You’re ready. You’ve set your career, you’ve identified your definition of success, and you know where you’ll be in 10 years. This already puts you lightyears ahead of your peers.
You’ve also accepted that the path to success is not a straight line. There are many ups and downs in one’s career, and you will fail more times than you will succeed. The majority get discouraged over time and settle for less. But there are the select few that keep moving forward until they reach their true potential. Here is what they abandon to get there.
- Comfort Zone
In many ways, comfort can be defined as the opposite of progress. It encourages you to maintain your status quo, which does not require learning anything new or thinking differently. Essentially it incentivizes you to stay where you are. Successful people embrace the opportunity to step out of comfort zone. As they say, high risk, high reward.
Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can mean many things to different people. Ultimately it comes down to taking risk, keeping an open mind, and trying new things. It’s also important to note that this does not mean they will not fail. Failure is a natural part of the path to success. Successful people do not allow the fear of failure to keep them from stepping into what’s uncomfortable.
Yes, it is good to have a strong goal and discipline yourself to stay on the correct path. But you must also be adaptable to your surroundings. You might discover that though you are on path A and it will get you where you need to go, path X might get you there more efficiently. You might also be presented with path Y which may look like a good option but will deter you from the path. You must be able to assess things quickly, so you know when to follow your original plan and when to adapt. Learning to assess accurately comes with knowledge gained from experience. This doesn’t necessarily have to be your own experience. You can also draw from people around you. Listening to and learning from your surroundings can mean understanding what routes to take but also what routes to not take. Both are equally valuable intel. Flexibility is key.
- Negative People
Associating with negative people has a way of draining your energy. As mentioned previously, the road to success is filled with ups and downs. You’re constantly in a mental battle with yourself to not get subdued by the failures. In order to achieve success, you must believe in yourself and surround yourself with positive, likeminded people that will support and inspire you.
You also need to surround yourself with people that will offer construction criticism. You don’t want to find yourself encircled by people that will just tell you what you want to hear.
Analyzing internal/external factors that led to failure and making excuses for them are two completely different things. One will guide you to improve and the other will help you remain stagnant. Giving yourself an excuse is essentially removing accountability. At first glance that may not sound too harmful, but by removing accountability you are also diminishing what’s within your power. If something doesn’t go as planned, it’s important to take the time and discover why. What portion was out of your control and what portion was? Once you’re able to decipher that, you’ll be able to over come the next time round.
- Lofty and Unattainable Goals
We’re all guilty of this. We set extreme and imaginative goals that we know deep down, we won’t achieve. Again, this sets us up for failure and encourages us to give up quickly. To become successful, one must establish SMART goals.
Coined by the celebrated George T. Doran, SMART goals help you provide a roadmap to your goals. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Firstly, goals should be specific. You should be able to answer the who, what, when, where, which, and why questions. You should also apply a metric that can measure your success progress. Achievability is also a key factor. It ensures that the goal is attainable. This doesn’t mean you should set an “easy” goal that doesn’t test your limits. It just means that the goal shouldn’t be so lofty that you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your goal must also be relevant to you and your master plan. Otherwise, it can stray you from that path you’ve chosen to take. The last, but crucial step in configuring your SMART goals, is setting a time limit. Give yourself deadlines and easily organize your time by various tools like time reporting system. This method has been tested and proven effective for decades.
Once you abandon these 5 pitfalls, success will follow.
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