We all have a dream for our lives, whether we want to get emotionally or physically healthier, build a stronger marriage, increase confidence, become a better parent, or embark on a career venture. No matter how different our individual dreams, each of us has some wish we hope to achieve in life.
For many, those dreams are made a reality but for others, it seems we consistently fall short. The sad fact is, most of us will not push through and reach the levels we dream. So what makes the difference between those of us that succeed and those of us that do not? Over the years, I have found one main distinction is how we approach the challenges it takes to reach those dreams. Here are five areas successful people tend to approach differently than others:
Perception: Whenever we want to make a change in our lives, we will inevitably face increased stressors and the challenge of the unknown. How we perceive these challenges makes a huge difference. Most of us will see these stressors in terms of loss or annoying things that must be “endured” to reach the goal. For instance, in getting healthier, the focus is often on the monetary cost of a program, the loss of time to add exercise to our routine, not getting to eat certain foods or certain amounts, etc. Successful people do not see these as losses. Instead, they see the rewards and benefits of feeling better, looking better, having more energy from exercise, etc. Successful people keep their eyes on the prize, knowing that when all is said and done, it will all be worth it.
Purposeful: Successful people are more purposeful, recognizing the danger of passivity. They are willing to look to others who have gone where they want to go, to read, to learn, to challenge themselves. If you want to get healthier, find someone who has worked to become healthy. If you want to learn how to be a better parent, find good parents. Successful people do not wait for others to do it for them; they are very strategic because they know it does not “just happen.”
Self-Correction: The ability to self-correct is crucial to lasting change. With any new goal, failures and disappointments will happen. Successful people know how to adjust to those in a way that lasts. Some tend to couple self-correction with flexibility. Being flexible is good but in the context of creating success, they are different. A rubber band can be flexible but after being stretched, it will return to its original state. Self-correction, on the other hand, goes deeper. It involves a complete internal change of heart that embraces a new way of thinking. Successful people know that the old way was not working. After all, if it was, they would not be taking on these new challenges. Self-correction develops a deeper understanding of “why” we want a change.
Follow Through: This is where the rubber meets the road. Successful people understand the need to take those action steps. Where self-correction helps us understand “why,” follow through is the “what.” Successful people are willing to step out of their own way and get moving. It is important here to understand that if true self-correction has not happened, any follow through will be short lived. We must first understand the “why” before we will ever be motivated to do the “what.”
Accountability: Any new venture will bring fear, insecurity, and uncertainty. Successful people know this. They also know that fear leads to doubt, anxiety, and unhealthy thoughts. Having someone to talk with openly can make all the difference. Successful people are open and willing to allow others in and be a part of that change. They seek out counselors, mentors, coaches, or other trusted people. They are willing to ask questions and be open to challenging their own thought processes so that their emotional world is in perfect alignment with their desires and goals for change.
Change means taking risks and the greater the risk, the greater the reward. You have many opportunities to make your dreams a reality. If you’re wondering why that is not happening, then maybe it’s time to take a deeper look at what is holding you back. Consider the above points. Do any of these resonate with you? If so, feel free to share a thought below. I would love to hear from you!