Each of us may have a different definition of what success means, but one thing is for sure there is not one person on this earth who does not have a dream of finally “making it”. Whether that be something as huge as graduating from college and getting the job of your dreams or a small success like learning how to network in order to build business relationships, you need tools to get there. At 34 years old, there are definitely a lot of things that I wish I had done differently in my twenties. But when you are in your twenties there can be numerous distractions, internal conflicts, and just plain ole laziness going on.
Taking the time to work on some qualities that could put you on a path to success is not a bad idea though. Especially if you are not married or have children, trust me, you will thank yourself later. It was only in my thirties that I realized how much time I wasted by not doing critical things like really focusing on my goals and having more confidence in myself. I would be miles ahead in certain areas of my life if I had believed in myself more and stopped second guessing everything I did.
I came across an article about how to think like a winner and thought to myself, “I wish that I had worked on some of these attributes in my twenties!” So I compiled a list of the four most important things that I believe will light your future on fire if you learn how to master them early on in life.
Probably the most important thing you can do for your future is to believe in yourself. Most of us know this but the truth is many of us don’t truly start trusting in our abilities until we’re a little older. I think age gives us the time to realize certain things about ourselves that we just don’t take the time to realize in our youth. I constantly second-guessed myself in my twenties which caused me to miss out on some great opportunities and ultimately stunted my growth as an individual.
Finally I was truly liberated, only when I realized I had to let go of trying to be perfect. You’re going to make mistakes so you might as well expect it. When you accept that fact a funny thing happens, you feel more confident. Personally, I think this happens because you let your inhibitions go and worry less about messing up or looking foolish. You become fully present and your unique qualities naturally unfold. Of course there are still times when the doubt sneaks through and that’s when I just fake it. Look your best, hold your shoulders back, and smile. Eventually you trick yourself into believing that you really do know what you’re doing and even if you don’t it’s okay.
Sometimes your 20’s can give you the false illusion that you have time to burn, making it very easy to become distracted. Ask me how I know. I wavered between attempting to become a productive citizen and wanting to be carefree and have fun a little longer than I should have. Even though I knew that in order to make an impact in this world in anyway, I had to be more focused. The thing that I did not know at that time was how to vary my focus.
For instance, when I was younger I looked at tasks as huge hurdles that I had to dive into head first to accomplish. But while I would start off full steam, I would quickly lose momentum and lose focus because I tired myself out. Instead I learned to break things down into smaller chores so that I could more accurately concentrate on each. Doing this allows you to save your focus for when you need it the most. This method can also help you balance work and play more effectively.
This can be a tricky one. Mostly because you need to figure out what you’re passionate about before you can truly persevere. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some rare superhuman who know exactly what it is they are meant to do early on in life. For the rest of us who’ve made it over the hill to our 30’s, we have only just begun to figure things out! Personally, perseverance or grit as some call it has never been a problem for me. When I want something, nothing gets in my way until I have it. But if you know that you struggle with staying the course, it could be time to reconsider how invested you are.
Find something that gives you a deep sense of purpose so that you will always want to push yourself to the next level. That way when things get tough you can remind yourself what you love about your passion and reignite the spark. Again, try dissecting your responsibilities like I mentioned above. This tactic will enable you to stay in control of what you have to do which in turn continues to motivate you. Honestly the key to persevering is to be realistic about what you want to do and can do, then set your sights on it.
Losing sucks but you gotta be tough and learn from it. Figure out how to use it to your advantage. Find the highpoint in the loss and be thankful for it. This will help you bounce back more quickly which is critical to success. Getting stuck or frozen with fear because of your losses will set you way back in life. You don’t want to waste that precious time. Trust that the situation worked out the way it did because that is exactly the way it was meant to. Even if you made a bad decision that caused your loss, you were meant to decide that way. Sometimes things happen and we don’t connect the dots until years later. That’s why you’ve got to learn how to be unshakable because life goes up and down.
The best way I’ve learned to be resilient is to combat my negative thoughts. I consciously pay attention to the way that I talk to myself or my self-talk. Being aware of the dialogue you have with yourself can have a great impact on your mental state. I feel like my positive talk implants itself into my subconscious to lift my mood when I need it the most. Try some crazy irrational positivity for a change, it will amaze you.