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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

13 Essential Personal Qualities for a Successful Life

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13 Essential Personal Qualities for a Successful Life

There are a few personal qualities and traits we can all strive to embody to bring more success into our lives. We have to slowly build these traits over time, like a slow-growing, beautiful flower.

These successful traits and personal qualities truly are shared by people from all areas of life. They aren’t something you just stumble onto, and they don’t just happen by chance or luck. They come from small habitual changes we make throughout our lives, one step and one day at a time.

The key lesson here is this: If you live an average lifestyle, don’t be surprised when you only get average results. If you want something more, you need to get out there and earn it! Striving to step out your door as your best self every single day is a great way to point yourself in the right direction. The better you perform every day, the more success will find its way back to you.

Here are some of the personal qualities, traits, and attributes that cultivate success in our daily lives.

1. Resilience

All of us, at some point in our lives, are going to be knocked down. Maybe you saw it coming, maybe you didn’t, but what’s important is that you develop the ability to get back up.

Resilience will help you keep going through difficult times and help you bounce back when people try to push you down.

When we lack resiliency, we run from our problems, avoid admitting mistakes, and shy away from growth. This robs us of chances to develop into someone truly amazing.

2. Drive

You need to be willing to work hard to get to the top of any ladder. That goes without question.

You need that drive to remain disciplined when the going gets tough. You need to understand your “why.” Why are you striving to accomplish this goal? What are you going to gain from it?

To help you understand your “why,” join the free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation. In this intensive session, you will learn how to dig deep into your inner drive and build yourself a sustainable motivation engine. Sign up for the free class here.

The clearer you can be on why you are doing something, the more driven you will remain through the difficult and challenging times that you’ll inevitably face on your journey.

3. Self-reliability

You can depend on yourself. How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to get something done on a particular day, or in a week, or in a month, only to either forget about it or push it off until a later date. Have the strength to shoulder these responsibilities and then hold yourself accountable.

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You need to be able to remain accountable when it comes to your goals and values. Understanding where your strengths and weaknesses are and acting accordingly is a great way to start living a successful life.

4. Patience

This is probably one of the most difficult of the personal qualities on this list to develop. Very little in life happens overnight.

We use the term “overnight success” to describe the people who become successful almost instantaneously. However, we often don’t see that what looks like an overnight success to us was likely years or even decades in the making for the individual.

To achieve true success and happiness in your life, you need to cultivate patience. Only through patience will you gain the clarity required to overcome the problems that you face in life.[1]

Without patience, you’ll likely succumb to the shiny-object syndrome, where you chase around the next big thing continuously but never stick with anything long enough to reach your goals.

5. Courage

Far too often I see people fail to reach their potential because they’re afraid. They aren’t afraid of the growth, but they’re afraid of taking the risk that they might fail at something, especially when it’s in public, at a work place, or on social media.

This fear prevents them from truly committing to and achieving their goals.

When you find yourself fearing failure, remember this phrase:

“Fail forward!”

The most successful people in the world have continuously said that failing, and learning from those failures, is key to success.

Stop fearing what could go wrong and begin focusing on what could go right.

6. Commitment

“Commitment is key.”

If you’ve never heard this phrase, commit it to memory.

When you commit to your goals, there is another level of determination that your mind develops, and reaching goals becomes that much easier.

If you aren’t committed, chances are you’ll lose focus. Be realistic, but find that balance so that you can commit to the goals you feel you can attain over time through true dedication and commitment.

7. Willpower

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

This is the ability to see things through to the end, a willingness to find solutions and work through the problems and challenges you face along the way. If you can’t work through your problems, it’s likely that you won’t get very far very fast.

The most successful people in the world are often the people who are also the best problem-solvers. These are the people who can work through the challenges that impede their efforts and progress. These people overcome hardships instead of just quitting and moving on.[2]

8. Passion

You need that fire burning inside of you that continually pushes you toward your goals. This is one of the most important personal qualities.

Passion motivates you to take on that next challenge because you know what’s on the other side. Success so often follows passion that it is almost an essential part of the equation.

Sometimes, passion isn’t always easy to come by. You have to try a few different things before you find something that really gets you going.

However, when you’ve found it, you’ll know. You’ll know because you’ll be excited each and every day to deal with the problems and challenges that face you as a result of that passion. When you feel passion for something, it will make you want to improve and become a better person each and every day.

9. Connection

This trait is very underrated in our modern world. People lack true connections. We hop online or onto social media and talk to people through our phones and hope that’s enough.[3]

However, humans are social beings by nature. Everyone should take the time to find people with similar goals and values. When you find these people who have similar goals and values, you can support each other through your individual struggles and invest in the relationships.

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10. Integrity

Integrity is integral to any life of true purpose, meaning, and success. If you don’t have your integrity, living an honest, successful life may be difficult.

Practice this attribute daily. The best way to cultivate integrity in your life is by being honest, open, and transparent in everything that you do.

Through actions like these, we define our true character, and that character defines who we are and who we eventually develop into.

11. Optimism

Optimism, the “glass half full” mentality, is incredibly important. If you are optimistic about your ability to take on challenges and achieve success, you’ll be more likely to positively approach difficult situations. This will help you keep an open mind and find effective solutions.

If you approach a problem with a closed mind, finding solutions will likely take longer and involve less creativity. If you’ve got a problem and try to force a solution onto that situation rigidly, you will likely struggle. Remain open and optimistic.

Be careful, though, because optimism can be taken too far. If you have blind faith in your abilities or someone else’s, you may end up putting yourself in a difficult situation. Be optimistic, but sprinkle in a little bit of realism as well.

12. Self-confidence

You need to have faith in your abilities. You need to believe that you have what it takes to achieve your goals. Be realistic about how you are, and have confidence that you’re going to use your unique personal qualities to find success.

Creating a support system around you will also help with your self-confidence. When you stumble, you will have the right people around you to help you push through and remind you who you are.

Overall, you need to trust yourself. It truly is that simple. To be successful, you first need to believe you have what it takes to get there. If you don’t, you may not take actions to move forward or invest yourself fully.

However, if you don’t have this type of self-confidence at this moment, don’t worry. Remember, we don’t all have all of these qualities naturally. The goal is to pick some personal qualities to cultivate over time. You can gain this confidence if you work at it.

13. Communication

Communication is an essential trait that any successful person should have in their arsenal.

If you can’t communicate with people, chances are that you’ll struggle to relate to them. This will make it more difficult to solve problems when they do arise between you and someone else.

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If you can’t communicate, you may also struggle to establish and maintain true connections with the other important people in your life.

Communication isn’t just about hearing what someone is saying; it’s also about hearing what they aren’t saying and responding appropriately.

When the proper methods of communication are established between two people, respect and trust follow nearly 100% of the time. This is why communication is so important as it allows you to understand someone else at a deeper level and form a true connection.

Learn more about effective communication: How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Final Thoughts

All of the above personal qualities can help you develop success in life.

If you don’t have some of these right now, don’t worry. While some will come more naturally than others, each of these personal qualities can be developed through mindful practice.

Remember, nobody ever plans to be average. Average happens when you fail to strive for something more, when you fail to apply yourself and your skills to become something more.

So begin today.

Identify where your goals are and what steps, skills, and personal qualities will get you from where you are now to where you want to be.

Featured photo credit: Jude Beck via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Rationality and Competition: Longevity and Patience
[2] Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience: Willpower over the life span: decomposing self-regulation
[3] Diana Earl, The University of Queensland: The Healthy Relationships Series: An Untapped Potential for Human Connection

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Published on October 14, 2021

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

1. Don’t Hide It.

“Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.

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“Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

2. Implement the STOP Technique

In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

“STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.

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Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

“I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”

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Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

5. Celebrate Wins, Period

Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

“You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”

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“My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

7. Visualize Success

Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

Final Words of Advice

While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

Reference

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