Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 25, 2019

How to Jump on the Road To Success Today

How to Jump on the Road To Success Today

It was like being hit in the head with a sledge hammer as she turned the corner expecting a clear street dotted with tall trees and bird song, her face had a look of utter shock and horror, how could this have happened? How could she find herself here?

When you are someone that works hard to get what you want in life, how can it be that you find yourself on the wrong road? How can you tell you are on the wrong road and what can you do about it?

The person above was a recent client, although to be fair it could be anyone of thousands who I’ve helped in one way or another who suddenly as they divulge their inner most thoughts, feelings and desires realises with acute horror that this is the wrong road.

That realization that they had been working incredibly hard and it is going to get them no nearer their goals and ambitions. The person above had come to me to look at how they could work their way up their career ladder while growing their own business.

And the reason for the smack in the head the opposite of a Eureka moment was because they’d realized they’d spent the last 2 years working tirelessly, long days, with determination and passion on a goal that they didn’t really want.

Often you find that people are working in a direction thinking it will lead them to what they want when in actual fact they are getting no closer to the things that really matter like happiness, health, fun and time.

Let’s look at how you can identify the wrong road, what you can do to get off of it and how you can get yourself working in the direction you really want so you can have a life that makes you feel genuinely happy, successful and full of life.

So what are the signs that you are on the wrong road?

  • Your bank balance looks healthy and yet it fills you with no joy.
  • Your schedule is booked with new business and yet you dread the thought of every meeting and every minute of work.
  • You get home at the end of the day dispirited and wishing you were on holiday.
  • You can’t get the idea out of your head that other people have better lives.
  • You lean heavily on the wrong things in life – box sets, alcohol, gym fixes, chocolate or spending sprees to feel good.
  • You procrastinate even when deadlines loom and don’t feel a lot of guilt if you miss deadlines or make mistakes.
  • Your face smiles and says “I’m fine” when people ask you how you feel and yet your heart and mind can’t register your smile or any satisfaction in the conversation.

These (and many more) are all signs that life is not working for you, that you don’t feel like you are on the road to success; rather the road to purgatory, endlessly destined to feel negative emotions and like you need a good holiday far away from here.

So, how to jump on the road to success?

I want to take you on a metaphorical journey, share with you some ideas I know work (because they’ve helped so many of my clients) and some routes to success from my clients about the kind of results you too could get if you are ready to jump on the road to success today.

Advertising

1. Plan Your Journey

    Sometimes we can be too close to the problem to create solutions.

    Have you ever noticed you are a genius at fixing other people’s life dilemmas and yet you lay awake thinking “What the hell do I do now?” or “How do I get out of this? Or “How do I get where I want to go?”

    A good idea can be to pull away from what you are looking to achieve and think in a more metaphorical way. When we stay too close to our problems and in our own heads, it can be hard to think clearly. That is often because our minds get bogged down with the negative emotions that our mind is happy to play out like any series of Friends that is on a loop somewhere in the world.

    Our brains love to finish things for us; find yourself thinking 1 + 1? It’s hard not to conclude “2”. Therefore when you want to find a new road to success first of all stop travelling down this one for a moment to assess where you are and where you thought you were aiming to go.

    You wouldn’t get in the car and drive from Alaska to Argentina without some preparation, would you? (My friend is about to do this very journey on a motorbike and the planning has taken nearly a year!)

    Consider your own journey and can you say you put in the effort to appreciate:

    • Where are you going?
    • Are you prepared?
    • Have you planned your route?

    Think about a long journey and the things you would load up into your car. Food, water, good music, a phone, GPS, or map? What else would you take with you?

    A journey planned is far more likely to reach its destination. Don’t think of your own ambitions or goals in life (remember we can be too close to our problems to work out the best course of action) imagine a road trip and the items you would deem essential, now add what you would feel would make the journey more enjoyable?

    Now bring yourself back to the issues that you feel are in your way, did you really plan for this trip properly? What do you need to add or do to help you get where you want to go?

    2. Choose the Right Transport

    Advertising

      Would you jump on the highway on a 3 year olds tricycle? No? Why not?

      It will move you forward, it has wheels, what’s the issue? Obvious right, it clearly is the wrong tool for the job. It would be dangerous, you could physically get squashed and it could take you an awful long time!

      A perfect example is the client who was looking to take on a big challenge and they’d made the mistake of treating their friends and family like their mentor or coach. A real mentor or coach is only on your agenda, that is tough for a family member or friend to do without a lot of training. The minute this client realized that these people had an vested interest and didn’t want this person to get hurt, they could see they needed a new coach.

      One that would listen, challenge and enable them to go for what they really wanted. Tools for the journey come in many guises, metaphorical and physical, would you say you are using the right ones?

      3. Don’t Follow Everyone Else

        If you get lost, you might find you can see everyone else taking the turning up ahead and think to yourself “that must be the best way to go.” And before you know it, you are on a country lane in the middle of nowhere!

        If you have planned what you want, you then need to stick to it. Just because other people are going in different directions that doesn’t mean it is right for you. It is so important to know who you are.

        I think one of the most powerful things I do with clients is enable them to appreciate the science of being who they are, knowing what matters to them, what makes them excited, passionate, angry, determined. If you don’t know your own values, desires and passions in life, it can be all too easy to find yourself heading down someone else’s definition of success.

        Another sign that you are following other people’s roads to success is that you are easily convinced to try something new. Trying new things is good for you and your success, however they are detrimental to your success if you can’t honestly justify that they fit into your own agenda and life plans.

        4. Stay in the Same Lane

          Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam and found yourself switching from one lane to the other, only to discover that the new lane seems to be the slow lane and the one you were in is now faster?

          Advertising

          Infuriating isn’t it?

          A study by The University of Toronto researchers Dr Donald Redelmeier and Dr Robert Tibshirani found that cars that constantly switch lanes actually spend more time being passed by other vehicles than they would overtaking them. And probably find themselves a lot more stressed by the journey too.

          Sometimes you have to accept that the route to success is going to have a slow day and stick with it. On those days it is worth checking you are doing the best you can and are on the right track.

          Are you working in the best possible way? Could it be more beneficial to slow down and take the time to research ideas or further your knowledge (something you can always do in the car on a long journey with a podcast) so that your patience is rewarded with a broader knowledge to achieve your success.

          Don’t be tempted to divert from where you want to go, a slow day is still getting you nearer your success.

          Remember sticking to your own path that is right for you will not always feel easy. Sometimes it is the people that dared to think differently and act differently that change the world. Your own path is far more likely to help you be one of the disrupters, innovators, and thought leaders.

          A slower day can also be a great opportunity to ask yourself these questions:

          • What can I visualize coming up ahead?
          • What obstacles may I find in the future?
          • What plans do I have to deal with those obstacles?
          • What have I just been through that I know has helped me to get to this stage?
          • What have I journeyed though that I can replicate in the future?

          Understanding the science of being you, what works, how you naturally deal with obstacles can be massively empowering and motivating.

          5. Swap Lanes

            “Whoa Mandie, you just told us to stay in the same lane. Now you are telling us to swap, make up your mind!” I hear you complain.

            Hear me out.

            Advertising

            I’ve seen clients belligerently carrying on with a plan of action and slogging their guts out on stupidly long hours and they look completely emotionally destroyed and like they will never get what they want. I remember one client who was stacked with new clients, business was booming and they were great at their job, but they hated every minute of it.

            It was really tough to admit that this was not what they wanted after all. They clung on for dear life to a perception of reality that didn’t exist and was causing a lot of stress and even the risk of burnout. By accepting how much they hated their job, they were able to change lanes.

            The assumption had been that they’d “been lucky” and couldn’t replicate that level of success again, that their partner would be frustrated and annoyed with them; breaking down the barriers to honesty and enabling them to see what they really wanted and needed to have the guts to do literally changed their whole life.

            They even discovered the constant stomach troubles that plagued them disappeared too. That was a bonus they’d not expected! It takes guts to change lane and realise you were going the wrong way, don’t be hard on yourself and go it alone, who will you lean on to ensure you know you are doing the right thing and can help you to achieve it?

            6. Know That Floods Will Be Ahead

              Whether you are facing a road block, a diversion, blizzards or storms. On the journey to success, no one gets a clear ride all the time.

              I know someone that lost their premises and they were devastated. They had put so much time, effort, money and life into their big ambition only to lose the premises that would bring it all beautifully to life.

              As we worked together, you could see that that was so huge to them they could easily have given up and be knocked into a path of action that would never make them happy. Here’s what we did to help them keep going (and for the record they are now in far more awesome premises and one of the leading distributors for their company in the country!)

              1. Is this really what you want?
              2. What have you learned from this situation?
              3. What could you do? (Make this a massive long list of options, don’t narrow down to time restrictions, financial consideration, health implications or even skill set. At this stage, write every possible idea down for your brain to process and play with.)
              4. What do I know I can do to move forward?
              5. Who do I need to rely on?
              6. Who is my positivity and results vampire? (You know the person that says things like “I told you it wouldn’t work” and “it’s probably for the best” and “Maybe it just was never to be.” Keep negativity out of your life, it won’t help you.
              7. What is my plan of action?
              8. How will I know it is working?
              9. What time scale am I working to?

              Pick Your Road and Go for It

              I hope our metaphorical journey has helped you to visualize what you wish to achieve and given you some easy to action tools to make it happen. It does take confidence to go for it and find your true road to success; however, don’t turn out like the person that it took 7 years to come and see me.

              They’d considered it on numerous occasions and they’d always found a reason to keep plodding on hoping things would miraculously improve, it cost them their home, their marriage and their health before they really felt the pain and decided to re-write their future.

              Remember that no matter what road you wish to take in life, it is yours for the choosing. And if you don’t choose one, life has a way of throwing you on a road and you never know where you may end up!

              More About Achieving Success

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              More by this author

              Mandie Holgate

              Coach, International BEST Selling Author, Speaker & Blogger helping thousands around the world.

              9 Most Essential Leadership Attributes of a Great Leader What Is Self Efficacy and How to Improve Yours How to Make a Positive Change for a Fulfilling Life 13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride How to Access Your Personal Power to Create Success

              Trending in Mental Strength

              1 5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude 2 How a Gratitude Journal Can Drastically Change Your Life 3 How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 4 10 Ways to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough 5 What Am I Doing with My Life? Find Your Answer Here

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on June 4, 2020

              5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude

              5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude

              Cultivating a positive mental attitude starts with a realizationa realization that you’re not the only one who has struggled, who has survived, and who has started over again.

              You are not alone, and there is a way through the darkness. There is simple wisdom that you can rely on for help.

              Find support, but also learn self-care in how you treat yourself, which is what positivity is all about. That self-talk, that perception, and that attitude you choose change you and change those around you.

              In the New Stanford Study: A Positive Attitude Literally Makes Your Brain Better by Jessica Stillman, Stanford researchers studied how the brain was impacted in achievement and learning when one felt or was positive about a subject. The result? Outcomes were much more favorable for that student.[1]

              We do well in areas we are positive about. But what if we can choose to be positive about, well, anything? That would change everything.

              Positivity is not about just being happy, which is often the misconception. In fact, acknowledging a range of emotions is healthy.

              Positivity is persistence while using positive thinking strategies. It is sitting with your feelings; it is accepting what is; it is holding onto what makes you happy; it is purpose found in pain.

              And the reasoning behind choosing to be positiveyou get what you give. You receive what you believe.

              Here are 5 steps to cultivate a positive mental attitude. In part, they detail why it’s important to be positive because understanding assists in the pursuit as much as the adoption of the mindset.

              1. Know That You Can Change Your Attitude

              There’s a Maya Angelou quote that goes:

              “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

              When you choose positivity as your attitude, you select an attitude far more destined for resilient behavior than the alternative.

              When you have a negative attitude, your brain gives itself permission to develop negative thinking patterns and in turn, difficult and dark emotions. You spend all your days ruminating or worrying about the same thing over and over again, thinking that will solve it. Doing this will cause you to miss the answers rather than make the most out of the moments in front of you.

              In actuality, the first thing you need to do is calm yourself. It feels counterintuitive, but that means releasing your troubled mentality. When you release what is bothering you, you choose a safer attitude.

              One that may help you accept your emotions is to accept what is happening and accept that you don’t have all the answers. You’ll become less afraid of that fact.

              Attitude is everything. It’s how we heal ourselves. It’s how we stay positive. It’s how we secure things. It’s how we overcome.

              Advertising

              Without a positive attitude, we cannot persevere. Perseverance is the point of positivity.

              A positive attitude is how we fuel willpower, and willpower is how we fuel positivity. It goes in a circle, and they are interchangeable.

              Positivity denotes willpower. You can be standing in a storm and feel completely calm when you use positivity. You stay grounded. You stand firm. You do not fall over. And you know what? Even if you do, you get back up again.

              There is a Japanese proverb, “Nana korobi ya oki”, which means fall seven times, get up eight. This means you do not stop; you keep going. You make it through the hard times to find the good.

              A positive mental attitude is about understanding you have power over your problems. Once you understand that, you can change your attitude. You have to choose positive thinking first to reap its benefits.

              Once you’ve chosen to be positive, you can do anything.

              2. Find Your Unique Meaning in Life

              When you have lost it all, a positive mental attitude can help you regain it or regain strength. It’s the best way to live. It’s the best way to learn from life and love.

              When you are positive, you have a power that circumstance nor others cannot take from you.

              Recognizing the power you have to carry on, to make the best of things, to keep going when everything inside you wants to quit is worth everything.

              You can’t always have it all, but you can always have a positive attitude. This helps you stand outhelps you to shine. It’s enough to save yourself (and others, potentially) with. That power keeps you grounded and safe.

              For example, say you lost someone to a disease. Instead of just thinking about the loss and seeing it as the end, a positive person may decide to contribute to a cause dedicated to that disease. In doing so, the positive person becomes a beacon of hope. They become a voice for something, which in turn gives them power over their hardship.

              This is how people keep going: meaning. Meaning creates power over our emotionsover our loss so that they do not define us.

              According to the Mayo Clinic, positivity affects one’s stress levels and overall health.[2] It is that powerful. When you are positive about a situation, you are less stressed and calmer and can reason better to solve the problem in front of you.

              Cultivating this power is about realizing that a sense of meaning can be derived from all circumstances, even senseless tragedies. People often contribute to something greater than themselves when they are searching for meaning, for purpose, for positivity, for power.

              You don’t always have to have a reason for why something happens, but you can use whatever happens for a greater cause. It’s subjectivechanging from person to person. That’s why no matter how much you want to derive meaning from an event, there are no outright answers about how to do that.

              So, what do you do? Meditate. Listen.

              Advertising

              “Whatever purifies you is the right path, I will not try to define it. Let go of your mind then be mindful. Close your ears and listen.”

              -Rumi

              3. Be Absolutely Present

              In life, you have control over your ability to be present at the moment.

              Positivity is telling yourself that this moment is what matters. You can’t regret the past or see the future. The only way to be positive is to be here.

              What do you have right in front of you? Suddenly, your life shifts to gratitude.

              Gratitude helps us let go of what we do not need. Listing what makes us happy is one way to stay present.

              What do you have right now that you can use? You have the tools to be positive. Some techniques to getting there are through meditations or mantras.

              For example, “Nothing bad is happening right now” is an easy one to incorporate. Your past traumas can’t trip you when you ground yourself in the present, and your ability to reason further develops to the point that even if you can’t see the future, you know it will play out like thiswith you empowered and at the moment, using all your wisdom and tools and positivity to persevere. That’s all you need.

              Focus on the moment. In a blog about Mindfulness, Courtney Ackerman writes that one such exercise is to live in the moment to reduce worrying.[3]

              Think about the past and future in small, manageable doses. But focus mostly on the presentwhat is happening right here and now. This will reduce worrying, stress, and other negative emotions significantly.

              This will allow you to be positive.

              4. Practice Self-Love

              Self-talk is the core of self-lovethe core of what positivity is all about. Positive self-talk leads to self-love. And when our own cup is empty, we can pour into another’s. We have to help ourselves first before we can help others.

              What we say to ourselves is how we practice positivity or put it into action.

              For example, there’s a children’s book called The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper where the train thinks, “I think I can, I think I can” the whole way through its travels. The result? It could because it told itself that it can.

              Such a simple concept for a complex world. And yet, it works.

              This is also how self-love works. What you tell yourself is powerful and makes its mark.

              Advertising

              Here are examples of things you could tell yourself to practice positivity:

              • I am enough.
              • I am worthwhile.
              • I can do this; I just have to hold on.
              • I will make it through this.
              • I am powerful.
              • I am unstoppable.

              Here’re more examples for you: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life. Add to this list with your own!

              When you write these positive mantras, you start to feel them. If you write “I am positive about this situation” enough times, you will start to feel that positivity seep in.

              Loving yourself is not going to be easy and cannot be done overnight. There will be a mess of feelings, regrets, negative self-talk, and more that you will have to carefully tiptoe through to hold your own heart.

              Your heart needs love, and often, we deny what it needs in pursuit of purposeless pleasures, such as external rewards rather than internal motivations for a life well-lived.

              We live for what others think of us, say about us, and sometimes, losing it all or going through hardship can teach us what we really need: ourselves.

              Loving yourself needs to come from an authentic place, not a “fake it til you make it” mentality. It needs to be real. It needs to include those flaws and all. That’s all you can do to become positive about yourself.

              You have to start within and do the work necessary to heal and be healthy. Try these 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself.

              5. Avoid Toxic Positivity (Unhealthy Positivity)

              Avoid the white-knuckling type of positivity where you don’t acknowledge your struggles or pain (as they also serve you). You don’t just want to tell yourself to move on because that equates to repression.

              Emotions are part of positivity. You want to sit with your feelings. You want to acknowledge them, give them a voice. Instead of telling yourself to move on, you let your emotions lead to a breakthrough that helps you cope with the changes in life.

              The greatest misconception made about being positive is assuming one does not have to feel in order to change. Throwing away hurt, anger, grief, sadness, and all those emotions we associate with being “negative” only thwart our growth and power.

              Positivity is USING these things to better yourself or the world around you because you’re not going to give in to them. They do not become you or your identity.

              You don’t have to be the white-knuckling soldier you’ve always been. You say your emotions, then follow up with some use or outlet for them. That makes your positivity profound.

              Positivity is not about wearing a mask; it is the opposite of a mask. It is freedom from negative thinking strategies such as jumping to conclusions, black or white thinking, worst-case scenario assumptions, and more. It’s acknowledging that there may be more strength or ability in you than previously assumed. And it’s worth it to find out.

              Toxic positivity may suggest you simply put a smile on and act fine. That’s not real positivity.

              Healthy positivity is about showing up when you’re tired; loving when you are feeling loss; healing when you want to cling to your hurt. It’s the realization that you are worth it, not worth writing off. And you care about the outcome, so you stay to sort it out.

              Advertising

              You don’t abandon or jump ship. You hold on. That’s healthy positivity.

              So that one day you may say to others, “I see you. I feel you. I understand you,” because you have been where they are and got through it. It’s acknowledging the dark as much as the light.

              It’s living so others may live; it’s all you need. It’s not an exact formula everyone can replicate, and no one can copy you either.

              Your story is important. You are meant to be here. You are meant to do well. It will be those thoughts that get you to the finish linethriving.

              Final Thoughts

              In every moment, you’re not going to want to be positive. There will be times when you want to throw in the towel. But even then, choosing your attitude, recognizing the power of positivity, being absolutely present, practicing self-love, and avoiding toxic or unhealthy positivity will better your days and assist through your trials.

              Being positive isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to see what is going to happen next. Just around the corner may be the change you need, but you’ll never know if you don’t hold on to find out.

              Positivity is about being curious enough to stay for the outcome because you simply believe, hold onto, and trust in yourself and some goodness in this world. That’s enough to keep one going, and enough to help them go from surviving to thriving which is where you want to be.

              Everyone has low moments. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You can feel negative emotions though without shaming yourself by practicing healthy positivity. These steps are how to cultivate a positive mental attitude.

              That way, you don’t live with regret. You live in the moment. You make the decision.

              You can start at any time. Positivity can be like a switch of perception. Once you uplift yourself, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. And soon, you’ll be onto uplifting others which helps even more.

              Positivity is contagious. It spreads like sunlight over the darkness. You can be the source of that sunlight.

              All you have to do is simple: believe you can.

              Good luck!

              More About Having a Positive Mental Attitude

              Featured photo credit: Court Prather via unsplash.com

              Reference

              Read Next