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25 Signs You are Already Successful and You’re Simply Unaware

25 Signs You are Already Successful and You’re Simply Unaware

We have all had that period in our lives where we feel, regardless of what happens, we simply have nothing positive going for us. It’s easy to criticize yourself in just about anything–from your competence in the workplace to how you deal with situations at home–and this can make it easy to become clouded to our own successes in life.

This kind of constant action and lack of clarity can make it easy to believe that you are a failure, even when all the evidence in your life–personally and professionally–points to other conclusions. If you are too busy in life fighting fires, you’ll likely never make the time to actually appreciate your own success and accomplishments. You could already be successful and just not realize it. Here are some signs that is the case:

1. You aren’t controlled by your income.

Many people feel like they are tied to that next paycheque to make things work for them. If you are able to go day-to-day without the worry that you won’t have enough money to last until the end of the month, then you are most definitely a success! You might not be able to afford a Rolex, but if you aren’t living from week-to-week you are a success.

2. You don’t seek praise.

Seeking praise from loved ones and colleagues is something that we typically grow out of in our teenage years. If you aren’t hanging around waiting to get the proverbial pat on the back at work or at home, you are a more successful individual than you might even know. Being able to do your part without looking for praise is a strong sign of mental security.

3. You suffer less drama.

Look back even just a year in your life: are you finding that things are quieter? At home and at work? If this is the case then you can probably say that your life is pretty successful–a lack of chaos points to order and harmony.

4. You have a plan.

Success is built on structure and having a long-term plan to get to where you want to be. If you actually have a framework to follow in your life to reach your life goals, you are already pretty successful. Most people don’t plan ahead!

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5. You crave more.

For someone who might feel like they aren’t doing well very in life, if you tend to look for more from any situation you are already on your way to success. Ambition and a desire for knowledge points to a determined individual who seeks to better themselves.

6. You are an early bird.

You know the old saying. The early bird catches the worm. If you are to make your life a success, you can’t be starting each day in the afternoon. When you find that you are jumping out of bed, ready to attack the day, you can probably point to a successful lifestyle and personality.

7. You are socially active.

Success tends to come in many different ways, not just your rank or your pay packet. If you are able to get involved in many different situations with a variety of social circles you can point to a healthy and harmonious life–people don’t tend to stick around toxic personalities.

8. You offer mutual respect.

Success tends to come from your own experiences in life, including going through stresses and difficulties. If you understand the value of treating others with respect, you already harness one of the most important aspects of success.

9. You wish to help others.

Again, your success in this world goes far beyond the cost of your car. If you are able to provide people with a solid base to work with, and act as a pillar of strength for colleagues, success is not too far off.

10. You are driven.

Anybody without an engine and a willingness to get through the hard times and the difficulties will struggle to succeed. If you don’t mind getting your sleeves rolled up and your hands dirty, you are better off than you think.

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11. You possess confidence without arrogance.

The big difference between a successful person and someone who believes they are successful is the way they conduct themselves. If you can show some genuine humility for others, whilst inspiring those who are struggling, you are already a successful individual

12. You have fought back.

We have already touched on how failure can be the point needed to succeed. You need to hit the bottom before you can reach the top. Being able to battle back from a position of failure to success–any success–is a sign of an iron-willed individual with the nous to succeed in life.

13. You strive to improve.

Many people fall into the trap of believing that they “made it”. When you always look to improve on the previous performance, even if it was spectacular, you are setting yourself up to be a long-term success.

14. You have discipline.

Discipline can only come from being a success and seeing how things have gone in the past. Learning how not to make mistakes and how to make the right call is vital to being a long-term success.

15. You preach patience.

Patience is a virtue that the most successful people emit on a large-scale basis. Without patience, it can be hard to ever make the type of impact that you originally intended in any work or personal environment.

16. You can say no.

We spoke earlier about the power of being able to avoid needing to be praised–this is the same ideal. If you are able to say no then you have already avoided the need to please everyone. This is the sign of a successful individual.

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17. You manage time well.

Time management is a sign of long-term success, and being able to use the time in any given day to be productive is the sign of a successful person. Capable of dealing with plenty of tasks in any given day? You are already a success.

18. You have successful friends.

Success around you is the easiest way to inspire yourself. If you find yourself surrounded by those who are also doing well it can be easier to actually improve and develop yourself in the right manner.

19. You don’t blame others.

You have reached a point in your life where you fully understand what it means to take ownership of your actions and not target others for your frustrations and failures. That comes about from being active rather than passive, and noticing your inner power to transform your life. It also speaks to your ability to prevent the environment from leading you down a direction you do not desire.

20. You don’t waste your time.

Long gone are the days when you let others drag you along and make you invest your time in activities you deemed boring or even counterproductive to your self-development and self-esteem. Your greater sense of direction empowers you to know what you want without needing other´s approval.

21. You are assertive.

You understand that simply saying yes or no is not enough. Explaining your reasons in a clear manner is essential for others to understand that you are an individual with your own thoughts and needs. This does not mean being inflexible, but while being understanding you should never let anyone bend your way.

22. You stay positive.

You have learnt the hard way that being negative or skeptical to justify your potential defeats and failures does not serve any purpose. Not only it does make you feel unable and anxious, but also does affect the final outcome. By being positive and honest at pursuing your goals you will unleash the true achiever within you.

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23. You take care of your health.

Quitting harmful activities that stop you from working towards the brighter future you have always dreamt is a powerful step. Be it smoking, taking drugs, eating too much saturated fats and sugar, or not exercising, you understand that leaving all of those behind will turn you into a stronger individual with greater drive and willpower.

24. You don’t seek a relationship to solve your personal issues.

It is easy to hide our failures behind someone who loves us. But, it is a bit immature for both sides in a relationship to stop tackling the real issues that harm each other’s lives. It is not a good idea to avoid helping the other towards becoming a better person just because it is easier not doing it or because “things are just fine as they are”.

25. You are mature.

When bad situations unfold in the workplace, or you need to deal with the individual who you have a problem with. A sign of success is being able to put personal grievances to the side for professional gain.

It’s always important to remind yourself that success isn’t something that can be judged so materially. If you are able to look at your lifestyle and understand that you do things in a mature, social and effective manner then you are already far more successful than any slap on the back will ever make you feel.

Success comes from acceptance of your own skills and abilities, not what somebody you might never have met before tells you.

Featured photo credit: Adventure man hiking wilderness mountain with backpack, outdoor lifestyle survival vacation via shutterstock.com

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Carles Sabarich

Carles aspires to encourage people to live actively and take charge of their lives.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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