Who is your biggest ally in achieving success?
a) Your professors/ mentors
b) Your boss
c) Your support system
d) None of the above
Ultimately out of all these people that usually influence our success, the correct answer is D. None of the above!
Your biggest ally in achieving successful outcomes in fast and efficient ways couldn’t be anyone else but yourself! Your beliefs, values, actions, and everything that comprises your personality are the core muscles that facilitate your success. Many of us don’t optimize our strengths and weaknesses. We don’t recognize experiences that shape us professionally yet were developed outside of the professional setting. However, our personality traits can offer a boost to our success strategy.
Are you ready to figure out how? Follow these 4 steps.
1. Identify the traits that make you who you are
First things first, you cannot utilize your personality for success, if you have an abstract idea of your personality traits. Most of us have a fixed impression of our own personality, mostly from other people’s descriptions of us or unreliable online quizzes. It takes brutal honesty, self-reflection, and multifaceted research to identify which elements of our inner self define us, activate in survival mode, are triggered by specific emotion or rather how we frame the reality around us. We explore that in-depth is our Development Program (SIGN UP HERE). Of course, we are not going to leave you wondering how to do that.
Give yourself a week, maybe two. In that time, be mindful of your owns actions, thoughts, and emotional state in response to different events. Stick a poted on your desk, set a reminder on your phone, keep a journal – whatever works for you best, for a week. For example, how do you react when your boss announces that you will earn less for the same amount of work? An identifiable scenario like this can make us identify which parts of our personality are dominant in the face of everyday challenges. In addition, don’t completely rule out other people’s opinions. Feedback from your support system (aka people that care for your well-being and who you respect) can be a useful indicator.
What is important here is not to waste the data. Recognizing what you’re feeling, how you’re thinking in a specific scenario is a great observation – a data point. You, then, should be interested to turn these data points into insights. Look for patterns, similarities.
An interesting approach would be to, at this point, use a credible personality model as guidance. This combination of objective and subjective sources will provide you with a concrete framework for your personality analysis.
How do you analyse it then? Start by comparing traits you thought you have (as better or less dominant) with patterns you found after two weeks of self-observation. Then, cross-reference that with your personality test. To maximise the value of the analysis, this time look for similarities and mismatches and ask yourself – What does that mean to me? And if you consider your current context and setting, how does it impact it?
2. Define success
Now that you have an idea of the dominant traits of your personality, it’s time to process another important aspect; success! If you are reading this article, you most likely want to succeed in something. However, how clear are you about your success definition? Success is an intricate term that widely varies across people. We are often shaping our success vision hugely impacted by what society norms tell us. How many times you thought to yourself ‘Oh, he’s made it in life, he sits on a board of a multibillion-dollar business’? Or had a doubt flying through your head when you heard a daughter of your friend decided to drop out of medical school to be a graphic designer? We are all guilty of these almost unconsciously forced thoughts because our brains have been conditioned to define success in a very homogenous way for years.
If, though, we are all different; our personalities are different; our breadth of experience and the way we processed it is unique; our context is individual to each one of us; why do we try to follow one vision of success?
In September, though our #wakupcall campaign, we were sharing stories of people’s journey to defining their purpose and what success means to them. Journeys? Yes. It is not a 5-minute job. It can take years before you truly connect with your purpose and are able to stand by your own definition of success. But if you manage to position purpose at the core of it, you are so 100 miles ahead of everyone else.
Take some serious time to decide what it is that you want to succeed in, free of what’s appropriate, what’s expected or look good. How would you define success in life for you if it was to stay a secret forever? How does it look like? How does it make you feel? What fuels you in that success reality?
3. Connect the dots
Time to finalize the equation! A solid understanding of your personality and a clear definition of your success equals your completely personalized unique success plan. Excited, much? You should be, as you did all of this on your own. At this point, you can use your conclusions to modify your existing external stimuli to reach your target faster. Let’s assume that you identify as an introverted and shy person. At the same time, you have to give a kick-ass presentation to qualify your department for a grant and get a step closer to a promotion.
What do you do? Use your knowledge to your advantage! Be mindful of your soft spot, next to implementing standard strategies such as practising your speech more in front of your friends, videotaping/watching yourself during the speech, or asking for supplementary feedback, ask yourself – Where is my locus of control? What would be a mindset I need to enter to nail it? How can I use my traits to maintain that mindset throughout the presentation?
4. Stop and evaluate
Never forget that you are constantly evolving. It is a common mistake to believe that our personality is stable and fixed. Your personality can fluctuate as a result of new experiences or social roles you might take over. In the same fashion, your success definition can modify. Our needs and goals are not established for life; instead, they actively transform according to our different phases of life. Thus, it is crucial to take a step back and evaluate it periodically. Does my current approach actually correspond to the desired reality? Am I getting closer to living my purpose? Reflection might take time, but success doesn’t come overnight; only hidden shortcut is discovering that you are the one in charge!
Want to continue the discussion? Fell free to connect with us & comment below.
If you are ready for more, sign up for our Development Program and join 3 live masterclasses to expand your knowledge and apply the learning (SIGN UP HERE).
Mary & Maria