Note: This post is written by Nicole Boyer
What defines a winner? To many, it might mean wealth, a great lifestyle, shiny objects and fame. If that is the definition, there are certainly some winners we all know, both publicly and personally.
But what if being a “winner” really has very little to do with all of that? What if being a “winner” really means that you realize your goals and dreams, that you have become someone with whom you have great comfort and satisfaction, and that you have contributed something of value, even if only within your own smaller environment?
Yes, some winning will bring wealth and fame as by-products, but that is not the “winning” itself. Winning itself brings a peace and contentment with who you are and what you do. And, yes, it will come at some cost.
Here is a list of the most common things you will have to sacrifice to reach that “winner” status – are you up for it?
1. Being a Pleaser
Trying to please others will make others very happy. It will do nothing for you. You are unable to say “no” to others’ requests and sometimes demands, and so you spend your time doing those things rather than focusing on what will promote yourself and achieve your goals.
You may be hesitant to stop being a pleaser because you don’t want people to be angry or upset with you. If you are going to pursue your own success, however, you will have to do that.
2. Keeping the Same Unproductive Relationships
You have had some friends for years – maybe since high school or before. They comprise a tight-knit group. However, many of them do not have the ambitions that you would like to have for yourself. If you continue to surround yourself with people who do not have goals of high success, you will give up your goals too.
Part of becoming successful means hanging around successful people. Their ambition, their energy, their ideas and behaviors will “rub off” on you, and you will become energized and optimistic about your future success.
3. Waiting for Something
Why are you waiting, and what are you waiting for? If you have an idea for a business; if you want to go back to school; if you want to look for a new job, every day that you wait makes it easier for you not to do it.
It’s so easy to get comfortable where we are, and it is uncomfortable to get out of that “safe place” and into the unknown. Just taking the first step will help you feel that you can do this.
4. Needing Approval
If you wait for friends and family to approve of your goals and your actions toward success, then you may wait forever. There are many who will call your dreams and your goals nothing more than “pipe dreams,” and they will disapprove of your taking risks. You need no one’s approval to pursue your dreams.
5. Limiting Thoughts
Sometimes this is also termed negative thinking. When you say to yourself that you really can’t do something, then that is exactly the outcome you set up for yourself.
No one ever achieved something with the attitude that they couldn’t actually achieve it. And that includes giants like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Jonas Salk, Mahatma Ghandi, Bill Gates, and Malala Yousafzai.
6. Complaining About Bad Luck/Breaks
Most of us aren’t born with the proverbial “silver spoons in our mouths.” And most of us have crises, failures, and some bad breaks. We didn’t get into the college we wanted; we didn’t get the job we wanted; we have had too many family obligations to strike out on our own.
That history can keep us exactly where we are – it certainly won’t move us forward. The past is the past. Today is the now, and living in the now is what successful people do.
7. Accumulating Shiny Objects
We get a raise or a promotion. We decide we can buy that new car, or a bigger house, or a pool, or a boat – whatever will make us feel good at the time and “show” our success to others.
But people who are focused on long-term success invest the extra money in lasting futures, not on short-term pleasures. Dump the need for shiny objects.
8. Thinking Small
We get into an interesting pattern as we move through adulthood. As children we had big dreams and goals. As we grow older and older, the dreams become smaller and smaller. Now, we are at the point where the dream becomes one of job security and a good retirement.
These are not bad goals for anyone who is satisfied with them. But if you want real success, security cannot be a big priority. Do you need to be smart about the risks you take? Of course you do. You can make plans to accumulate savings to live on when you make your big move. That’s smart planning. But not taking the risk dooms you.
9. Going It Alone
It’s difficult to become successful if you don’t have others who are at least a cheerleading section, if not willing to get in the trenches with you. Having a partner with the same big goals is a huge benefit. You keep each other motivated and on track. And it’s just more fun.
10. Comparing Yourself to Others
What a bummer this is! Are you going to be the next Steve Jobs? Maybe not. You have to stop worrying about the successes of others and comparing your own success or lack thereof to them. Stop being concerned about what anyone else is doing and focus on where you want to go and how you will get there.
11. Not Defining What Success Looks Like to You
This is the final and probably most important thing you will have to give up. You cannot define your success by anyone else’s. You have to define what success is for you. Once you have done that, then you have to set the goals and make the plans to achieve that success.
Photo by ProAdventure