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5 simple truths about success

What it means and looks like to be successful

Man in blue button down shirt lean forward and smiling with greenery in the background

I don’t know about you, but I grew up thinking that being “successful” was hard.

You either had to be insanely smart (uhh… not me!), know all the right people, or work yourself into the ground.

If I’m being honest, all of those sound miserable to me.

I mean, I can hold my own, but I’m certainly no brainiac, and don’t desire to study myself into oblivion to become one.

I like people, and thrive in relationships, but being one of those serial networkers sounds like torture.

And although I’m all about going out and earning what you want in life, I’m not down for doing it at the expense of the things I value most – my time, health, and happiness.

Luckily, as I got older though, I realized that most of those things I used to believe about what it took to be “successful” were flat out wrong.

I realized that there are a lot of misconceptions about what success is and looks like.

And that’s exactly what I want to chat about here today.

So, if you want to learn 5 truths about success, then keep reading.

5 truths about success

Success is SUPPOSED to be subjective

Right out of the gate, I’m going to drop a truth bomb on you!

If you lean into this truth, it’ll be one of the most transformational things you’ll ever learn.

Most of us are brought up having this subconscious generic definition of what it means to be “successful.”

And, if we’re being completely honest, the foundation of that definition is typically how much money you make.

Therefore based on that definition, if you make a lot of money, you’re successful, and if you don’t, you’re not!

But, we all intuitively know, that that’s complete bullshit.

Hence the reason why there are millionaires and billionaires who are miserable and hate their lives.

Can money be part of your definition of success? Absolutely! In fact, I think it should be for everyone.

To deny that money serves a great purpose in our lives and presents us with opportunities is just ignorant.

So, don’t be ignorant.

But, equally as ignorant is to make success ALL about how much money you make.

Success is supposed to be holistic – meaning that it’s made up of all areas of life.

And, it’s supposed to be subjective – meaning that it’s unique to you.

I say this over and over again, and I’ll continue to say it until I’m blue in the face – YOU ARE SPECIAL DAMNIT!

And because you’re special, you should not be living your life according to some generic definition of success.

Your definition needs to be in alignment with who you are and what you value in your life.

When it’s not, no matter how much others may think you are successful, you won’t feel like it.

I know this firsthand.

I had all the outward signs of success – played college football, graduated at the top of my class, had the great corporate job and wonderful a relationship, etc. – yet I hate my life.

Why?

Because I was pursuing someone else’s definition of success for my life.

That’s why it’s so important to seek clarity, and figure out exactly what you want in your life.

So, if you’re not where you want to be in life, ask yourself, are you pursuing your definition of success, or someone else’s?

Success is a mindset

I’ve realized over the years that most people, like me, grew up thinking that success is something you go out and do.

That it’s an action.

But, that’s not quite true.

Yes, in order to be successful at something, you have to take action.

But, that action follows something else – your mindset.

See, the reality is, no matter what area of life it’s in, you don’t become successful at something without first deciding that you want to be.

Because if you never make that conscious decision, you won’t take the actions necessary to reach the level of being “successful.”

That’s what separates highly successful people from those who are not – they have a mindset of success.

And that mindset creates their standards for how they show up and perform.

So when they go to do something, they stand in the belief that they are successful.

Having that belief influences their actions and creates a sense of passion.

It also makes it easier for people who see themselves as successful to persevere through tough or trying times whenever others quit.

People who are “successful” are that way because they believe they are. And people who are “failures” are that way because they also believe they are.

So, success isn’t an action issue – it’s an identity and mindset issue.

Yes, the strategies, tactics, and actions are important.

But, only after you’ve done the work of adopting the mindset and belief of a successful person.

Success requires sacrifices

Wanna be successful?

Well…. I’ve got a tough pill for you to swallow – you’re gonna have to make some sacrifices.

That’s right, success comes at a cost.

There’s no one who is “successful,” whether it’s according to their definition or someone else’s, who’s not having to sacrifice.

Want some examples? Of course you do!

If making a bunch of money makes you feel successful, then you’re likely sacrificing time or significant relationships.

Or, let’s say being a great stay at home parent is your definition of success. Well, then you’re definitely sacrificing financial abundance.

Yup, it’s a fact of life – sacrifices have to be made.

Does it mean that you can’t still be “successful” in all areas of your life? Absolutely not!

You can. Remember, that’s why point number 1 above is so important.

But, you have to go into it with the understanding that saying yes to one thing, means you are saying no to something else.

That’s why getting crystal clear on who you are and what you want in your life is so important, so that you can make the right sacrifices that aren’t going to leave you living with regrets.

Success requires risk

Anyone else here risk averse by nature?

Surely I’m not the only one.

Well, either way, I can definitely say that taking risks is something that I’m NOT genetically prone to.

In fact, I hated it. Whether it was physical, financial, or emotional risk didn’t matter – I usually wasn’t down for it.

But, as I got older, and started to really lean into my desire to achieve at a high level and live my dream life, I began to understand that risk is part of the game.

Now, let me be clear on something.

Some people subscribe to the belief that you can’t create great success without being willing to risk it all.

But I disagree with that.

They call it “calculated” risk for a reason. You can put time, energy, and thought into whatever risks you’re considering before you take them.

But, at the end of the day, you’ve gotta be willing to step into the great unknown at some point if you want to create a truly abundant life.

Success requires personal responsibility

You ever meet someone, who’s clearly not successful by anyone’s standards, that has a victim story for every circumstance in their life?

I know I sure do!

Wanna know why they’re not successful?

Because they’ve refused to accept personal responsibility for their lives.

They’ve got a victim mindset. They believe that they’ve been dealt a bad hand, and that life is happening to them, and not for them.

But that’s just simply not true.

And as long as someone believes that, they’ll never be successful.

Success REQUIRES personal responsibility.

Yup… the good, the bad, and the ugly. You gotta own it all!

Why?

Because if you don’t you’re a victim. And if you’re a victim, you’re admitting to yourself that you are powerless to change the circumstances of your life.

And, the opposite is true – by taking personal responsibility, you raise your hand and take ownership for why your life looks the way it does (good, bad, or indifferent). 

And while that may be tough to do and suck initially, it puts you in a position of power to create change in your life.

It allows you to believe that you can create any level of success that you desire.

So, if you’re not creating the level of success you want, ask yourself, “am I taking personal responsibility for why my life looks the way it does?”

The answer to that question will determine your ability to create success going forward.

Putting it all together

See what I meant, when I said that most of the stuff we were taught about success isn’t true?

Did you learn anything new, or gain a new perspective on something?

Drop a comment below and let me know.

Just remember these words – success isn’t hard, but it does require that you show up and put in the work.

What that work looks like is up to you, based on YOUR definition of success.

And, don’t forget, success is and always will be an inside job first and foremost!

You can create any level of success that you desire, if you’re willing to wrap your head and heart around these truths, and put in the work.

Be UNCOMMON!

P.S. If you’re ready to take ownership of your life, get clear on what you want, and take the actions necessary to get it, then I want to support you in that. You can click here to schedule a consult call for us to get to know each other, and decide how I can best be of service to you.

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