How are you Defining Success?
Once you’ve established what’s holding you back from success, you’re prepared to move forward into pushing yourself beyond your limits. Well, let me stop here. I realize I just said that like it just requires the snap of your fingers and you’ll be ready to move on. I don’t want to trivialize the work you need to do before you get to this point. If you haven’t connected with any of the reasons I shared in the previous chapter, take a moment and re-read it.
hollischapmanshow on Demand Ramona Benjamin
You have to come up with a definition of success.
The purpose of this isn’t for you to focus on your challenges but you have to identify them in order to overcome them. So if there isn’t one specific reason that’s hitting you, look for two. It’s entirely possible that there is more than one thing holding you back. You could be stuck in a rut and dealing with fear of success. You could also be facing fear of failure and lack of confidence.
Success comes after you’ve reached a goal, right?
If that’s the case, it’s perfectly fine. Identify those reasons and keep them in mind. In fact, you should write them down. Put them in a place where you can see them while you work on moving past them. By confronting your challenges head on it’s the best way to get past them. Yes, I know it’s not pleasant but it’s necessary. I told you this wouldn’t be easy. So now that you’ve identified your challenges, it’s time to identify success. Setting Goals Success is marked by the accomplishment of a task or the meeting of a goal. If you don’t set a goal, you will find yourself hard pressed to determine whether you’ve been successful. This is where many people struggle. They don’t do a great job of setting goals. I know you probably have a whole list of goals you’ve been working towards since you were young. The problem with most goals outside of the standard ones is that they’re too vague and ultimately impractical. Here are some of the standard, All American success goals: 1. Go to college 2. Get a job 3. Buy a car 4. Buy a house 5. Vacation on a tropical island These goals are all fairly tangible. You can easily determine what it takes to accomplish each one and then do those things. You’re often given a social blueprint to use. Plus everyone around you is often pursuing these same goals. Even if they’re not extremely important to you, achieving them can be as easy as following the crowd. However, if you’re reading this book I’m pretty sure that you’ve either already accomplished all of these goals or are in the process of doing so. I’m also fairly certain that going to a tropical island isn’t something you consider outside of your comfort zone. Unless that tropical island has a nude beach you want to visit. So I feel very comfortable saying that the goals that inspired you to read this book are probably too vague, broad or ultimately impractical. Proper goal setting is necessary for achieving success. Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you to completely scrap the list of goals you’ve created. It just means that you have to apply the tips I’m about to share to make those goals more reachable. I know you didn’t set those goals just for the sake of doing so. We all set goals with the intention of meeting them. I’m here to help you do that. 1. Your goal is too broad. If your goal is to become the Vice President of your department at work, that’s a great long term goal to have. However, it will probably take some time before that goal is realistically attainable. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make this a goal but you have to break it up into smaller goals. When you decide that you want to be the Vice President, you should make a map. It can be a visual map or a written one but you need to figure out the path to that particular goal. Once you’ve outlined the path, set a series of small goals that will lead you towards the larger success. 2. Your goal is too vague.If your goal is really vague it’s virtually impossible to know when you’ve accomplished it. Many people have the long term goal of being financially stable. That’s an awesome goal to have but it’s very vague. What does it mean to be financially stable? Does that mean you can pay all of your bills every month? There are many people who can pay their bills and nothing else. They have no savings. That wouldn’t necessarily mean you were financially stable since you would essentially be living check to check. Maybe you being financially stable means you have six months of living expenses in savings. But what if you lose your job and are out of work for 18 months? Is that enough to truly be financially stable? If being financially stable is your goal, it’s important that you identify exactly what that means to you. For example: a. I want to always have six months of living expenses in my saving account. b. I want to be able to take two vacations a year. c. I want to be able to afford to put my kids in private school and afford to go to the spa once a month. These are goals that could signify that you are financially stable. They’re very specific and you have a clear indicator of success. If a few years go by where you are only able to take one vacation then you didn’t reach your goal. If you find yourself able to take three vacations a year, you’ve surpassed your goal. The term “financially stable” has multiple definitions that can vary from person to person. You have to narrow it down to make it reachable. 3. You don’t know what you really want when you say you want success. Many people don’t reach their goals because they’re not entirely clear what they want. If you can’t clearly state what you hope to accomplish to the point where someone can quickly understand, you need to revisit it. It’s important that you take the time to sit with your wants and desires to see how they can be shaped into an actual goal. There is a level of clarity of purpose that comes from having a clear goal. On the flip side, there is a level of confusion and frustration that comes from pursuing an unclear goal. 4. Your goal to success is unrealistic. If your goal requires you to win the lottery or get randomly discovered by a famous model scout in a mall, it is probably unrealistic. Yes you should follow your dreams but in order for you to reach your goals they must be actually reachable. If you’ve always dreamed of playing in the NBA but you’re only 5’9 and 25 years old, that goal is unrealistic. However you could take that goal and make it more realistic by pursuing a career as a NBA sports announcer or a coach or referee. Just because your goal is unrealistic doesn’t mean you have to give up on it entirely. It means you should be willing to consider other options. 5. Your success goal is someone else’s. Many people have goals that have been given to them by someone else. This is largely done by parents or other older family members who have a vested interest in how you live your life. This can happen if that person didn’t realize their own dreams and want to see you do it. Never take someone else’s dream as your own! Pursuing your dreams takes focus, discipline and extended effort. If you don’t believe in the goal and are doing it for someone else, you won’t have that internal fire to reach it. I said, in Chapter 1, that you shouldn’t allow outside sources to affect how you choose to live your life. That goes for setting goals, not setting goals and anything else you decide to do or not do. It’s important that your goals are indeed your own. 6. You have too many success goals. Having multiple goals is fine. Attempting to actively pursue multiple goals at the same time can lead to stagnation. It’s important that you focus on one goal at a time. If you have a long range goal, its fine to have smaller goals that you work towards while pursuing that one but having multiple long range goals isn’t a good idea. 7. You’re easily distracted from success Some goals take longer to reach than you may have initially thought it would. This can sometimes lead to you becoming a goal chaser. You move from goal to goal without ever really putting your focus on one goal until completion. This is something that many entrepreneurs deal with. They want their business to be financially successful so they spend a lot of time chasing the latest, greatest money making opportunity. After a while, they have spent a lot of time starting things and no time actually seeing them through. You have to choose a goal and give it the attention it deserves. 8. You don’t have the knowledge or skills.Some goals require specialized knowledge and skills. If you don’t take the time to pursue that extra knowledge or attain those skills, you won’t be able to reach your goal. If you don’t want to take the extra effort to gain these skills and knowledge, you should amend your goals. However if you want to reach then surpass those goals, you will need to do the extra work to do so. Before you can begin to work towards success, you must set some goals but they must be used to help. Goals are tools that you use to make your dreams come true. You have to create them to be stepping stones on your personal path to success. Sometimes having goals can help you maintain a link to your dreams when life throws curve balls your way. JK Rowling is an excellent example of someone who had to dodge a fair share of curve balls on her path to success.