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10 Ways to Cultivate the Alpha Personality for Success

10 Ways to Cultivate the Alpha Personality for Success

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

6. Smile

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.

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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.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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