The only thing standing between you and your dreams is yourself. Specifically, it is your personality. A common dictionary definition explains a personality as: “The pattern of collective character, behavioral, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person.” Or in more simple terms, your personality is the expression of the way you think and act. An alpha personality has its roots in ethological studies; in hierarchical social animals, the alpha male or female would enjoy preferential access to food and other desirable activities. Alphas would lead and be followed by the pack in any resettling journeys. In human society and culture, the role of the alpha male or female is very much similar. The alpha personality not only embodies the collective values and virtues for success, but spearheads through unchartered waters and acts as a pioneer for not only their own personal success, but that of everyone else.
You are probably sitting there reading and thinking, “Oh, that sounds great. I wish I was born with an alpha personality.” The game-changing point for you and many others is that while 2% of people may just be born with such a personality, the other 98% have learned to develop an alpha personality.
Here are ten ways you can begin to cultivate an alpha personality:
1. It All Starts With A Vision
The revolutionary, Mahatma Gandhi, makes the profound statement:
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
There are no words that can fully convey the power that lies in creating a clear vision in your mind for the future reality that you desire. Successful people of various backgrounds, such as professional athletes, use visualization—replaying the successful outcome that they desire before they step out to engage in the specific activity. See yourself as embodiment of the alpha personality—the successful, confident, charismatic person who naturally captures the attention of everyone in the room.
2. Work on Your Posture
Amy Cuddy gives an incredible Ted Talk with almost ten million views on this subject. In the talk, she describes evidence which supports the idea that your body language shapes who you are. If you go about your daily life with your head down and a hunched back, these are subordinate postures that will result in a subordinate attitude. Begin to stand tall, look people in the eye, and walk like you mean business.
3. Embrace Enterprise
Do not simply step outside of your comfort zone; make your lifestyle completely outside of the comfort zone. The alpha personality lives in the uncomfortable zone. Enterprise has been defined as: “An undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk.” Strive to be described by others as a “risk-taker.” There are very few worthwhile rewards that come without risk.
4. Stop Following; Start Leading
How do you jump that fence? If you have started doing the first three points, then you are already over the fence. People will follow those who have a clear vision and audacity to step out toward an new venture. The fascinating thing about becoming a leader is that the moment you decide to take control of your own life, you have become a leader—a leader for yourself. This is the first act in ceasing to be a follower. The alpha personality leads him or herself first and foremost. Beginning to lead yourself will inevitably begin to lead others.
5. Delete “No” From Your Vocabulary
See the possibility in everything. Develop the determination and grit to never leave a problem without a resolution. The alpha personality is a problem solver. Problem solvers are sought after and continually looked to for help. Regardless of what field you are in, never resign to thinking something cannot be done.
Convey charm and charisma. Humans have a fascinating mechanism called “mirror-neurons.” We naturally reflect and take on the vibes and actions of the person we are engaged with. If you are able to make others feel great, you will be the kind of person that others want to spend more time with, and subsequently be more influential.
7. Bounce the Bystander Effect
There was a tragic event in New York in 1964 that spawned the name for this syndrome. A woman was murdered and though her screams were heard, nobody called the police. Everyone assumed that someone else would do it! The alpha personality does not wait for anyone else to get the job done. If you see any situation that needs to be resolved, step in and do it without hesitation.
8. Dress to Impress
We have all heard the phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Impossible. Unless you just happen to have the ability to jump inside someone’s mind and read their personality, your cover and the way you dress is going to be exactly what people judge you by, whether you like it or not. In fact, the way you dress is very much an expression of your personality. The alpha personality is sharp and slick with no room for any fluff. You should be very comfortable with a photo of you being put on the front cover of Success magazine.
9. Find a Mentor
“You are the average of the five people you spend most time with.”
– Jim Rohn
Indeed the apple does not fall far from the tree. Every great athlete has a coach. Every successful businessman has a mentor. Seek out the person who embodies the alpha personality that you desire and begin to learn from them. Do not be afraid to reach out; give them a call or send them an email.
10. It Is Confidence, Not Arrogance
There is a fine line, but if it is crossed, your alpha personality can go from being admired to being despised. Your success is very much dependent upon your rapport with people. Be direct, but not demeaning. Be bold, but not brash.