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These 10 Questions Can Foretell If You’ll Be Successful In Life

These 10 Questions Can Foretell If You’ll Be Successful In Life

Success isn’t limited to just how far you’ve climbed up the corporate ladder, but other aspects of your life, too, such as instilling a healthy balance between work and family, pursuing and achieving various goals and dreams, and simply embracing who you are. However, there are scientifically proven signs that will indicate whether or not you will truly be successful in life, in whatever way you choose to define success. Here are 10 questions that predict whether you’ll spread your wings and soar toward your goals and success.

1. Are You Open And Mentally Prepared To Grow?

People, who are opposed to the idea that people’s character, intelligence and creativity can change, tend to have slower development in their personal growth, because they want to avoid failure instead of working on those three areas of their lives. But those people with a “growth mindset” see failure as a learning point from which to leap from as they bound onward and upward toward success. They embrace challenges, survive setbacks, embrace and improve based off of criticism, and will attain their goals. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck researched how people view their personality’s influence on their happiness and success and found that those positive and open individuals believe their true potential is limitless and so are more willing to work harder and be more dedicated.

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2. Are You Private About Your Goals?

Surprisingly, psychologists say that telling someone about your personal goal makes it less likely to materialize. Entrepreneur Derek Sivers, who spoke in a TED Talk Keep Your Goals To Yourself said that to meet a goal, a person must take steps, put in the hard work and not stop until he or she is satisfied. But once you tell someone about your goal and they recognize your mission, that’s called “social reality” where the mind is swayed into feeling that you’ve already met your goal and you’re no longer motivated to proceed.

3. Are You Happy?

Positivity is a key ingredient to success and being happy helps with that upbeat outlook. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should be satisfied and not strive for greater goals and successes, but be happy with you and where you’re at each step of the way. Psychiatrist and author of Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions George Vaillant’s research revealed that love is truly the key to happiness. Even if an individual relishes success in work, rakes in a boatload of money and enjoys good healthy, that person will not be completely happy without love and positive relationships.

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4. Do You Have A High Level Of Self-Esteem?

It takes confidence to have the competence to grow and gain successes. Authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, who penned The Confidence Code, note that low self-confidence leads to inaction, but taking those first steps armed with an action plan will boost a person’s belief that he or she really can succeed.

5. Are You Exactly Who You Want To Be?

Exuding the qualities of successful leaders doesn’t mean you have to be fake, but instead means you’re working toward the new and improved you. In her Harvard Business Review article titled The Authenticity Paradox, professor Herminia Ibarra said that “play-acting” will help you gain confidence and others will feel the same way about you, too.

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6. Do You Have Extreme Will Power?

One method to increasing your will power is to select one thing to improve upon bit by bit every day and to not procrastinate things that take just a few minutes to tackle, such as loading the dishwasher after dinner or swapping out the laundry in the washer to the dryer. Author James Clear notes that elite performers in a wide variety of fields, from athletes to musicians to artists and even CEOs, are more consistent than others.

7. Are You A Social Butterfly?

People who are both smart and socially adept tend to earn more. According to a study conducted by Catherine Weinberger, an economics professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, having both cognitive ability and social skills are one key to success.

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8. Are You Ambitious?

One characteristic that repeatedly appears in highly successful people is grit. Psychologist Angela Duckworth has studying both kids and adults and found that those who have grit, or stamina, are hard workers with their minds set on a goal and will work harder than others to turn that goal into a reality. Jason Ma, author of Youth Leaders 3.0: Stories, Insights, and Tips for Next-Generation Achievers, notes that anyone can be ambitious with the right motivation.

9. Are You A Risk Taker?

Ambitious people dead set on achieving their goals also know they often must take some risk, which can be quite difficult for others. Ma noted that oftentimes a breakthrough in the path to success can be spurred out of a well-managed crisis. These people also don’t spend too much time honing their skill set, but rather executing a strategy utilizing those valuable skill sets.

10. Are You Steadfast?

Do not compete with others and let their negativity or successes drag you down. Ma notes that a person’s biggest competitor should be himself or herself. Do not measure yourself against others and do not them steer you off course.

How To Be Successful In A Nutshell

As you work on the “new you” with an eye on the prize of success, remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that explains how you cannot be the best you can be until your first tier needs are met. These are the basic needs, such as food, financial ability to pay your bills, and support and self-esteem that buoys your self-worth. Once you have a game plan mapped out for meeting those basic needs, then begin working on the next levels and charge ahead down that path to success. Be sure to surround yourself with other ambitious, driven, goal-setting people and support each other as you work toward attaining those goals.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems, why?

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

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The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

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The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

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It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

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For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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