Success is something that you attract by developing yourself into the kind of person that could produce the result you call success. If there were a rule for becoming successful, it would sound something like what Michaelangelo is purported to have said when asked about the statue, David. He said that he merely had to chip away all the things that didn’t look like David.
Success means chipping away all the parts of you that don’t attract success.
Personal Precedes Professional
If who you are now was capable of attracting what you want, you would have it. Attracting success requires that you develop yourself personally, becoming the better version of yourself trapped inside you, or someone you might describe as the person that comes after the person you are now. You start by auditing yourself to determine where you need to grow.
Many people make the mistake of believing that their professional skills, the technical competencies are going to be enough to create success, only to find out that those competencies, while important, are not enough to attract what they want. There is nothing wrong with professional development, and in fact, it pays to be a real craftsperson, caring enough to do exceptional work. But that idea by itself is a developed character-trait necessary to success, including the discipline to learn your trade and to care enough to maintain a high personal standard.
The level of success you achieve will always be proportional to your growth. That growth will come from improving yourself in the areas that it matters, starting with your beliefs, and running through your behaviors, the actions you take.
Your First Priority
The first area to improve yourself is the same for all who want success: your mindset. What you believe, your recurring thoughts, and your self-talk can either support you in attracting what you wish to or repel it. Chipping away the parts of you that aren’t success means removing the negative beliefs you have, what you spend your time thinking about, and the negative chatter from the tiny, persistent voice in your head.
One of the first things you’ll notice about those who struggle to produce the results they want is that they believe—deeply and stubbornly—that external events are conspiring to thwart their desires. The external circumstances don’t impede their actions, because thinking that nothing is your fault prevents those who profess to want some result from taking action. As difficult as it may be to accept, those whose thoughts are mostly about things that have little or nothing to do with the results they are chasing move father from what they want because they don’t give themselves over in their mind.
If you can hear the voice in your mind, who is listening? That voice cannot be yours; it was here before you, and it will be hereafter you are gone. It’s made up of your culture, the media you consume, your parents, your teacher, your preacher, and your friends, many of whom have infected you with their limiting beliefs. The voice sounds like you but is only repeating what it heard somewhere else and from someone else.
Your priority is to build an indomitable mindset. Then you reinforce it with a bigger vision.
The level of success you are capable of attracting is, at some level, the result of what you believe it to be. One of the very best ways to get a bigger vision of what is possible for you is to spend time with people who already have what you want, surrounding yourself with people who will expect more from you and require you to stretch yourself to become more.
You will also find that in almost all cases, the people you know are successful because of something more than their intelligence, more than their connections, despite the circumstances of their birth, and for reasons that have very little to do with you might have guessed. You will find that all of them were—and are—hungry, meaning they feel a fire burning inside them. You will also discover that they have failed, likely more than once, and made serious changes to create their changes. They changed their beliefs and behaviors. They will describe their time in the wilderness as a result of self-sabotage, something that might be familiar to you.
Most of all, the people ahead of you on the path will not be different in you in some way that would prevent you from succeeding on the same level. Over time, you will realize you’re the same stuff they are, collapsing any belief you had about any differences, but one, their personal development.
Your Personal Development Plan
I wrote a success book disguised as a sales book. In that book, I wrote a chapter on discipline, the ability to take action without anyone directing you to do so. If you can’t manage yourself, success will avoid you. So will other people.
The second chapter of that book is about your attitude and how to be optimistic. Pessimists, cynics, and skeptics have beliefs that prevent them from succeeding, no matter how talented they may be.
Chapter three of that same book is about caring or being other-oriented. Those who chase success often believe they have to “go get theirs,” a self-oriented belief system that is often touted by charlatans and who are now called contrepreneurs, those who care only about grabbing money. There is no way to succeed without creating value for others, especially if you seek financial success.
It may take you time, effort, and coaching to discover the things that hold you back and develop yourself in these areas. You can never make a better investment than the ones you make in yourself.
If you would attract success, start by becoming the kind of person that could create that success.
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