“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
Most of us hope that by the time we turn 30, life just magically falls into place. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We can’t just blow the candles out from our thirtieth birthday cake and hit the fast track to life. Success when turning 30 is all relative to personal perspective, and finding that path means identifying what success actually looks like to you.
If you’re turning 30 and have yet to feel successful, don’t be alarmed because you’re not alone. To build a successful future for your thirties and beyond, forget about comparing your life to others, and start putting your energy into mastering theses 15 habits.
“Great people, no matter their field, have similar habits. Learn them and use them in your own quest for greatness.” – Paula Andrew
“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation…I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire.” – The Oprah Winfrey Show
If you are searching for validation from others before you take your first steps to success, you may never get there. Finding validation from within means that you are freeing yourself to trust in your life’s purpose, when no one else does. Once you begin to trust yourself, more people will want to hear what it is you have to say.
Successful people seek self-validation by embracing their own self worth, even when someone is trying to tear them down. While some negative comments can be very constructive for their personal growth, others can be just plain rude. Successful people always remember their life purpose and they always believe in their abilities.
- Don’t take negative comments too seriously
- Do remind yourself of your strengths daily and experiment with daily mantras
2. Body Empowerment
“Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.” -C.S. Lewis
Your body can be a great tool for success. People tend to base first impression on appearance, so something as subtle as poor posture can really damage your alpha composure, no matter how well dressed you may be.
Successful people empower their body by treating it like a temple. They eat balanced meals with fruits and vegetables to keep a strong mind and a healthy body. They stand tall and confident, insist on eye contact, and they shake hands firmly to debut their confidence. Taking care of their body also means exercising regularly, avoiding fast foods, and dressing the part.
- Don’t let physical limitations determine the rest of your life
- Do know success is not about what you have, but how you use what you have
3. Living In The Now
“One must simply take the days of their lives as they happen. If you spend time worrying over what is to come, which may or may not happen, then you will only be wasting precious days you will wish in the future you could have cherished a bit longer.” ― R.J. Gonzales
You want to live in the present because you can’t change the past and the future is yet to come. Moments can change on a dime, and over planning anything can ultimately become a waste of time. It can be easy to remain stagnant or stuck on an idea, but the goal is to move onward and upward with the present to achieve success.
It’s rare that you will ever find a successful person bogged down from their past. They tend to always express and address all of the skeletons in their closet. Successful people are also always prepared for the unexpected, but continue to keep a strong momentum for the present in order to reach their goals ahead.
- Don’t believe there’s only one way to achieve your success
- Do use past experiences to make wiser decisions in the present
“Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. Like beams in a house or bones to a body, so is order to all things. – Robert Southey
Organizing your sleep schedule, your work schedule, or even your workout schedule, can help keep you on a productive track. Starting each day with goals and objectives to complete, can really give you something to work towards. Setting aside time for each individual project allows you to feel fulfilled when you see work actually being accomplished.
For successful people, it’s all about schedules and lists. It’s not about planning every second of every day, but simply outlining priorities and listing the steps that are needed to meet deadlines and complete projects on time.
- Don’t navigate around everyone else’s schedule
- Do make time for hobbies, reading, traveling, and relaxing (this is important for your creativity and well-being)
5. Time Management
“Successful people make their decisions quickly and change their minds slowly. Failures make their decisions slowly and change their minds quickly.” ― Andy Andrews
The older I get the more I realize how valuable time is. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and to make the most of that time, we have to make quick decisions, we have to do what we love, and we have to stop complaining if we are not willing to make a change. To use your time wisely ask yourself, “Am I doing anything right now that is amounting to my life goals?” If not, ask yourself, “What can I be doing right now to help myself succeed?”
J.K. Rowling is a prime example of a successful person who made great use of time. Although she struggled to find work after her divorce, she used her free time to write while her daughter attended school. Creating the “Harry Potter” series, Rowling went from welfare to best-seller because she made use of her unemployment.
- Don’t multitask; this leads to holes in your work
- Do turn 6 individual tasks into 1 bigger task by creating flow in your schedule. i.e Avoid the back and forth commutes to the city and make one big trip, checking one thing off your list at a time.
6. Separation From Technology
“Learning to power-down technology is an important life skill with numerous benefits. It is becoming a lost art in our ever-connected world. But the wisest of us take time to learn the discipline. And live fuller lives because of it.” – Becoming Minimalist (Website)
From personal experience, I’ve been addicted to social media, checking my followers, my likes, my comments, and my messages. It’s strange how quickly it can become a full time job. I soon realized that I needed step away from social media because it was actually more of a burden than it was worth. The trick is to find balance and to not forget the reason why you began your path to success in the first place.
Technology brings much convenience to successful people, but success does not mean being held captive of your own devices like a GPS system. Successful people are people who recognize when they should turn their phone down or off. They understand how important it is to step away from technology to spend time alone or with their family. This is because mental breaks are important for their sanity, and a great way to declutter their active minds.Advertising
- Don’t let your phone and social media notifications own you.
- Do make designated times throughout the day to check yours devices so you can avoid checking for notifications every 3-5 minutes. (wasting time)
7. Selecting The Right Relationships
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
It’s not about cutting everyone out of your life who has ever done you wrong; it’s about surrounding yourself with like-minded people who will put in as much energy as you.
Successful people avoid others who are negative, disabling, and manipulating. It’s easy for a successful person to cut someone out of their life if the relationship does not add up to 50/50.
- Don’t think that you owe anyone your time if they stump your growth or drain your enthusiasm
- Do give time to the people who deserve it
“Critical feedback is the breakfast of champions. Defensiveness is the dinner of losers.” – Dharmesh Shah
Sometimes your feelings can be hurt when someone points out one of your flaws, but it’s part of the territory when you become successful. Being open minded allows to you take criticism and apply it in positive light. Sometimes the judgment of others can just be their fear of the unknown, and you have to just open your mind to their world and understand that they have different thoughts, ideas, belief and values from you, and that’s okay. If not, feedback can really wear you down.
Successful people are accepting to new ideas and have mastered compromise and colabering. They have no expectations of others, other than the truth and respect. By keeping an open mind they put more energy into their self, rather than the business of other people.
- Don’t gossip, spread rumours, or stretch the truth of others.
- Do confront people in private if you hold concerns for their actions and/or words.
9. Supporting Others
“You were born with the ability to change someone’s life – don’t ever waste it.” – Dale Partridge
“Before you dismiss a beginner’s work, remember how much you sucked when you started. You probably sucked worse, actually.” – Jason Fried
Turning 30 means that you should be getting out of any selfish ways to help make a difference. It takes teamwork to be successful and now that you are coming into your own, this is the best time for you to not only surround yourself by mind-liked people, but also encourage them and build lifelong partnerships.
Successful people don’t want to fall down the rabbit hole of comparison. They want to inspire, build, and network with like-minded people that they believe in. It’s all about building unity and working as a team to become successful together. Often they make kind gestures to help others excel without expecting anything in return, however, when a pay it forward gesture is made they are grateful.
- Don’t lead someone for solely your own benefit, be respectable
- Do feel proud to see someone achieve success knowing you played a role in their greatness.
10. Getting Uncomfortable
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar
“Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” – Henry Ford
To be successful in life, you need to take risks. In order to take risks you need to stop worrying about what might happen if it doesn’t work out. Yes, it can mean being in an uncomfortable situation, but instead of looking at something like a financial burden, think of it as an investment in your future.
They are successful because they try new things, and they know that there’s an exception to every rule. Vera Wang, once known as a professional figure skater, moved into fashion with no formal experience. She spent 17 years working as an editor for Vogue, and when she was denied the editor-in-chief position she left the company. For the next two years Vera worked as a design director for Ralph Lauren, but after struggling to find the right dress for her upcoming wedding, she left the company to open “Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd.” The rest is history.
- Don’t stay stagnant if you are not growing
- Do understand that as long as you are not hurting anyone in the process of success, taking risks will help you rise above
11. Letting Go Of Perfection
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
To let go of your type-A personality, sometimes you have to just remind yourself that this will not be your last and only chance. Success is to follow your passion, and passion needs to be implemented into your lifestyle. If you think you will nail everything in one go, you might be fooling yourself.
The main ingredient to success is failure, so it’s no surprise that most successful people have the capacity to let go of perfection to take their first steps. They know that success is ongoing and learning never stops.
- Don’t think that perfection exists, it doesn’t
- Do know that you can make something perfect for you, for the moment, but like time, everything eventually evolves, including your idea of perfection.
12. Addressing Problems
“Telling people ‘no’ does not need to be an act of rejection. Learning to say no the right way can prove you’re an attentive teammate.” – Brian de Haaff, cofounder and CEO of Aha! Labs Inc.
When you address a problem at the root, you are buying yourself time and energy. Whether that’s admitting a mistake before the mistake has even surfaced, keeping open communication with the people around you, or using a strong “No” to avoid unstable situations. None the less, being proactive in every situation will be beneficial to you.
Before anything gets out of hand, successful people like to source the root of their problem as soon as possible. This helps them bypass hours, days, or even weeks of troubleshooting a situation.
- Don’t bush problems under the rug, that’s where problems go to manifest and marinate until they become unmanageable.
- Do be aware of high-risk potential problems (like knowing the fire doors on a airplane), keep a close eye without obsessing.
13. Being A Leader
“If you are honest, truthful, and transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, you have no grounds for fear, suspicion or jealousy.” – Dalai Lama
To be a leader, you mentor the people around you instead of having expectations of them. Success is teaching, rather than barking demands and reminding people why you are the one barking.Advertising
Most successful people are successful because they lead and encourage, rather than bully others around with their “superior” status.
- Don’t gloat, people wont respect that quality
- Do your part, get in the action, get messy, and have fun with the people around you, you’re a team player
14. Working Hard
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’” – Audrey Hepburn
“I will not waste time on second thoughts. My life will not be an apology. It will be a statement.” ― Andy Andrews
To make success out of the impossible you have to believe that you can make something out of anything. You have to always go that extra mile, and no matter how crazy of an idea you may have, just go for it. It might just be the next best thing.
At 36 years old, Julia Child, had moved to Paris, France with no experience in great food. It didn’t take long for her interest in French cuisine to spike, steering her in the direction famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. By the age of 50 she had published the book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, and went on to have her own TV show. Successful people don’t always know what they are going to be successful at, but with healthy lifestyle habits anyone can find success in new or old passions.
- Don’t discourage your ideas because it hasn’t been done before
- Do see opportunity in the untouched field
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
“Failure is a prerequisite for great success. If you want to succeed faster, double your rate of failure.” – Brian Tracy
The goal is to not let any hiccup or roadblock discourage your passion to dream big. Turn that dream into reality and never give up on yourself.
Successful people can’t be stopped once they start. They might not always know what they are trying to achieve in the moments, but all of their failed attempts usually lead to a form of greatness.
- Don’t see failure as a dead-end but as an opportunity to grow
- Do learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others
“For the most part, “naturals” are myths. People who are especially good at something may have some innate inclination, or some particular talent, but they have also spent about ten thousand hours practicing or doing that thing.” ― Meg Jay
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
Featured photo credit: Man Looking At Sun Whilst Hiking At Red Rock Man/Ed Gregory via stokpic.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|