Have you ever wondered about the secret of success and how *those* people get ahead? I can tell you the secret – there is no secret. Getting ahead is about the mindset you have and the behaviours you exhibit and best of all, they can be learnt, practised and implemented. Here are 8 behaviours that successful people demonstrate for you to start with…
Throw excuses out of the window
Successful people don’t focus on what isn’t going right. I am not saying things never go wrong, but people who get ahead look for ways to make it happen anyway, even if it’s a different way to how they originally planned. They don’t sit around wallowing in how difficult it is or finding reasons to procrastinate – not for long anyway! Getting ahead requires focusing on the possible, not the impossible… reframe your thoughts to “How can I accomplish this?” and get a different perspective.
Focus on the journey, not the destination
Yesterday I was talking with a coaching friend of mine who was getting stuck and feeling overwhelmed at how far she felt she had to go still until she reached the top of her ‘Everest’. I reminded her that often it’s not about where we are going but how far we have come. I was reminded of my 30 day running challenge where I learned sometimes it is important to slow down and stop so that you can enjoy what is around you. The journey you are on is full of success, challenge and inevitable failure – all of which are valuable lessons – if you can appreciate them.
Seek out opportunities to learn
“Everyday is a school day”. Yesterday (clearly a busy day for me!) I learnt that one of the theories for chickenpox being called chickenpox is that it resembles the shape of chickpeas. Who knew?! Obviously not that relevant for work, unless you work putting together pub quiz questions but nonetheless a reminder that we never know everything. That would be impossible. However, there are always opportunities to learn if we look for them. As we learn new things we can shift our beliefs, grow our comfort zones and share our knowledge. Perfect for getting ahead.
Choose your tribe
Over the weekend I found myself writing that one of the reasons I like to run is that it gives me the opportunity to surround myself with people who ‘can’ rather than people who ‘can’t’. They (I have no idea who) say that you are the average of the seven people you spend time with – so by surrounding yourself with positive, successful people you are much more likely to get ahead in life and your career.
“If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people. If you want to be funny, hang out with funny people. And if you want to be poor, hang out with poor people.” – Unknown
Look for people who complement your skills/mindset/qualities – they don’t have to want the same things as you. By spending time with successful people you will shift your behaviours, mindset and start building successful thought patterns. Not to mention the support you will receive. This can also work really well with a buddy or mentor – who do you know who could support you on your journey?
Act with authenticity and integrity
If you are honest, dependable and take responsibility for your actions you will draw others to you. That’s integrity and for me sits alongside authenticity – being completely genuine and transparent in your behaviours. Setting an example to those around you and leading by example is a behaviour that most people appreciate. Whether that’s employees, teams, business partners, clients or customers.
Treat success like a marathon, not a sprint
I know I use a lot of sporting analogies but they work so well (sorry, not sorry). Anyway, this is important to remember. When running long distances (and short ones when you are starting out) the key is to remember that it is mostly mental resilience you need, not physical. It’s the same with getting ahead. There are times when you are going to feel lost, overwhelmed and discouraged but they are temporary feelings – they will pass if you keep going. We all have bad days but those are the days not to give up; if you want to give up, give up on a good day – finish on a high.
You can create goals, beautiful colour-co-ordinated spreadsheets and plans as much as you like but in order to actually get ahead, you need to take action. Have you ever read Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’? In it, he discusses beginning with the end in mind, planning and prioritisation. I love the way that James Clear describes the ‘Eisenhower matrix’ – something you can implement quickly and effectively at the beginning of your day to decide what’s important/urgent.
I saw, and shared, a post the other day on Instagram which basically said ‘give yourself permission to dream big, step into who you are and stop playing small.’ It’s something I have come to learn as I have got older that it’s ok to want more, to have big dreams and to go after them. I think that this quote sums up what I have found:
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeves