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The DNA of Success: 4 Attributes We All Need

The DNA of Success: 4 Attributes We All Need

What do you need to be successful? Do you need a degree from a top school, some seed money to kick start your business, a big break, good connections? No one would dispute that these factors would give you a big boost; however, after 25 years of research on the topic of performing your best, I’d say your success ticket has to be punched with confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm.

In fact, hundreds of empirical studies strongly suggest the aforementioned attributes are the DNA of success. Without these attributes, you will be hard-pressed to achieve success, let alone leading a thriving life. Consider why.

Confidence is the degree to which you believe and feel your actions will achieve desirable results. Why would you try if you don’t believe you can influence the outcome? You wouldn’t. Confidence promotes feelings of control, until you feel you are in charge of your destiny.

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Optimism allows you to start out your day with positive expectations that good things will happen. Positive expectations motivate you to try harder and thus, you achieve more success, which in turn makes you more confident. Studies tell us that optimistic people enjoy better physical and mental health, as well as experiencing more positive relationships.

Tenacity allows you to stay focused. This is essential if you are going to achieve long-term goals. It is your tenacity that allows you to persist through adversity.

Enthusiasm energizes you and promotes positive feelings that allow you to approach life with zest and perform better under pressure.

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Taken together, these attributes help you do your best every day, in all aspects of your life. Here are some evidence based methods of how you can instill them in yourself.

Walk Like A Champ

Drill Sargents have been telling Marines to “stand at attention” for over a hundred years. You probably have fond memories of your mother telling you to “stand up straight.” Neither needed their recommendations validated by current neuroscience research attesting to the fact that when you stand up straight and expand your chest, your brain increases testosterone. This hormone makes you feel confident and often increases your ability to perform under pressure. Frequently remind yourself to walk like a champ, especially before you have to perform under pressure. Studies show that just a few minutes of “confident posturing” will stimulate feelings of confidence and lead to better perform

Positive Visuals

Confident people have a long history of visualizing themselves experiencing all types of success, even if the visuals are fantasy (winning a beauty patent, scoring a Super Bowl touchdown, or being a movie star). Positive visuals help you internalize feelings of confidence. You will be wise to frequently visualize yourself experiencing success.

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Optimistic Vocabulary

The words you use reflect your outlook on life. Start to build optimistic phrases into your daily vocabulary. For example, “It is going to be a wonderful day…it’s a beautiful day.” This might seem silly, but using an optimistic vocabulary will make you feel more optimistic.

Belief In A Just World

Individuals who accept the fact that while we all get bad breaks and the world is basically just, end up being more optimistic. Since they believe hard work pays off, they try harder and doing so (more often than not) brings positive results which fuels their tendency to be positive about their future.

Increase Your “Pathways”

Think of “pathways” as different avenues that take you to your goal. Create as many as you can. If one route is blocked, take another. Take some time to brainstorm different pathways that can help you move toward our goal. The more pathways you can create, the more hopeful you will become. The result is you become tenacious because you believe you will achieve success.

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LOL

You can give yourself a burst of enthusiasm simply by laughing out loud. Laughing stimulates endorphins and creates (in contrast to anxiety) positive physical arousal. Enthusiasm transforms into energy, making it easier for you to approach your tasks with a positive attitude, especially in pressure moments.

Use Your Happy Face

It’s hard to feel down and drained when you have a smile on your face. Get in the habit of keeping a smile on your face and you’ll feel more and more enthusiasm throughout your days. You will also find that your smiles are returned – even by a passing stranger on the street.

Conclusion

Together, these proven strategies will help blend confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm into your Coat of Arms. Wearing it everyday will help you not only become more successful, but also enjoy your life to its fullest.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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