Business psychology

Want to be successful? You have to start from the inside out

- February 22, 2023 4 MIN READ
little girl in superhero cape looking over cityscape

If you want to be seen as a successful person, the easiest way to begin is to look at the aspects of yourself that are preventing that success and work on them. That may sound easier said than done, but we’ve got some examples to help you get started, writes Ann Noler Harris.

Six personal traits that will prevent success and what to do instead

1. You lack confidence

A lack of confidence manifests throughout everything you do. You hide away when you should step up. You don’t fill in the paperwork to apply for a promotion. You stick in a job you hate.

In short, this is an act of personal sabotage on yourself! If you want to face down the world, you have to be excited, energetic and ready to give it your all.

People never seem to seek help to boost their confidence, but they should, as once you feel confident, you can stop worrying about other people’s judgement and exercise your own. It’s not so hard to overcome, either. You can use role models and emulate them to start with. Then, you can talk to a professional who can help you heal any past trauma that gets in the way of feeling confident in yourself.

success mindmap

2. Your belief system gets in the way

You’ve probably heard of limiting beliefs but many people simply don’t feel ‘good enough’ for what they achieve. They want approval and for others to praise their actions, but when it happens? They quickly reject it and push back.

A lot of this stems from family behaviour and oddly, also from social media where people keep showcasing their best lives (never their problems) and ‘comparisonitis’ sets in and makes us all feel like imposters.

The trick here is simply to remember you’re comparing your worst self with other people’s best selves. You can overcome this issue by helping others and make them feel good too.

3. You’re not speaking up enough

Many people, women in particular, don’t seem to know how to say “no”. They become ‘yes women’, to their own detriment.

And every time they say “yes” to someone else, their own list of things to do gets longer and longer – they are always exhausted from doing other people’s tasks and always a long way behind on their own.

If that’s you, buy yourself time to start with. Tell people you’ll think about it and get back to them. Ask yourself if it’s something you really want to do and if not? Say “no”.

4. You’re afraid to be happy

Yes, we know, it ought to be super easy to be happy but that’s not always the case. Many people know what they want and have their goals but along the way they sabotage themselves.

Somewhere, deep down, they don’t think they deserve to be happy or don’t even want to be happy. This is usually a learned behaviour from parents, friends, etc.

The way to deal with this is to think about what you really want – you may need to bring in an outside party to explore this with you the first time you do it – and when you see what happiness looks like? You can start reaching for it.

Mature business woman chatting on phone with feet up on desk

5. You’re afraid the success has a price

Some people think that they’re going to fail at something else if they succeed in their objectives – that their friends, family, or partner might reject them or feel hurt by it.

The best way to deal with this is to explore your journey with those people. Don’t try to make them come on that journey, their path is their own. But if they know where you are heading, they’re more likely to be rooting for you to succeed.

6. You fear change

If you’re stuck in a rut, it can be really intimidating to face change in your life. But if you don’t change, nothing can improve.

The best way to overcome this obstacle is to take things in small steps to begin. You don’t eat an elephant in one session, you cut it up into small pieces.

You can do the same with any challenge and then you can reward yourself each time you successfully take a small step on the path to success.

Final thoughts on being successful

Becoming a success is a lifetime journey, not something that you click your fingers to achieve. The best way to succeed, however, is to ensure that you have strong principles, commit to action and use the steps above to inform your steps on the path to something better.

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Now read this:

7 steps to help introverts overcome self-doubt and start a business

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"