Have you ever been told, “Success is hard work?” Certainly, no one would dispute this fact, but it does leave a lot of questions unanswered. What is success, exactly? And what work do I need to be doing to reach it? We have the answers to these questions and more.
Describe Your Success
Before you can reach success, you need to have some concrete ideas about what exactly that is. In short, success is reaching your goals. For some, being successful means being able to pay all their bills, and for others, being successful could mean kicking a bad habit for a whole year (and then for the rest of their life). How do you want to define your success?
Start by setting big goals. These are your dreams, aspirations, and finished-the-race type of goals. What does your life look like when you think of being successful? Try to imagine the details of your life and what you’re trying to accomplish. Let this vision fill you up and get you excited to get there. Once you have this clear vision, you need to get it out of your brain and into a physical medium.
Vision boards are one great way to do this. Popular among visual learners, the idea is to put physical representations of your goals onto the board so you can keep your goals right in front of your nose. Include things that will get you pumped and ready to get to work. Love the idea but need a more digital medium? Go for a Mindly™ mind map instead!
If vision boards aren’t your thing, try writing a short story following your life for a day in the future. Really think about what your life will be like when you’ve “arrived” at success and then write about it. Include minute details like what time you woke up, what you ate for breakfast, and what you did during the day that made you feel successful.
Whatever your medium, get your dreams out of your head and into a physical form that you can see and touch. Update it as your dreams, priorities, and goals change.
Decide on the Work
Have you ever heard the metaphor, “How do you eat a whale?” The answer is “one bite at a time.” While we don’t suggest eating an entire whale, this illustrates taking a huge task (in this case, your dream) and working on it in small, manageable “bites.” “Working for success” translates to setting smaller goals and habits that will feed into your dreams.
Start with your dream and work backward to set your small daily or weekly goals. If your dream is to be out of debt, make a plan to pay it off by setting a “final payment” goal and how much you need to pay per month to make that happen. Is that monthly amount more than you can swing right now? Looks like you have a goal to make more money per month to meet that goal (easier said than done). Better get started on that yard sale!
Overcome Fear and Doubt
Feeling fear and doubt is a natural part of any big experience, but it doesn’t have to hold you back! Here are some tips for being more self-confident as you move through your goals.
- Set daily, attainable goals to reset your mindset for success, like doing the dishes or taking a shower. It helps you get in the habit of goal setting.
- Utilize daily affirmations to improve your self-talk.
- Move even when you’re afraid. If you have a big goal to meet and you feel paralyzed by fear, take it one step at a time.
- Get connected with a friend who can build you up when you’re feeling down. A perfect friend is one who knows your dreams and how to help you get there.
Fears aren’t always rational, but that doesn’t make it any easier to overcome them, so recognize your fear and choose to move past it.
It Doesn’t Happen Overnight
It’s easy to look at “overnight” success stories and believe they actually achieved success while they slept, but the truth involves much more hard work and dedication. Don’t be afraid of the time it will take to reach your goals. Earl Nightingale said it best: “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
A big part of becoming successful is believing in yourself. If you want to achieve whatever your definition of success is, you need to trust that you are capable and worthy of it! Check out our blog to refresh your perspective on believing in yourself.