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Published on March 4, 2020

13 Essential Personal Qualities for a Successful Life

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?

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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

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