders|
|||^||Michigan Medicine: Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation|
|||^||Spectra Magazine: Oculesics: Science Speaks Where Words Do Not|
|||^||NCBI: Attention to Eye Contact in the West and East: Autonomic Responses and Evaluative Ratings|
|||^||ResearchGate: An Anthropology of the Handshake|
|||^||Sage Journals: Mapping the Range of Information Contained in the Iconic Hand Gestures that Accompany Spontaneous Speech|
|||^||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Hand Matters: Left-Hand Gestures Enhance Metaphor Explanation|