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10 So-called Personality Flaws That Will Make You Highly Successful

10 So-called Personality Flaws That Will Make You Highly Successful

Do people call you eccentric or different?

Maybe they get angry with some of the things that you do. Maybe they don’t agree with them. You begin to question yourself and wonder if there’s something wrong with you.

But many great people in history have had so called “flaws” that have actually sky-rocketed them to success. Perhaps you might identify with some of these.

1. You get obsessed with things easily

Obsession can be dangerous if left unchecked. It’s great to love something, but when you begin to lose sleep, relationships, and your health to it, that’s an issue.

But obsession with something can also be a powerful force. Nobody ever achieved something by “kind of liking” it. They believed in it with all their heart. They knew that if anybody was going to make it happen, it had to be them.

And so you to are obsessed with something. Perhaps it’s music, writing, a hobby, a passion, but that obsession will drive you to success.

2. You rely on other people for support in your goals

There is a large movement in society today to be an individual. Yes, it’s great to “be yourself” and chart your own path. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need the help of others to get there.

Getting to the top is great, but what if nobody is there to celebrate with you when you finally get there?

It’d be a very lonely place.

Every single great person, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Richard Branson, needed and accepted help. And you doing the same is a great thing. You propel yourself to success but you understand others will help you get there.

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You don’t default to them and assume that they will do everything for you, but you let them give you some speed – whether that’s as a business contact, an intimate relationship, or otherwise, you understand people can and are necessary to help you.

3. You are stubborn and refuse to quit. You are OK with failing . . . a lot.

Unsuccessful people hit a road bump or fail and give up. Successful people keep failing and keep going, because they know it leads to the reward at the end. About inventing the lighbulb, Thomas Edison is famous for saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

So go ahead – be stubborn. Keep trying until you get what you want.

“But you failed, doesn’t that hurt?” people ask.

“Nope,” you respond. “It just means I need to try something else.”

4. You may have introverted tendencies

In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain talks about how society is extravert focused – big open offices for working, bars for meeting people. These are all great for extroverts to shine, but not introverts.

And so when an introverted person needs time alone to work, or is quiet and listens in a conversation compared to being a chatterbox, or prefers reading a book at home to going out, they are thought of as weird, depressed, or anti-social.

Or, maybe after they go to a party and then need time to re-charge (as socializing, talking, and the outside world is a HUGE drain on introverts), they decline social invites and their friends get mad at them.

There is nothing wrong with being an introvert, and some amazing people belong to that category. Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, and Albert Einstein are just a few (see more here).

So go ahead – read that book. Just make sure to get some outside air once in a while. Introverts thrive in extroverted environments sometimes BETTER than extroverts at times, if they’ve had time to recharge in their own world.

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5. You follow a different path, and care less about what people think

Society pushes you to follow a specific path – elementary/high school, university, 9-5 job, marriage, 2.5 kids, work 40+ years, retire around 65, live until somewhere in the 70+ range and then pass on.

You see people posting to Facebook, Twitter, etc. for validation. You think, “What’s the point? Why do I need to constantly tell people what I’m doing?”

And you don’t agree. You want to go become a monk for 3 months. You want to just scrape by in terms of salary and travel the world. You don’t want to ever get married.

Good. Carve your own path, and don’t listen to anyone else. There’s only one person you can make 100% happy 100% of the time:

You.

Nobody great ever became great by doing exactly what others did.

6. You put yourself and your time first in a manner some might call selfish or weird

Continuing on from the above, the actions you take may make people think you are a bit strange – not going out all the time, not getting a specific job, not taking the swankiest apartment, saying no to helping a billion people so you have time to yourself.

The most valuable asset you have is not your money, but your time. Time is gone once it passes, so go ahead, be selfish. If someone is not deserving of your time and energy, leave. If something is not deserving of the time either, don’t do it.

Be ruthless.

7. You are OK with making others angry, sad, or unhappy with you

And so as you follow a different path and put yourself first, people become upset with you. Maybe you make your Mom sad by not being at home as much as you travel the world. Maybe you leave a relationship behind to continue a business. Maybe you hold your boundaries on a deal you agreed upon with a business partner and demand terms be met.

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Well keep going.

You don’t intentionally want to make people unhappy, you just hold your personal boundaries and know there’s nothing you can do to force people to feel great about your choices. And you are OK and accepting of this.

8. You see the positive in everything and shirk most of the negative (or aren’t as affected by it)

Assuming everything is OK when things need to be taken care of is unhealthy.

For example, not having a place to live and running out of money living in hotels and saying, “Oh I believe it will come to me if I just think of good things” is ludicrous. It’s the same as not having a job and needing an income. Or, being single but wanting to date.

However, what is healthy is to focus on all the opportunities and positivity that is out there:

“I don’t have a place to live, but I can put time into finding one, and I have money to support myself for now.”

“There are tons of places to look for jobs. I’m qualified and highly educated, so if I send out some CVs and ask some of my contacts I’m sure I can find something.”

“There are hundreds of people around me every day, I should try talking to them. Or, I can sign up for online dating services. There’s lots of people out there looking for someone just like I am!”

If all you think are negative thoughts, all you get are negative emotions. Successful people process challenging or negative situations and may get sad or angry, but are quick to turn the situation into a positive and take affirmative action.

Some say you should be chained down by misery and problems. You say you should take decisive action but continue to enjoy life. You understand that it’s worth learning how to be happier.

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9. You over-prepare a tiny bit

On a trip, you bring medicine just in case. For a business proposal, you have an alternative idea or budget in case your boss shoots it down. If the restaurant is closed, you know of another one nearby.

You might be a bit anxious, and you’re OK with thinking on your feet. But you prefer planning in advance to deal with possible situations.

People say you over-complicate a bit, and sometimes this is true. But most of the time you have the last laugh when things go over smoothly because you had the foresight to plan. And foresight, is the name of the game when it come to success.

10. You move slower than everyone else

People rush to get a billion things done in a day: see 50 travel sites, talk to as many people as they can, go to 10 parties.

You don’t understand this.

Not only does moving slower allow you to do things better, but you enjoy life more and aren’t running around with high blood pressure all the time.

You accept you can only do a finite number of things during the day, talk to a certain amount of people, and do a certain amount of stuff and work to the best of your ability to accomplish these goals.

You believe in quality over quantity, and it shows in the rich fabric you weave in the story that is your life.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

Are you the kind of person who wants to achieve massive success in your life? Do you have the mental toughness to make that happen?

I think we can all agree that no matter your ambitions, achieving success can be difficult; and over time, the daily grind can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional energy.

Achievers and high performers from all walks of life face ups and downs along the path to success—they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress, and so much more.

How do some people continually strive towards their personal goals year after year while others give up on them? How do those people stay strong and persevere when there is so much stacked against them?

Studies now show that mental strength is a critical key to success. If you haven’t read Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, you should. In it, she shows that “the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls ‘grit.’” In other words, mental toughness plays a significant role when it comes to achieving goals.

Sometimes, our goals wear us down and leave us feeling exhausted. Other times, our goals get difficult, and success seems impossible, so we lose hope, become discouraged, and want to quit.

At its core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. People with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond these obstacles and forge a path towards success while those with lower levels of mental toughness may abandon their dreams.

Want to know the good news?

No matter who you are, what you’ve been told, or what you currently believe, you can develop the mental toughness you need to be successful.

All you need to do is learn to develop a positive mindset, focus on your why, and utilize the people around you for support.

1. Develop a Positive Mindset

If you’re going to increase your mental toughness, the first thing you have to do is focus on building a strong, positive mindset.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 95% of those thoughts repeat each day and, on average, 80% of repeated ideas are negative.[1]

That’s roughly 45,600 negative thoughts per day!

Carrying around these negative thoughts is like going on a hike in the mountains with a backpack full of rocks. The hike is hard enough on its own, but having extra junk weighing you down is a recipe for failure.

Sometimes, building mental toughness isn’t as much about building new strength as it is about saving your strength for the right tasks. Wouldn’t it be easier to dump the rocks out of the backpack instead of trying to get strong enough to carry the extra weight?

Absolutely!

But how can we learn to spot those 45,600 negative thoughts and get rid of them? How can we empty our metaphorical backpack?

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Well, it gets a whole lot easier if you know what you’re looking for. Some of the most prominent types of negative thoughts are self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, and dwelling.

Let Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs

It’s pretty hard to be mentally tough when you’re constantly beating yourself up. Self-limiting beliefs are any beliefs that hold you back in some way. Here are some examples:

“I’m not smart enough to…”

“I don’t have enough experience to…”

“I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I must just be bad at…”

When we allow these self-limiting beliefs to flood our minds, negative self-talk runs rampant, and we crowd out our ability to think positively. We’re effectively working against ourselves.

If you want to keep your mind strong on your path to success, you have to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back by realizing one key truth: self-limiting beliefs are thoughts, not facts.

When you recognize a self-limiting belief cropping up in your mind, quickly silence it by telling yourself that it’s not true and then back that up with some positive affirmations:

  • “I am smart enough; I may just need to do some more research first.”
  • “I may not have as much experience as someone else, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. I have enough experience to get started. I’ll figure the rest out on the way.”
  • “Just because I failed at this last time doesn’t mean I’m going to fail this time. My past does not dictate my future.”

Get Rid of the All-or-Nothing Thinking

Another form of negative thinking that could be preventing you from building mental toughness is all-or-nothing thinking.

All-or-nothing thinking is the concept of thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Your performance was totally good or totally awful. If you’re not perfect, then you’re a failure.

But this isn’t true!

If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds and only lost 28, isn’t that still better than not losing any weight at all? I’d say so!

If you allow all-or-nothing thinking to rule your mind, you’ll be on cloud nine when you succeed, but you’ll beat yourself up when you “fail.” Acknowledging the shades of gray in between will allow you to see success more often and it will help you celebrate your smaller wins.

When you recognize an all-or-nothing thought, remember to look for the positive in the situation. What did you gain by trying? What would you have missed out on had you not tried? Could you do better if you were to try again?

Ditch the Dwelling

Self-Limiting Beliefs and All-or-Nothing Thinking can lead to a bad case of dwelling on the negative. If you want to build some mental toughness and keep your mind strong, you have to ditch the dwelling.

Every day, bad things happen to each of us, and while there’s nothing we can do to prevent that, we can control how we react to these situations.

When we dwell on our misfortunes, we waste massive amounts of energy that we could be using to achieve our goals. When this happens, we’re more likely to quit altogether.

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But that doesn’t mean you’re not mentally tough; it just means you’re misusing your energy.

The next time something bad happens, it’s important to allow yourself to feel the disappointment and frustration, but work on reducing the amount of time you dwell on the situation.

Easier said than done, right? Try these:

  1. Call a friend or mentor and talk it through with them. Get some outside perspective on your situation.
  2. Time block your dwelling by allowing yourself to dwell for no more than one hour.
  3. Then, tell yourself to move on, that you’re human, and you’re allowed to make mistakes or experience setbacks.
  4. If all else fails, find a good way to distract yourself until you can calm down and reexamine things with a clear mind.

The faster you can focus on the positives and move past the problem, the quicker you can get back to achieving success in your life.

Be Patient about the Process

No matter which negative thoughts tend to run around your mind, working to replace them with positive thoughts can take time.

Learning to spot self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, or dwelling is one thing, but learning to quiet those thoughts is another thing entirely.

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t fret. Instead, take a deep breath and try again. As you work towards improving your mindfulness and your mental toughness, remember that you’re going to get better with time.

To make things a little easier, it helps to connect with your purpose.

2. Connect with Your Purpose

One of the most critical elements to building mental toughness and keeping a strong and focused mind is having a strong ‘why’ for everything you want to do.

If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a ‘why’ for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback.

Think about the last time you were working on a goal or resolution and things weren’t going well, maybe you even wanted to quit. Perhaps you thought you didn’t have enough willpower. Maybe you told yourself that you didn’t have enough discipline.

Here’s the truth: you just didn’t have a strong enough why.

Simon Sinek has been spreading his message “Start with Why” across the globe.[2] In short, he says that:

“Your ‘why’ is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.”

One of the biggest drains on your mental energy is pursuing a goal or a task that you don’t have a ‘why’ for. This is when we tend to look for external motivation or question our willpower, but those aren’t the issues.

Often, we set goals because we like the idea of the goal, not the reality of the goal. Without connecting to our why, we can’t intrinsically motivate ourselves to achieve our most challenging goals.

Find Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is our innate desire to do something and it comes when we work towards something that satisfies ourselves above all else—not our parents or our bosses or our teachers.

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Let’s say you think you want to quit smoking because you know it’s bad for you, but you really enjoy smoking. If you don’t truly want to quit smoking, it’s going to be nearly impossible, regardless of your willpower or mental toughness.

But if you want to quit smoking because you just had a baby, and you don’t want your baby growing up around smoke, then that ‘why’ is going to give you intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful than sheer stubborn willpower, and it’s far easier to maintain over the long haul.

If you’re trying to develop mental toughness, connecting a why to everything you want to achieve will reduce the effort and energy it will take to achieve those things. Once you’ve found a strong why for all of your goals, you’ll find that you’ll have significantly more energy to pursue your more difficult challenges.

3. Find Strength in Unity

The final aspect of developing mental toughness is embracing the idea that you’re not in this alone. It’s a fact, anyone who’s ever achieved success in anything didn’t do so alone.

Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft alone. Oprah didn’t build her network by herself. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone without a team. Michelle Obama didn’t implement the “Let’s Move” campaign on her own.

Behind all of these successful people were countless other people who were there offering support, mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

If you want to develop unmatched mental toughness, you need to understand that you don’t have to go it alone. Even the toughest Navy Seals have a team backing them up.

If you want to stay strong in your endeavors, you need to build a team of supporters who will step in and back you up when it counts.

Find a Mentor or Committee of Mentors

The benefits of having a great mentor are far too many to list, but to boil it down to the basics, a mentor is someone who will help show you the path to success.

A good mentor will help you discover your greatest strengths, spot and overcome your blind spots, and work through your weaknesses.

If you’re struggling to deal with your internal negativity or with finding your purpose, talk it through with a mentor. Sometimes we lose the forest for the trees, and a mentor can help us take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Here’s how to find the right mentor for yourself: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

Recruit Some Cheerleaders

If you want to stay strong, it never hurts to have a group of personal cheerleaders. Unlike mentors who are going to jump in and help you address your problems, a group of cheerleaders will help keep your spirits up.

Even if you have a strong ‘why’ and a positive mindset, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude 100% of the time. It doesn’t make you weak to need some help from time to time. Having a group of people cheering you on will make all the difference in the world.

As you work towards your goals, tell a few close friends about what you’re doing, and when things get tough, tell them about it. And when they give you the pep talk you need, don’t resist their positivity or counter it with your self-limiting beliefs or your all-or-nothing attitude.

Allow their optimism to refill your energy and use that energy to press on.

Form an Accountability Group

Cheerleaders are great, but sometimes we need someone to give us the kick we need to keep going. You might have a strong ‘why’ for running a marathon or losing 30 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; and trying to force yourself to follow through is a sure way to tax your mental energy.

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Why not save some of your mental energy by forming an accountability group?

Find a person or a few people who have similar goals, or at the very least, the need for an accountability partner. Then, form an agreement within the group to push each other every day.

Even if your goals aren’t the same, accountability partners are great for giving us the push we need when we need it most.

Regardless of which relationships you choose, sometimes we have to be able to work through things on our own. Mentors, cheerleaders, and accountability partners are a great way for us to combat our naturally negative mindsets, but occasionally we have to be able to pick ourselves back up.

4. Learn to Pick Yourself Back Up After Setbacks

Building a strong mindset and developing mental toughness isn’t easy! Anyone who’s ever achieved massive success knows that obstacles, setbacks, and failure are inevitable, and you’re no different.

As you work on your goals, you’re going to face many ups and downs, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have mental toughness, willpower, or discipline.

We all struggle. We all fail. It’s what we decide to do after we fail that truly counts.

When you find yourself in a low spot, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Am I being too hard on myself?”
  • “Are negative thoughts such as Self-Limiting Beliefs or All-or-Nothing Thinking distorting my view?”
  • “What’s the positive side of this setback/obstacle/failure?”
  • “Why was this goal important to me? What was my purpose?”
  • “Is this goal still important to me? Do I still have a ‘why’?”
  • “Who can I ask for help? Who can mentor me or cheer me on? Who can help hold me accountable?”

Asking yourself these questions is a great way to check in on your mindset. When we get lost in negative thinking or lose connection to our purpose, it’s far too easy to become discouraged. When we feel discouraged, we start feeling weak, maybe even a little hopeless.

Also, this article provides some useful tips to help you get back on track: How to Deal with Failure and Pick Yourself Back Up

Tying it All Together

Are you still with me? I know I’ve thrown a lot at you, from developing a positive mindset and combatting your internal voice to connecting with purpose and building a committee of mentors. It’s a lot to take it!

But here’s the bottom line:

A crucial part of developing mental toughness is learning to recognize these tendencies and taking action to correct them early on. Developing mental toughness is not about eliminating weakness, but learning how to deal with it and overcome it.

No one is perfect, but when we focus on the right things, we can develop a mental toughness worthy of life’s biggest challenges.

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Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

Reference

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