In a world ruled by rules, some make perfect sense and others you may accept as true without proof. You may have discovered them in a book, from a teacher, from your parents or even your friends. You may have learned them on your own and believed your experience or your friends. These are often unwritten and sometimes splashed in funny memes meant to poke fun at what may be a bit of truth, or all truth.
But, whether you learned them from someone you trusted or a stranger, there are seven critical strategies that will help you achieve your success. It doesn’t matter how you define your personal success – health, financial, recreational or emotional – these are strategies that will move you faster and further on your journey when you use them than when you ignore them.
Be comfortable in your own skin.
There is one person you’ll never be able to get away from in your life, and that’s you. If you don’t like your own company it can get pretty crowded, pretty fast. And, if you don’t like yourself, how can you expect others to enjoy being with you? Do you want a permanent relationship or maybe improve an existing one? It’s time work on the relationship you have with yourself, before the relationships you have with others will ever improve. Do you want to be a better leader? A better parent? A better friend? It’s time to be a better you.
Being comfortable in your own skin will help you react to others with confidence, and will help you learn how to . . .
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
To do anything, learn anything new, experience new success you have to stretch yourself. Stretching yourself to do new things will mean being uncomfortable – and thus being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I used to hear this and never really understood what it meant. On a basic level I knew that in order to grow in anything I had to do things I’d never done before or I wouldn’t experience anything new.
If you want to learn to ski, you have to strap them on and go down the hill. If you want to pray for people, you have to open your mouth and do it. If you want to be able to code a computer you have to take classes and TRY it. I got it about 10 years ago when I got very, very sick. As a nurse, there was one procedure I NEVER wanted performed on me – and that was a nasogastric (NG) tube. That’s a tube passed from your nose into your stomach to decompress your stomach and upper intestines. I had undergone a rather common abdominal surgery and went home the next day. By day two I was doubled in pain with a physician who kept telling me this was normal.
I knew it wasn’t. My ex-husband drove me to the hospital where I almost begged the ER doctor for an NG tube. I sent my ex out of the room so he wouldn’t faint (history of that!) and couldn’t get him to move quickly enough to get this done. The pain and pressure was unbelievable and not relieved by the hourly vomiting I had been doing for the past twelve hours.
I lived through it. The procedure didn’t kill me. And I learned a valuable lesson about myself. It’s ok to be uncomfortable because you get comfortable on the other side.
Have a life philosophy and know your worldview.
Every decision you make is filtered through your personal philosophy and worldview. If you believe there is a God but aren’t a disciple, your decision will be different than if you are a disciple or you don’t believe at all. The decision to vacuum the floor, take a job, talk to a friend, make a meal or even go for a walk – these decisions are all filtered through your philosophy about life and your worldview. If you don’t know what these are then your decisions are haphazard – and without consistency you won’t experience success in any area of your life. If you do experience success but are not sure what your philosophy IS you may be tempted to believe you don’t have one.
That’s not true. You may not KNOW what it is – but in order to experience success you have one.
Question everything and listen closely.
You may THINK you know why your child is “miss cranky pants” today – but you may also be wrong. Ask and listen. You might think you know why your boss passed you over for that promotion (they just don’t like you!), but it’s likely you’re wrong. You don’t know until you ask – and listen. Most people are formulating their response to the first sentence out of the other person’s mouth. Listen to the WHOLE conversation before you respond, you may be surprised by the results.
Listen to your gut, your intuition, your inner voice.
As adults, we’re often taught to follow the facts and figures as opposed to listening to our guts. I’m talking about the part of your brain that gives you the answer more quickly than the reasoning part. In several research studies, participants were given two different choices. The researchers found the pores on the participants’ hands opened when they were about to make the right choice and closed when the choice was not the best one for the situation. Scientists encourage you to develop the ability to recognize responses in your body to improve the results you get in the choices you make. For instance, in one study, people who spent a lot of time evaluating their car choice were satisfied with that choice only 25% of the time, while those who made a gut decision were satisfied 60% of the time.
People who trust themselves are more often trusted by others. In other words, when you trust yourself to follow through on your own promises, other people can also trust you. This can be a challenge! When you make a promise, do you show up every time or do you regret it and make an excuse? When you make a promise to yourself, do you follow through or do you write it off because no one is looking? Only you know the answer to that question, and that answer identifies a deeper issue. You recognize trustworthiness in people when you see it. It’s memorable. Your goal is to be memorable in your own eyes first. You’ll experience greater confidence in your abilities and better self-esteem, all of which can lead to added success in relationships, finances and business.
Do not act on your feelings.
Feelings don’t have a life of their own. In other words, you can control how you feel based on how you think. Here’s the equation: Your thoughts produce feelings which drive your actions that determine your results. This means you control your feelings based on what you think, and consequently the success you experience. Don’t act on feelings that may produce results you don’t want. When success is the goal, you can’t afford to carry around envy, jealousy, anger and bitterness. Toss them away like the garbage they are.
My surgeon didn’t want to believe she made a mistake and when she discovered it was possible, she waited another 24 hours before addressing the issue. Her fear almost cost me my life.
Keep It Super Simple:
Keeping your life simple will bring great results. Life is complex enough without creating challenges by complicating the situation. When you feel the world sitting on your shoulders, it’s time to simplify. My oldest son has been looking for a new job and is downhearted. He started listing off all the things that were going wrong, and that list was long. However, it included everything from the time he was in high school until last week.
It took a bit of work but he could finally isolate the reason for his discouragement to a declining bank account as he was paying off his college bills. Simplifying the situation and finding the solution to the underlying problem helped him to feel better. We all feel better when what’s going wrong can be identified, simplified and a solution developed.
Seven simple strategies, which when followed and incorporated into your life, will bring more success and happiness. Today, it’s time to evaluate your own life and where you stand with each of them. Do you need to simplify your reaction to a situation? Should you focus on becoming a better version of yourself? Is it time to listen to your intuition and start that small business at home?
How will your life be different when you make seven smart changes?