Set Yourself Up For Success
Set yourself up for success: it sounds obvious, right? No one is going to intentionally set themselves up for failure, right? Wrong. We do it all the time. Self-doubt, or lack of confidence, makes us do things that keep us from succeeding. That’s right, we take specific action to avoid succeeding at something we want. We believe that we can’t do any better than we’re doing. We don’t think we have what it takes. No one in our family has done it. Our friends don’t support us. Whatever. We have an endless list of reasons.
Inaction is an Action
One of the most common forms of self-sabotage is doing nothing. Opportunity comes knocking, we deliberate, we hem-haw around, we fantasize, and opportunity leaves. Then we either get depressed about how good things might have been, or we go the sour grapes route and tell ourselves it probably wouldn’t have been very good anyway.
It’s also very common for our friends and family to keep us down. They tell us that we can’t do it, and that we shouldn’t try. They remind us of all the times we’ve already tried and failed. They mean well, as they’re just trying to protect us from failure and pain, but they are doing us more harm than good. Sometimes doing more in life means changing out some of the people in our life. Growing pains.
Develop An Attitude of Gratitude
The first thing you need to do to set yourself up for success is check your attitude. Do you find that you are critical, dubious, and skeptical of everything that’s outside your bubble? If so, you need to start retraining your brain to think positively instead of negatively. That sounds hard, and that’s because it is hard. I know, because I did it. I was one of those people that could find a fault with anything, and a reason to pass up on every opportunity. Guess what? I got tired of living and thinking that way, so I changed. You can, too.
If you haven’t taken a Myers-Briggs personality assessment, you need to do that today. It takes about 15 minutes, and it will help you for the rest of your life. In a nutshell, there are 16 personality types. Once you know which one you are, then you read up on the characteristics of your personality type (another 10 minutes). That 25-minute investment will help you gain self-awareness, which will guide you to make better decisions based on your tendencies.
For example, I am an INFJ. I know that I am extremely idealistic, which is the core of my personality type. Therefore, I’m never going to be successful trying to scam people. I’m not even going to be a good salesperson, because if I don’t believe in something 100%, I’m not going to be able to push it. I also know that I put 150% effort into everything I do, and therefore I need for my job to matter. Knowing my personality type keeps me out of the wrong career fields.
You can take the free assessment online at www.16personalities.com
Walk Through The Fear
One of the things I was amazed to learn is that everyone experiences fear, even successful people. The thing is, successful people don’t get mired down in the fear. They acknowledge it and keep on going. My mentor was fond of using a reference from one of the darkest points in our country’s history to nail home the point. He said, you gotta keep walking. When you hear the dogs barking, you keep walking. When you hear the men shouting, you keep walking. When you see the torches burning, you keep walking. You gotta keep walking to be free.
It’s about sticking with it, and not giving up. Persistence, tenacity, determination. Refusing to quit when it gets hard, or scary. It’s always going to be hard and scary, and that’s okay. Fear should keep us from touching the hot stove, but it shouldn’t keep us from going in the kitchen. Recognize it as a tool instead of a master.
Believe In Yourself
If you really want to set yourself up for success, you have to believe that you can do whatever it is that you want to do. Most people won’t ever even come close to achieving what they’re capable of. Therefore, you shouldn’t do what most people do. Find a mentor, someone who has what you want, and do what they do. Learn from them. See that they are just a person like you, and that you can do anything they have done, and maybe more.
Michael Phelps isn’t a super-human, he’s a guy that lives up to his potential and swims through the fear. He acts, he takes opportunities. He believes in himself, and he accepts that failure is part of it, and that it’s okay to fail. He tries anyway. How about Martin Luther King Jr.? Do you think he ever experienced fear and self-doubt? You bet he did. And he still got up every day and tried. Elon Musk. Winston Churchill. Taylor Swift. All people, all have dealt with fear and self-doubt, all walked through the fear and succeeded. None of them were born with a superpower. You can do what they have done.
Set Yourself Up For Success
You don’t have to become a world-renowned celebrity to have success in life, and you shouldn’t judge yourself by impossible standards. Determine what you want to do with your life, and figure out what you need to do to accomplish that. Then set a series of goals to get you from here to there. You need to know what the definition of success is for you, based on your goals. Believe in yourself. Follow someone else who has walked the same path. Dream big. Live big. Set yourself up for success. You can do it!
J. Boyd Long is an author, blogger, website developer, and the CFO of Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic. In his spare time (ha!) he likes to paint, read, canoe, and hike in the wilderness. You can subscribe to this blog in the blue block, and future blogs will be delivered to your email. Warning: Subscribing may increase your awesomeness quotient. Please feel free to comment, and share this blog on your favorite social media page! To learn more, please visit JBoydLong.com.