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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

7 Essential Success Tips to Achieve What You Want in Life

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7 Essential Success Tips to Achieve What You Want in Life

Have you ever wondered what makes a person successful and why some achieve easier than others?

Over the years, I have followed numerous success tips to help me be and achieve the success that I craved. I thought I knew quite early what it took to be successful. But, the full realization came when I noticed that success is different for each of us. This is something that also changes as we grow and is about a lot more than just setting a goal.

As we become clear on our own definition of success, it changes how we view our lives. With this different insight, our goals can become more directive and our motivation and achievement levels increase.

The Business Dictionary says,[1]

“Success is the achievement of an action, completing an objective or reaching a goal.”

This is an interesting explanation, but it’s vague and it doesn’t really give you a true picture of what success is for you personally.

And if you move forward without this clarity, you could eventually achieve that objective or goal and feel anything but successful.

So, the first tip to becoming successful is to know what success means for you. When you have identified this, you will know what your objective or goal is and how to achieve it.

The second part to this is your mindset, because this also plays a key role. You have probably noticed that some people find it easier to reach their goals than you do. You are doing the same things, yet they achieve and you don’t. It can be frustrating and I get that. But frustration gets you nowhere and can in fact be the very thing that causes you to get in your own way. When you develop a success mindset, your thinking and emotions will support you. This means you will find it easier to achieve what you want.

Listed below you will find 7 secrets to developing a success mindset. Implementing these consistently will give you the greatest opportunity to achieve what you want in life.

1. Be Clear on Your Version of Success

Gaining clarity on this will affect your mindset positively. It is vital to being and feeling successful.

We all know on some level what success means to us. The thing is we normally know this on an unconscious level, and this can make it difficult to access our truth. This means we need to communicate with ourselves in a certain way to find those answers.

Find a quiet space and sit down with a journal and pen. Maybe even do some deep breathing or mediation to change your state.

When your mind feels still, ask yourself these questions and even write it down at the top of your page:

  • “What does success mean to me?”
  • “What does success look and feel like?”

And wait. Be patient and allow this to flow at it’s own pace.

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The answer may not come straight away and that is okay. Your own version of success is quite likely related to what is most important to you. It can be buried deep and this means it can take time to surface.

But once you have asked the question, you will eventually hear the response; sometimes when you least expect it.

2. Define an Irresistible Destination

This means “begin with the end in mind,” which is a quote by Stephen Covey — an incredibly successful educator, businessman, speaker and author of the best seller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

It’s essential for your success that you begin with the end in mind. Because when you can see your outcome, the steps to achieve it become clear.

You possibly know that already, but there is even more to this.

Writing beige goals is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make when identifying their outcome. What I mean by this is a goal that’s dry and uninteresting with no juice in it. Just a big black dot point on a white page, or spreadsheet.

What’s juicy about that?

When you define your destination, it must be irresistible; because when it is, you will feel absolutely drawn to it. Just like that first juicy mango of the season in your local market, you can smell it and have to taste it.

Your goal must be juicy and written as if you are experiencing the moment right now. See what you are achieving in your mind’s eye and create a clear picture.

Close your eyes and imagine what you will be seeing around you. Notice what you will hear and how it will feel to achieve it.

Step into the picture and experience it as if it’s happening right now.

Open your eyes and write down what you saw, heard and felt. Give a date you achieved it. Writing it in present tense is vital here.

We achieve what we want twice, first in our mind’s eye and secondly in our physical reality. As you read and visualize your goals regularly you will give yourself maximum opportunity to achieve them.

3. Maintain Alignment with Your Goals and Visions

You’ve possibly heard reference made to the importance of alignment. But like I did for a number of years, you’re not really sure what it means.

Alignment is key in achieving success and it’s about aligning your goals with what is important to you. This means your goals must run parallel with your values and your version of success.

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Your values are powerful core motivators and if you write goals out of alignment, then you can often get in your own way.

For instance, you may set a goal to grow your business and this means you will spend more time in your business than usual. Spending quality time with your family may be of utmost importance to you. But, working on this goal will mean you have less time with your family.

If you don’t bring this into alignment by adjusting the goal in some way, your energy will dilute from trying to do everything. Or you will miss your family and resent your business. In both of these instances, your low energy or resentment could cause you to miss your target.

Alignment is a crucial step that can’t be skipped. When you set your goals, spend some time exploring how they align with your values and what is important to you. And more importantly, notice where they don’t align.

Where you notice a misalignment, adjust your goal in some way. In the example above, this may mean adjusting the deadline. Or you could involve your family in the achievement of the goal, like a holiday away.

Take focused time to do an alignment check each time you set a goal. It is worth the time and energy invested for the positive outcomes achieved.

4. Massive Action Is Not Always the Most Effective Way for Success

Contrary to the popular belief that “massive action” brings success faster. I believe one of the key tips for success is our willingness to take aligned sustainable action instead.

Success is achieved by stepping out of your comfort zone, but not always by taking massive leaps. For some, this can feel overwhelming because of everything else they value in life.

So you either put it off or do it ineffectively.

For example, say you want to increase your client base by 10% and start networking. After your 6th networking event that fortnight you end up exhausted and annoyed, because you haven’t had time for anything else. Plus you haven’t found the extra clients you wanted. You’ve missed exercising and doing stuff with friends. Your energy became low after about the 4th event and this all affected how you showed up.

In this example, “massive” action didn’t work because your actions were not fully aligned with your values or even your goals.

You don’t have to do everything at once and achieve your goal at the same time. It’s the fastest way to burn out, which was the turning point in my own success journey. It’s unsustainable!

You will gain greater benefit by breaking your actions down into smaller chunks.

Identify which actions are most aligned with your goals and then prioritize them into smaller steps. This way, you can still align with your values and have time for what is important to you.

So in the example above, maybe identify which networking events you are most likely to find your ideal client and attend two to three each fortnight. As you take action in this way, it maintains your energy and allows you to show up effectively. And you may be pleasantly surprised to find that instead of slowing your achievement down, it actually speeds it up, while you do less.

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5. Reflect and Readjust Without Beating Yourself Up

Reflection is one of the most crucial success tips. Yet, it is one of the key components that is often forgotten in an effort to rush to the finishing line.

Two of the fundamental NLP principles of success are to have sensory awareness and behavioural flexibility.[2] This means for each action we take, we must maintain awareness of whether it worked. And then be prepared to change what we do as much as it takes to achieve the outcome we want. Reflection helps you do this well.

However, fear of failure or fear of missing out leads people to omit this all-important process. In rushing to the next thing, we can often miss that one essential tweak that can make the difference.

It’s crazy to keep going blindly full steam ahead without pausing for a progress check. After all, we wouldn’t even dream of taking a right turn without first looking in our rear view mirror. Just a quick look enables us to see if we need to make a speed adjustment or take the next turn instead.

It’s also important to be kind to yourself when you reflect. Beating yourself up does no good at all. In fact, it lowers your motivation and makes it difficult for you to work to your full potential. This is the space of blame and self judgment.It keeps you stuck, and unable to see the changes you could make.

Reflection needs to be done from a place of non-judgment, where you give yourself positive and constructive feedback at regular intervals. Depending on the activity that could be weekly, monthly or quarterly.

There is always something you have achieved; acknowledge yourself for that. Look for lessons and things you can change.

When you reflect in this way frequently, you can save massive amounts of time and achieve things faster. This crucial step will also assist you to retain an empowered mindset and stay motivated to achieve what you want.

6. Persistence and Determination Are Key Requirements

Your attitude is a key player in your success levels.

If you give up easily, then you will find it increasingly difficult to achieve the life you want. But developing a persistent can do attitude will give you a boost to eventually find your way through to the finishing line.

This isn’t about doing everything or persisting at something for too long that isn’t working. Persistence and determination means being like a dog with a bone. You keep chewing away at it, adjusting your chewing technique until your outcome is accomplished.

True success takes time and requires a certain type of attitude. If you see someone achieve success overnight, they are normally the exception to the rule. It takes learning and practice, and can sometimes take years.

Think about how a farmer reaps his crop. These amazing people live a life that is not for the faint hearted, yet they still keep going. It takes a whole year of seasons to enjoy the benefits of their hard work. If their crop is hit by a storm or natural disaster, they don’t give up. They do what it takes and eventually enjoy their harvest, even if it takes another year or two.

Be like a farmer, stay persistent and determined to do whatever it takes. If it doesn’t work, then find another way. There is always a way to achieve what you want.

As you practice this more, rebooting your determination daily, you will feel successful in yourself. And you will feel this empowerment even before you reach your target.

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7. Take Good Care of Your Mind and Body

What we do with our body and our mind has a dramatic impact on how successful we are.

Anthony Robbins says we must adopt a physiology and psychology of excellence, which is the fifth success principle of NLP. But what does that really mean?

Over the years, I have found out the hard way that our mind can impact our physical health. Even more so our day-to-day behavior.

The reverse is also true. Our body has an enormous effect on our emotional state, which also affects how we show up.

Both of these key elements can affect our results. If we feel low in energy or view an experience in a negative way, we will show up in a less than desired way.

For example, you attend a luncheon feeling tired because you haven’t been looking after yourself. No one speaks to you and you lose confidence because you feel like you don’t fit in. This will affect your facial expression and your posture. People may even avoid you because you possibly look unapproachable. Because of this, you don’t go again and lose the opportunity to meet new clients.

On the other hand, if you were feeling energized, you would find it easier to look at the positive side. You might realize those who feel out of place themselves, so you go and speak to them. And possibly even find a new client. By adjusting your psychology in the moment, you changed the outcome and your energy played a key role in this.

Because of this connection, it’s essential to care for your mind and body, and just as importantly your spirit. As you do this regularly, you will find it easier to see the positive side of all situations.

You can do this by creating a wellness routine; preferably in the morning before your day starts. Include a form of exercise you love. A healthy diet and drinking plenty of water also plays an important role. Meditation and any form of spiritual practice like a gratitude journal, yoga, TaiChi and QuiGong will care for your mind and spirit. Spending time in nature or walking outdoors is wonderful for uplifting your state and helping you feel calm.

As you continue to nurture your mind, body and spirit, you will notice that you handle everyday situations in a different way. Your performance will excel and you will experience more successful outcomes.

Bottom Line

There are numerous success tips and here, I have named 7 of the most impactful. It’s not about following every tip you find; it’s about which you choose and consistently implementing them.

As you get clear on your own definition of success, you will begin to know what is important to you. This will give you a solid foundation to develop your own mindset and achieve what you want in life.

More About Success

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Business Dictionary: Success
[2] NLPAcademy.co.uk: Getting clarity in the uncertainty of life

More by this author

Deb Johnstone

Deb is a professional mindset speaker and a transformational life, business and career coach. Specialising in NLP and dynamic mindset.

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Last Updated on November 24, 2021

How to Deal with Setbacks And Use Them for Future Success

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How to Deal with Setbacks And Use Them for Future Success

Life is crazy. Sometimes it is beautiful and amazing—you feel like you’ve got things figured out, you’re on top of the world, you’re exactly where you’re meant to be. But sometimes, life sucks. It’s hard, complicated, tragic, and awful, and you can’t imagine how you’re going to take one more step forward.

At various points in our lives, we are all met with setbacks, failures, and obstacles. Some are small, like a speedbump, just enough to slow us down. Some are huge, like a wall, and stop us entirely in our tracks. But while difficult, challenging, and often heartbreaking, all of them give us an opportunity—an opportunity to pause, restart, reflect, learn, grow, and reshape our lives.

My life has been full of setbacks and obstacles. I’ve lost loved ones, missed opportunities, and made huge mistakes at work. I’ve suffered from injuries, accidents, anxiety, and overwhelm. Some setbacks sent me crying in my room for weeks. Some landed me in therapy. Some just left me with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. But through them all, I’ve learned how to honor them, get through, and use them to prepare for future success.

While I often couldn’t see it at the time, I now know there have been no mistakes on my journey. Instead, each step has led me to the life I live today. Each scar made me stronger. Each failure helped me learn, and each setback had a strange way of setting me up for the next step in my life.

Whatever setback you might be facing and however big or small it may be, in this article, I’ll share simple, practical ways you can deal with whatever life throws your way so you can come back stronger, wiser, and more resilient.

Types of Setbacks

There are all types of setbacks you might face along your journey: personal, professional, financial, and environmental.

Personal setbacks might include injuries, illness, mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, relationship challenges including breakups, divorce, and fights with those you love. This also includes loss of all types: a partner, child or loved one, a job or home, a hope or dream.

Professional setbacks might include bombing a critical meeting, losing a big sale, working under a terrible boss, being overlooked for a promotion, or being laid off or fired.

Financial setbacks could include limited or not finding work, losing money, an investment gone wrong, or being underwater in your home.

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You might face environmental setbacks, including natural disasters like a fire or hurricane, or, like many are facing right now, a global setback due to the pandemic and all the impacts it is causing in many areas of our lives.

Often, one setback leads to another and causes a downstream effect, impacting every area of your life. However, it is possible to take a step back and help manage how things go.

3 Powerful Steps to Deal With Setbacks in Life

Here is a three-step process I created to help you deal with your setback, capitalize on the experience, and set yourself up for future success.

Step 1: Allow Yourself to Feel

When bad things happen, many people want to go straight to fixing it, looking at the upside, trying to work through it, or pushing through whatever pain they may be feeling. However, it’s critical to first give yourself permission to acknowledge and allow yourself to feel. Are you hurt? Angry? Frustrated? Embarrassed? That’s okay.

Often when we have a setback, we are told—or we tell ourselves—“everything happens for a reason,” “the sorrows make the joys so much sweeter,” “it could be worse,” or we immediately try to find the silver lining. This is what can be defined as “toxic positivity.” When you deny, minimize, or invalidate your feelings, not only is it unhelpful, but it can also be harmful.

Maybe a setback has left you feeling angry, frustrated, sad, hurt, overwhelmed, terrified, disappointed, worried, embarrassed, or all of the above. Whatever the feelings are, allow them to emerge. Because unless you feel it, you’re not going to move past it. If you don’t grieve or honor your feelings, they have a way of sneaking back up on you. There’s a saying:

“What the mind conceals, the body reveals.”

When we conceal, try to hide, push down, or ignore our emotions and feelings, they don’t simply disappear. They go deep within us, and they eat at us. So, that sudden heart attack, unexplained high blood pressure, or unexpected anxiety may not be so inexplicable after all. We physiologically need to acknowledge and feel our emotions.[1] When we do, it provides a release and prevents those feelings from eating away at us.

So, take the time to honor, acknowledge, and truly feel your feelings. Cry. Scream. Journal. Talk to a friend or work with a therapist or coach to acknowledge and understand your emotions. Identify what the feelings are telling you. Let them arise. They may persist, but they will eventually pass once they are heard and dealt with.

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Step 2: Pause and Reflect

Life setbacks allow you to pause and reflect on what you want from life. Life has a way of giving you whatever is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. Even if you can’t see it yet, this change is trying to teach you something. Here are some ways to step back and garner perspective.

Get Clear

You can use this setback to identify what you want or don’t want in this next stage or step of your life. Just had a bad breakup? Identify what you want and need in a life partner. Lost your job? What do you want in a job or career going forward? This is your chance to evaluate your priorities, identify what’s important to you, and define what you want from now on.

Learn the Lesson

Identify what you learned from the situation. Lessons in life have a way of being repeated until they are learned. For example, I had a client who was disappointed about how an entrepreneurial venture had turned out. He had a falling out with his co-founder and decided to move on from the business. He was down, frustrated, and trying to figure out what to do next.

As we reflected on this setback, I asked him to consider what he learned from the situation. Once asked, he revealed that he learned to make sure he was aligned with his business partners. He realized he wasn’t as great a manager as he thought he was and that he should have trusted his instincts on a few decisions made along the way. As he made a list of what he learned, he could move forward with knowledge and experience about how he could better set up his next venture. How can you do things differently next time?

Be Grateful

Now is also the time to be grateful for the setback—to be thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow and see things from a different perspective. I know it’s not easy, but challenge yourself.

Perhaps you lost your job. Did you like your job? Were you thriving? Did you feel like it was really where you wanted to be? I had a client that lost their job recently, and while devastating, it was a tremendous gift. They were miserable, burnt out, and hated their boss, but they would have never left that job on their own. Letting go allowed them to be free and move on to something better where they could thrive.

Often, setbacks provide an opportunity to reassess your life and what you are genuinely grateful for. I know many people who have had severe medical issues who step back and take stock of their lives and what’s important and eventually feel deep gratitude for all they have, even amidst the chaos. Why are you grateful for what happened? How can you find appreciation for your recent setback?

Step 3: Use It as a Step Forward

Once you’ve had a chance to process and reflect on your setback, it’s time to use it as a stepping stone for future success. Think of your life as a progression. Each setback, lesson, and failure are like stairs with each step taking you towards your future. When you face a setback, you can choose: will this setback take me down, or can this setback bring me closer to where I want to be? If you view your setback as a failure and get stuck in what went wrong, it will be. If you view it as a step up, you can move forward.

I also like using the metaphor of a backpack. We spend our lives filling our backpacks with tools, tricks, and strategies for any situation. When you have a setback, you learn and grow and add another tool to your backpack. You are now more skilled and equipped to handle whatever life throws your way. Each setback makes you better at life!

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Life doesn’t get any easier; you get stronger, wiser, and more capable.

Years ago, there was a story shared with new hires at IBM. According to the anecdote, a VP made a huge mistake that reportedly cost the company $10 million. The employee met with Tom Watson Jr., the head of the company, expecting to be fired, and presented his resignation letter. Instead, Mr. Watson replied, “You are certainly not leaving after we just gave you a $10 million education!” Regardless of whether this long-told story is true, the point is critical—leaders at IBM did not see failure as a problem if it was turned into a valuable learning experience.

Most entrepreneurs live this way. They know that failure takes them one step closer to their success. Salespeople are the same. They understand that each “no” gets them closer to the next “yes.” Thomas Edison was famously quoted as saying, “I learned 10,000 ways not to invent a lightbulb.” He saw every failure as an opportunity to learn.

Think about how to use your setback as a step forward. I have close friends, a couple who were just diagnosed with cancer at the same time. Are they scared? Of course. But they are looking at this as an opportunity. The minute they found out, they began to research ways to make healthier decisions from food to sleep to environmental choices. They are looking at this setback as an opportunity to change their lifestyles together. By looking ahead, they will boldly fight cancer and live longer, healthier, happier lives.

Think about the setback you are currently experiencing. What opportunities will this bring to your life? As you look at your setback, what options does this bring? How can this setback be a setup for what’s next? What changes does this force or allow?

Not sure? It can be helpful to look at the situation as a neutral observer. Imagine you’re a fly on the wall or you’re watching a movie of your life and setback. From this zoomed-out view, what do you notice? What insights or advice would you give yourself? What perspective does this new setback bring? How will this set you up for future success?

Pay It Forward

Once you’ve learned and grown from your setback and used it to set you up for success, then what? At some point, you’ll have the opportunity to pay it forward. Consider how you can use your experiences to help others who are going through the very same setback you once thought was impossible.

If you look at many successful business owners, mentors, TED talkers, motivational speakers, and entrepreneurs, most of them have one thing in common: they faced a major setback. They usually hit rock bottom, and they used their setbacks, failures, and painful experiences to help others.

Arianna Huffington got rejected by 36 publishers. Walt Disney was told he lacked creativity. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school (twice!). Oprah Winfrey faced a challenging childhood, was told she wasn’t suited for television, and was fired from her first co-anchor position. Eckhart Tolle was on the brink of suicide before he became one of the most prominent spiritual teachers in the world. And JK Rowling hit rock bottom before the Harry Potter series went on to become a smashing success. I could go on.

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Use Your Setback to Make a Difference

How can you use your setback to make a difference for others in a powerful way?

You don’t have to be an influencer, write a bestseller or stand on stages across the world. Maybe you’ve struggled with addiction and can support others in your local AA group. Perhaps you were challenged to make your business successful, and you can help other local entrepreneurs. Maybe you had a tough childhood, and you’d like to be a big brother or sister for those who could benefit from your help, wisdom, and support. Maybe it’s as simple as teaching your kids a different way of being.

Whatever challenges you’ve faced on your journey, you can use your experiences to make someone’s life better. Sure, you don’t have to do that now. But you can look to the future and dream up ways to spin the negative into something positive.

However big or small your ripples will be, these experiences are setting you up to help someone else. Who will that be?

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it. Life is full of setbacks, failures, obstacles, and challenges. Setbacks are not in the way of your life. They are a critical part of your life. They are redirecting you to where you truly should be. They are not throwing you off your path. Instead, they are reminding you which way the path lies.

Philosophically, I believe that life is working for us, not against us. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that my setbacks are opportunities for learning and growth. I believe there are no mistakes on our journey, even when it feels that way. But that doesn’t mean I don’t completely understand how it feels when a setback smacks you straight in the face. It can hurt, but it can also be the best gift.

Right now, this setback may feel like the end of the world. I promise you, it is not. Instead, it’s a chance for you to define your destiny. You get to choose what happens next. Will this setback take you down, or will this setback be the very thing that defines who you are? It’s completely up to you.

More Tips on How to Deal With Setbacks in Life

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Chng via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] verywellmind: 5 Reasons Emotions Are Important

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