This morning I delivered a training session on Self-Motivation and Resilience to a group of new, eager consultants. I remembered how I sat in their shoes nearly four years ago, bewildered by some of the success that my colleagues were achieving. It was almost overwhelming how far away a success like that seemed to me. I was so incredibly far from accomplishing something like that, I was happy if I didn’t get lost in the office or remembered someone’s name whom I’d only met the week before.
This was by far my favourite training session that I have delivered to date. I’m not too sure if it motivated the participants as much is it motivated the trainer (me), but I left that session with a buzz and euphoria that I haven’t felt in a long time.
Success if a funny thing. It’s something that we all strive for in various aspects of our lives and more often than not, we have someone in that realm who we look up to. A colleague at work, an athlete within our sport, a self-made millionaire in business or a writer we who inspires us.
I asked the group today to think about the DNA of a successful person within the business and what adjectives came to mind when they thought of this individual. Answers included: positive, motivated, resilient, structured, goal-orientated, passionate, and focused. Not one mention of intelligence, expertise, knowledge or power.
Successful people don’t start out successful and I think that is something that we need to remember and remind ourselves, day in and day out. It’s through grit, resilience, self-motivation, determination and not giving up, that people become successful. Oftentimes, it’s that resilience in the face of adversity that is viewed as the success itself.
If you ask any famous successful person, you will (almost) always hear a similar story of being knocked down 10 times, standing up 11. J.K. Rowling, Colonel Sanders, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King… I could go on. The unprecedented similarities between these well-known, extremely successful individuals is that they had a goal, an idea, a dream, laser focus, and they didn’t give up.
Not everyone wants to change the world but the premise of success is the same in every single instance. Success isn’t born, it’s (self) made.
So how do you maintain that drive when all you want to do is give up?
We spoke a lot about motivation orientation. We are either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to perform and succeed and I think it is SO important to identify what motivates you. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way, no way is better than the other but each has a unique achievement-outcome associated with it.
Throughout your journey, motivations can change and sometimes you might be intrinsically motivated for one area, but extrinsically motivated in another. I’m usually intrinsically motivated. I got into my career for my love of people, helping people reach their full potential and overcoming barriers. I get a sense of pride, self-satisfaction from knowing that I have made a difference. Similarly, when I compete in sports I need to know that I have done my absolute best and if I have been beaten by talent, then I’m okay with that. However, at the same time, I can be extrinsically motivated by winning and getting the medal or trophy and name at the top. Especially in sports.
An underlying, fundamental topic that was also covered was removing self-limiting beliefs that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The thoughts that tell you you’re not good enough, you will never be that successful, that rich, that good at your job and then you only seek out information that is in line with your thoughts and disregard anything else that says otherwise. We will all have weaknesses that need to be overcome but they don’t make us lousy at our jobs.
Through grit, resilience and self-motivation, you can turn self-limiting beliefs into positive, self-serving thoughts that inspire and uplift you enough to make the first step of many. Don’t let your own mind and beliefs hold you back from doing something exceptional because if we all did that, we wouldn’t have some of the most ground-breaking inventions, technology or services available to us today.
We are all capable of achieving something great. It all starts with belief and is executed with committed action.