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34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success

34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success

Most of us make the mistake of pursuing external signs of success without doing the hard internal work first. We also mistakenly believe that external success is the path to internal success (happiness, fulfillment, etc). The truth is that it often works the other way around.

Here are some principles to help you prepare internally for external success:

1. Love what you do

Don’t wait to find the thing you are passionate about. Bring your passion to what you are doing today.

2. Always be learning

Do not subscribe to the belief that you are done with learning when you graduate high school or college. See every situation as an opportunity to learn a valuable life lesson or skill.

3. Be a decision maker

Be decisive. Be at peace with the decisions you make. Be courageous in accepting responsibility for your decisions.

4. Become self-reflective

Observe yourself. Take time to reflect on your inner motivations for what you do.

5. Don’t hold grudges

The longer you hold on to a grudge, the more you empower the person who hurt you. Reclaim your power by letting go of anger and bitterness.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Learn perspective. Don’t waste an ounce of energy on anything that is petty or insignificant.

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7. Be a person of your word

Do what you say you will do. See your tasks and projects through to completion. If you can’t, don’t make up excuses.

8. Don’t be afraid to play to an empty house

Do your work with joy and enthusiasm, even when you think no one is noticing or watching.

9. Work three times as hard

If you’re not giving it all you’ve got, it’s probably not worth doing.

10. Pray or meditate

Find a higher purpose. Success without a higher calling will be unsatisfying at best.

11. Wake up early

Want your day to be more productive? Wake up early.

12. Focus on the why

Clearly define your “why.” Your “what” and your “how” will follow.

13. Stop comparing yourself to others

Live your life rather than yearning for someone else’s.

14. Stop self-sabotaging behavior

Are you telling yourself and others that you are not worthy of success by your actions? Change your behavior and start telling a different story.

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15. Watch who you hang around with

Stay away from negativity. It will suck the life energy out of you.

16. Start a mastermind group

Find a group of like-minded individuals so you can encourage each other on your paths to success.

17. Practice mindfulness

Always be mindful of the present moment. Take a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence.

18. Express gratitude

Never tire of being grateful. Take a deep breath and smile.

19. Grow a thick skin

Learn to graciously accept criticism. Learn to positively deflect mean-spiritedness.

20. Practice empathy

Learn to identify with people on a deeper level. Spend an afternoon talking to people at a homeless shelter. Take a friend going through a difficult time out for a cup of coffee and give them your undivided attention (i.e. turning off your smartphone).

21. Trust in the process, not your feelings

You’ve plotted a long-term path to success but you don’t feel like doing it today. Don’t be tempted to quit or take short cuts. Trust the path. Get up and get to work.

22. Spend less than your earn

Learn to manage your money. Create a budget before the month begins and stick to it.

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23. Learn deferred gratification

Do you really need to upgrade your smartphone today? Do you just have to have that new car? Probably not. Wait until you can afford it.

24. Decide what you want your success to look like

Visualize your success. Do you like what you see? How can you tweak your vision to something you will be happy with? The visuals we usually associate with success is money falling from the sky, flashy sports cars, nice clothing and accessories, and a gorgeous woman or man at your side. Is that what you want?

What if success was more about having the freedom to pursue and strengthen the relationships that matter the most to you? To have the resources to help the less fortunate?

Don’t simply assume success is what you see in popular culture. You get to decide.

25. Decide ahead of time what you will do if you fall short

Will you quit? Will you do a course correction? Will you double down? Will you seek help? Decide ahead of time.

26. Read great books

Read educational books. Read non-fiction books. Read fiction books. Read inspiring autobiographies. Read spiritual books. Read children’s books (to your kids and to yourself). Find the great stories that will inspire your own story.

27. Practice affirmations

This will help you overcome self-sabotaging behavior. Speak them aloud.

28. Exercise your body and your mind

Along with physical exercise, play strategy games and do mental exercises that will challenge your brain.

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29. Develop you ability to observe and read other people

Learn to observe people. Become interested in their interests, likes, and dislikes. Listen to them. You will eventually learn to anticipate their needs.

30. Be other-centered

Always think about ways you can add value to others. Banish the question “What will I get out of this?” from your thinking.

31. Be givers

Give joyfully of your time and resources. Take the time to mentor a person in your field, to volunteer, and to financially support a worthy cause.

32. Stop complaining

Don’t complain about how terrible your life is, even when times are tough. You life is not terrible, you are simply going through a terrible time. It will pass.

33. Find a mentor

Identify a person who has achieved external and internal success. Ask them questions. Learn their story. If you do not have personal access to this achiever, follow his blog or podcast. Read her books. Watch his YouTube videos.

34. Hold on to relationships that keep you grounded

Never lose sight of the relationships that matter most. No matter how successful you get, you will always need the love and support of family, friends, and people you respect. Besides, success will be no fun unless you can share it with them.

Featured photo credit: Freedom via flic.kr

More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

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Last Updated on July 15, 2020

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

“Entitlement is an expression of conditional love. Nobody is ever entitled to your love. You always have a right to protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by removing yourself from toxic people and circumstances.” -Dr. Janice Anderson & Kiersten Anderson

It’s not always obvious if you have someone toxic in your life. A toxic relationship is one that is harmful to you. A toxic person can create distress to the degree you feel inadequate and isolated. So, what makes a toxic person?

A toxic person has toxic behavior, meaning it’s not that the whole person is toxic[1]. It’s what they do that counts. Most toxic people run from accountability and misrepresent reality to you. They misrepresent your worth and your ability to heal from them can be stifled the longer you keep them in your life. You have a role to play with it as well; if your values are dismissed by them and you don’t act on it, you have allowed room for toxicity to grow.

When you are in a toxic relationship, you feel less than. You feel as though you are not worth anyone’s time or effort. You feel unheard, and sometimes you feel unsafe. You don’t feel good about yourself in a toxic relationship, whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member.

You may stay in a toxic relationship for a number of reasons. You may believe yourself to be a burden, have a lack of boundaries, resist change, fear conflict, try to be a people pleaser, find yourself codependent, or are partially stuck in a pattern or unhealthy cycle of abuse.

Letting go of toxic people may not be easy. In order to do so, you have to know why or how they are toxic to you and read between the lines that they do not have your best interests in mind.

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Letting go of toxic people is hard because you are good and want to see the good in others. You think their apologies are authentic. You have trouble believing they are being dishonest. You don’t spend time healing from it. You get pulled back into the pain because you don’t want it to end. However, if you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t right.

You should walk away from a toxic person because you need to preserve your peace. You need to feel like yourself again. And you need better support.

Letting go of toxic people can involve four major steps.

1. Recognize the Red Flags

Red flags are signs a person is being toxic. It’s when someone shows characteristics that you should feel caution about. It’s when you feel any level of dissatisfaction and distrust. Trust your gut. When you recognize red flags, you can evaluate whether a person is trying to manipulate you or not. This gives you some level of control over what you allow in your life. The earlier you detect these behaviors, the better off you will be.

Red flags can include:

  • They always put themselves first.
  • They point out imperfections and sabotage your self-esteem.
  • You may feel drained or used when you’re around them.
  • What you give isn’t reciprocated. They don’t return the goodness you provide as a friend.
  • They ignore your boundaries and get angry when you tell them “no.”
  • You catch them in half truths or outright lies when you confront them about anything.
  • You are the villain; they are the victim.
  • Second chances always lead to repeated patterns of behavior.
  • They may engage in abuse.

2. Set Boundaries

There are emotional boundaries that one can set, but there are also physical ones[2]. You can leave any time. Setting boundaries is also an important part of self-care.

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You shouldn’t walk on eggshells. Tell them how you feel. Are they respecting you, fulfilling your needs, and listening to you? If not, it’s time to set up a healthy emotional distance and start letting go of toxic people around you.

There are levels to this. You have your inner circle, which could include family, and then you have acquaintances and strangers. If a toxic person is in your inner circle, it’s time to pull back and put up some boundaries for them to follow. If they can’t hear you out, you can cut off the connection completely.

You can give second chances, but you have to be careful. If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it again. If there’s any chance for the relationship, they have to know not to cross certain lines.

3. Invest in Yourself

You deserve to know you are worthwhile. Try to remember that things will get better and that anything is possible. How do you do so? Invest in yourself.

This means self care, goal setting, surrounding yourself with positive support, and feeling a sense of peace. Your greatest ambition should be to love yourself. Without self-love, letting go of toxic people will be difficult.

Every relationship is a risk, but if you know yourself and what you will allow, toxic people will have less of a hold over you. If you are a giver or people pleaser, you are most at risk to being in a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t be punished for caring, but sometimes trust needs to be earned. If you have self-love, you are treating yourself the best way possible. You know that others need to meet your standards; otherwise, they don’t get to be a part of your life.

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It’s possible that you can love yourself and still not see the signs. It can be difficult for some to be aware that toxic people exist. However,, if you know how much you mean to others in your life and what you are worth, you will be less likely to take on a relationship that is harmful to you or repeat negative patterns. Self-love is how we get out of toxic relationships, but it’s also how they never begin.

4. Know When Forgiveness Is Possible

There are times a person will prove their worth to you. They may make a mistake that makes them seem like a horrible person. They may forget to be good to you because of their own issues. They may just have no example of what a healthy relationship looks like. They may have an inflated ego that really comes from insecurity. The list goes on.

If they apologize, that’s a start. Look at their actions. Are they changing for the better because they really want to change or just seeming to in order to manipulate you? A person may control others with their image or perceived personality, but if you see through them, you may be able to discern the degree to which they are willing to be there for you.

If they start to do the right thing, you may begin to trust them again. Don’t start forgiving them until time has passed and you are sure there is growth, even if they show vulnerability or remorse. You can give a second chance if they truly have an awakening. Otherwise, it’s best to get out. Don’t let them walk all over you; let them walk out the door.

If you do give a second change and they still refuse to change, you have every right to remove them and continue the process of letting go of toxic people. The moment you even want to leave may also be a good time to get out. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to care for them.

Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger[3]. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You have to go back to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone. You don’t have to let them back in. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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Remember, forgiveness is ultimately for you, not them. You don’t need that person in your life in order to forgive them, and if you give them a second chance, proceed with caution.

Final Thoughts

Recognize the red flags, set boundaries, invest in yourself, and know when forgiveness is possible. This is how you cope with a toxic person impacting your life. You have power in the direction of your life and the people who accompany you as you move forward. Use it.

If a person is worthwhile, they will prove themselves through their actions, not their words. If they cross certain lines that really harm you, you owe them nothing. You have every right to feel what you feel and to be upset. Honor your feelings and communicate them because it’ll only continue to keep happening if you don’t.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to put a stop to it. It’s time to take control. It’s time to live for yourself, not for what others say about you. It’s time to set your standards higher than they’ve ever been before. And most of all, it’s time to let go.

Resource reminder: A physically abusive relationship is ALWAYS toxic. There are resources for you. Always speak up.

If you are in such a cycle or domestic violence or abuse reach out for help. For example, there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) which can be reached at 1−800−799−7233. There are other ways to get help if you simply ask for it. 

More Tips on Letting Go of Toxic People

Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

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