I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
– Frank Lloyd Wright
Many people will tell you WHAT you need to do to be a success. Very few will let you in on the secrets of HOW to be successful. One of the first things that has to happen is that you need to have a success identify for yourself. And that involves a little risk taking because having a success identity eventually means that you will be compelled to declare your success and start acting like an achiever. When you finally decide to affirm your success . . . to come out as a winner and take on a personal identity as someone who won’t tolerate failure . . . a very new journey starts for you. Start wrapping your head and heart around an inescapable rule of success: Success won’t change you as much as it is going to change your friends – literally and figuratively. And any up front and public disclosure by you that you want to be successful will eventually be met with some pushback from some of the people with whom you routinely associate. The reaction from them might be . . . nothing. Or they might tell you that you’re crazy. They might reject you, criticize you, and G-d forbid, even laugh at you. So one of the first things you need to learn on your path to success is how to separate out the people who should be in your life from those toxic individuals you don’t need to be around any more.
If you don’t think this concept is important, by the way, do a little experiment with me. Make a list of your 10 closest friends. Now examine the list and reflect on these “close” friends’ attributes, habits, strengths, and weaknesses. I’m willing to bet that the trend you see in your list of friends is very close to how you have been in the past. And the reality is that we gravitate to the lowest common denominator friend and that brings down everyone else to that level. Now, if you like what you see in your list of friends then, by all means, keep those associations up. But, if your “close” friends don’t serve you well – if any of these people are not supporting your vision of success or encouraging your dream of the Future – you might want to consider a change.
I can hear you now. “Wait,” you say, “I’ve had [fill in your favorite flaky or negative, energy-sucking friend’s name in here] as a friend my whole life. We’re like brothers/sisters. He’s/She’s just being him/her. I can’t simply dump them as a friend. What would that make me?” What would it make you? Smart. Discerning. And you just might start getting the success you need in the process. Colin Powell was once quoted as saying, “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.”
So, how do you come out as a success and make that choice work for you? Here are a few steps to consider.
STEP ONE. Make a commitment to yourself that whatever success means for you is a personal obligation. Your desire for prosperity and affluence is your priority. If it’s not, then you’re simply letting someone else’s desires dictate how you react through life.
STEP TWO. Be prepared for reactions from your friends and family. Many of the people you already surround yourself with are highly insecure, walk around with an imposter syndrome, or haven’t achieved their own level of success. When you come out with your success identity, they will respond negatively because you are reminding them of their own failings and fears. That’s okay. That’s their journey to embark upon – not yours. Let others be uncomfortable as you continue to move forward with confidence.
STEP THREE. Choose the people you talk to about success wisely. You want to start surrounding yourself with a network of supporters and those who will help you advance in the direction of your dreams. That doesn’t mean you want a bunch of “yes” people around you. You want those who will question what you want to achieve and continue to hold you accountable. It does mean, however, that you want to change your circle of friends to those who truly want you to succeed.
STEP FOUR. Be majestic in coming out as a success. There is nothing wrong with you want to have more in life. You are to be applauded for wanting to take your life and the lives of dear friends and family to a new level of richness. While I’m not suggesting being cocky and only surrounding yourself with people just like you, I am encouraging your to be self-assured and convinced of the reasons why you want to be a success. There will come a time when you need to continue to move forward with your plans even when everyone around doesn’t understand.
As you come out as a success, the people around you will change. Have poise and confidence in the worth of your dreams and in yourself. Not everyone has to agree with you or even understand what you are doing. You can’t please everyone, after all. You can, however, please yourself!
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