Do you believe you’re capable of attaining success? Surprisingly, some believe they’ll never be successful, no matter what they do or how hard they try.
However, in my business and coaching experience, I can tell you that success is possible for everyone, from seasoned entrepreneurs and business people to students just starting out.
The problem with most people isn’t that they can’t achieve success; the real issue is they misunderstand what success is in the first place. I bet if I asked 100 people to tell me what it means to be a successful person, I would get a variety of answers – wealth, intelligence, athletic ability, business expertise, imagination. These answers are often based on someone that the individual believes is a successful person. However, this belief often traps them into thinking they must be like that person to be a success. In fact, we end up finding ourselves consumed by other people’s success stories and end up trying to somehow replicate that. But, guess what? You can’t be like that person. You can only be you. So, you’re following the wrong picture of success. Just because someone took one path and found happiness doesn’t mean that such a path with hold the same outcome for you. To understand what I mean by this, let’s look at what some of the common misconceptions of success are.
SUCCESS MISCONCEPTION 1: WEALTH
The accumulation of money is THE MOST COMMON misinterpretation of success. Many people assume when they make a lot of money, they’ll be successful. But, money doesn’t necessarily bring success or contentment. Sometimes, money can actually lead to other problems like jealousy, mistrust, materialism, and/or addiction. So, don’t measure your self-worth based upon your bank account.
SUCCESS MISCONCEPTION 2: A SPECIAL FEELING
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ll know I’m successful when I’m happy”? Well, success and happiness aren’t synonymous. You don’t have to be successful to be happy. Happiness is an emotion; whereas, success is not.
SUCCESS MISCONCEPTION 3: SPECIFIC POSSESSIONS
Do you believe you’ll be successful when you own an expensive home, a fancy car, or designer goods? Well, there are plenty of people out there who already own these items and they’re far from a success. In fact, they’re in debt to the hilt because of these possessions.
SUCCESS MISCONCEPTION 4: POWER
Next to wealth, power is another big myth about success. Power may give you the appearance of success, but power is only temporary. Just ask any dictator or world leader.
SUCCESS MISCONCEPTION 5: ACHIEVEMENT
If you believe you’ll only be a success when you accomplish a certain goal or attain a certain position, you’ll soon come to realize once you reach that goal, there’s always something more to achieve. Success is a journey, one that is constantly changing and evolving. It’s not a specific destination.
So what is success? How can we define it at all? In his book, Your Road Map for Success, John Maxwell says:
“Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.”
I like this definition of success because it’s something that anyone at any stage in life can really understand. Your capacity for growth is ongoing and the opportunities to help others is never-ending. Also, you can be a success starting today, so why not start right now?