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15 Traits of Successful People That Ambitious Professionals Should Emulate

Amplifying these personality traits and behaviors can set you on the path to success.

When you think of the world’s most successful individuals, what do you imagine their inner selves to be like? Most of us probably think of aspects like confidence, resilience, decisiveness, and the ever-elusive “grit.”

While there are no definitive personality traits that guarantee success, there are a few that, when properly emphasized, can make you more likely succeed. To find out what people should focus on developing in themselves, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question:

What aspects of successful people’s inner selves should you emulate in order to help you build your own success?

Their best answers are below.

1. Confidence

A key factor of success is confidence. Successful people avoid getting caught up in self-doubt and have the confidence to move forward in their decisions. When you’re confident, you spend less time second-guessing yourself and more time getting things done. Trust your gut!
Ryan D MatznerFueled

2. The Ability to Cope with Stress

Most everyone wants to emulate successful peoples goals, visions, and drives and how they come up with their ideas. More important is finding out how they navigate the hard times, balance their lives successfully and retain happiness outside of their career. Learning this will inspire you when you face your own hard times and teach you valuable coping skills that blind optimism won’t.
Brandon StapperNonstop Signs

3. A Proactive Nature

While it may seem simple, the ability to take initiative is something that all successful people have in common. That means actively seeking out the next opportunity, whether its an opportunity to build your skillset or an opportunity to advance your career. By keeping your head up and putting yourself out there, you gain an instant advantage over the person who never even walked out the door.
Robert De Los SantosSky High Party Rentals

4. Self-Compassion

They tend to focus on self-compassion instead of self-esteem — and there is a difference. Instead of worrying about how you’re viewed by others (self-esteem), dig deep into giving yourself a small break as far as your challenges or obstacles, and figure out a way to roadmap a path for success around them.
Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

5. Humility and Gratitude

When you look at most of the leaders, trailblazers and innovators in any field, they typically all possess three similar traits. First, humility, and an overall humble attitude, remembering where they came from, who they have to thank, and that there is still much to study. Second, gratitude for where they are and what they have. Third, a drive to keep growing, expanding and learning.
Dalia MacPheeDALIA MACPHEE

6. The Ability to Learn from Failure

To be successful, you have to fail forward. Do not let failure hinder you. The most successful people learn from their failure to move closer to success. Understand that failure is inevitable but if you learn from it and fail forward, you will soon build the success you’ve always wanted.
– Fred Lam, iPro Management Group Corp.

7. Resilience

The value I find common in successful people is resiliency. A lot of people don’t know that it takes more than hard work to achieve success. Those who’ve made it didn’t achieve their success on their first or second try because they’ve failed a hundred times. The ability to accept failure, lifting oneself back up, and trying again is something I really admire and take to heart.
– Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

8. The Courage to Take Risks

One of the most important personality traits of successful people that I try to emulate is the courage to take risks. Successful people thrive outside of their comfort zone because they know that is where they grow the most. Mistakes are inherent with growth, but one of the main factors of success is being able to overcome these mistakes, learn from them, and then turn them into gold.
Shu SaitoFact Retriever

9. Hunger

Many successful people were driven by a powerful hunger, a primal need to survive. My advice to anyone looking to achieve the same level of success as J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, or Jay-Z is to put themselves in situations where working hard is an absolute necessity. It’s not a fun answer, but removing yourself from a comfortable life and embracing hunger is the best strategy for success.
Bryce WelkerAccounting Institute for Success

10. Decisiveness

You need to find someone that has a similar style and then adapt it to your business. You can’t just copy someone’s strategy or traits if the business is totally unrelated and has a different management style. Decision making is my number one trait that I like to read about and see how I can improve it, as I believe it is what makes all the difference and is something I admire in other leaders.
– Brian Condenanza, Fluo Shoes

11. A Sense of Passion and Greater Purpose

When we look at successful people, in any industry, we often think of them as inherently gifted in some manner. It’s really important that we work to distance ourselves from this perspective. I think finding a passion, developing a sense of greater purpose, and establishing ambitious goals that serve as motivation can help us emulate the successful entrepreneurs who came before us.
Kevin YamazakiSidebench

12. Self-Awareness

The most successful people know who they are, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and are highly self-aware. In working to emulate the success of others, start by focusing on understanding yourself. With great self-awareness, you will be better positioned to attain meaningful success.
– Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group

13. The Drive to Follow Intuition

In my experience, copying other peoples’ strategies never works. The key is to understand your own inner self and learn what works for you. Most successful people I’ve run across don’t take things personally and find opportunities in challenges. Remember, if you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. Cultivate a desire for change and be willing to push the boundaries of what others expect of you.
Raad AhmedLawTrades

14. Personal Health

You should stay healthy, and spend a lot of time enjoying life. The most successful people are often very healthy people. While building their passion business, founders respect their own limitations and make concessions to accommodate their personal habits such as the gym, a cleanse, or a meditation practice. No one takes care of you, except you; leading is the same way.
Matthew CapalaAlphametic

15. A Positive Attitude

Many successful people have a positive attitude that is contagious. The first step is to clear your mind from any negative thought and only make room for the positive ones. Watch inspiring videos and consume content that will help make you more positive and effective.
Chris ChristoffMonsterInsights

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