Advertising

Last Updated on December 11, 2020

What It Means To Have A Successful Life And How To Have One

Advertising
What It Means To Have A Successful Life And How To Have One

Sometimes it only takes one event in life to get you to ask an important question: “What does it take to have a successful life?”

It seems like a simple question, but the more you dig into it the more complex it becomes. For example, success isn’t as simple as winning. It can mean one thing to one person and something else for another.

That being said, throughout history, those who have become successful have had specific themes in their lives. Sometimes they needed a mentor or an important figure in their lives. Others had a particular mindset.

With this in mind, let’s explore what it means to live a successful life and how you can obtain it.

What It Means to Be Successful

Before diving in further, let’s explore Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It’s a motivational theory in psychology that consists of five tiers.

The first four tiers are simple: physiological needs, safety, a place to belong, and esteem needs.

The last tier is where you want to focus right now: self-actualization.

Self-actualization is the idea that there is more to life and that we aspire to a purpose. Whatever this purpose is, we’ll be pursuing it to feel whole. When it comes to a successful life, it’s easy to say that self-actualization is merely satisfying four aspects of our lives.

Advertising

These are the four pillars that create our success:

  • Personal health
  • Strong relationships
  • Financial security
  • A passion for your work

1. Personal Health

Personal health is one of the pillars because, as we get older, things start to function not as they should or would normally. We begin to lose our strength as we pick up unhealthy habits.

Not only that, but the negative aspects of poor health impact many areas of our lives. Furthermore, if you want to help others (yourself included), you need to have strong mental and physical health.

That’s not to say you need to be incredibly buff, but rather physically capable to do what you want to do.

2. Strong Relationships

From romantic partners to friends and other connections, we all have social needs.[1] When it comes to romantic partners, it’s important that they complement you, your goals, and the life you want to live and how you want to live it. You want them to support you in your search for a successful life.

This mentality also applies to other connections. Strong relationships form when both people are getting something out of these relationships.

3. Financial Stability

Financial stability doesn’t mean the same as being rich. Having financial stability can mean being comfortable living with what you have right now or living within your own means.

The whole idea here is focusing on the things in your life you do have over what you don’t. This changes your perspective as you won’t be focused on accumulating items for the sake of it.

Advertising

Another way you can look at this is similar to retirement. Retirement is the idea of living with the money you have and still supporting the life you want without working as much.

4. Passion for Your Work

The final pillar is passion for your work. Being passionate about something is huge, but it can be difficult to pin down to specifics. When you start thinking about what your passion is, you will probably discover several topics or ideas that drive you.

Whatever you decide to go for is up to you, but you want to make sure that it allows financial stability in due time. Overall, your work should:

  • Get you out of bed in the morning.
  • Be something that makes you excited and gives you energy.
  • Be something that you know you’ll enjoy doing for many years to come.

How to Have a Successful Life

With the four above pillars in mind, you have an overarching view of what it means to have a successful life. And while all of these things are simple on the surface, these aspects aren’t always so simple to achieve.

Some of these things can take a few years or more to achieve, depending on where you are in life. However, there are some specific traits to help you along the way.

When you develop these particular traits, obtaining your successful life will become easier in many ways. We know this because these are habits and traits that many people have portrayed time and again to obtain a successful life.

1. Self Belief

The first is an obvious one, but it’s one that can be left behind when you face challenges. During those times it can be easy for us to give up and stop doing what we’re doing.

When we have self-belief, believing that we’ll have a successful life is powerful. After all, how we view ourselves is a big contributor to whether we will succeed or fail.

Advertising

2. Setting Goals

Another habit is the idea of setting goals. Everyone needs goals as these are treated as your compass and give you a direction to work in.

I would, however, encourage going beyond setting goals. Instead, try focusing on systems. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits[2] realized over time that the goals that he was setting weren’t the source of his success.

Instead, it was the systems that he put in place.[3]

For example, if you’re a musician, you’ll set a goal like learning a new piece once per week. To make that goal a reality, you’ll develop a system. You’ll practice daily for an hour or two and begin looking for feedback regularly.

Another example goal is improving your relationship with your spouse. A system for that is perhaps researching relationship tips and applying some of them within the relationship soon after.

Creating these systems can ensure that you achieve your goals so long as you develop that habit and stay consistent with it. As you can also tell, these systems can apply to various parts of our lives.

3. Time Management

Another valuable skill for a successful life is time management. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and can only do so much in it. Time is the most important resource in our entire lives and shouldn’t be squandered.

There are several ways to manage your time, of course. One of the tried and true methods to stick to is having a schedule or a system in place to give you tasks.

Advertising

Similar to a day job, there is a structure and things flow well because people go to work and immediately know what they need to be doing. This time management trick works the same way. If you know what needs to get done or what you want to work on, it’s easier to get into it as opposed to pondering what’s next.

Time management also entails knowing what is worth your time. This is a skill that is built up over time and comes with experience. It’s a valuable skill, and one of the ways to develop it is looking at the amount of work and effort that needs to go into a task versus the potential rewards you can get from it.

4. Money Management

The second most valuable resource is money. Whether you like it or not, money is often needed in order to live a successful life. Money is what we need to survive.

However, the key to it is knowing how much you need in order to live that life. It’s a similar idea to retirement, where you’re living the life you want without working as much.

To improve money management, you’ll want to learn financial lingo and create a budget to stick to. It’s not a matter of being conservative but being able to live within the means of your lifestyle.[4]

When you’re not lacking money, it’s easy to spend money without thought and enter financial arrangements where you don’t know what you’re getting into. So many people go into massive debt without considering financial alternatives or considering whether something is worth investing in.

To avoid these situations, put together budgets and take note of your spending habits and other behaviors.

The Bottom Line

Success isn’t defined entirely by what you read in a book. Every person has their own definition and views of success. I believe that we can agree, though, that satisfying these core principles is important to everyone.

Advertising

If we are healthy, we can enjoy our success. If we’re around people we love, it makes the road to success easier. When we are financially stable, we can afford to live the way we want to live. Finally, when we have a passion for our work, we will continue to prosper.

More Tips on Creating a Successful Life

Featured photo credit: Marvin Meyer via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide) Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life The Careful Art of Delegation: How to Delegate Effectively How the Flow State Helps You Stay Productive and Concentrate

Trending in Success Mindset

1 How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome 2 What is Tenacity and How to Use It To Be Successful 3 7 Ways to Eliminate Your Excuses 4 How To Organize Your Day For Success 5 How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on October 14, 2021

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

Advertising
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.

Advertising

“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.

Advertising

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.”

Advertising

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?”

Advertising

“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.

Advertising

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

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next