What Does Personal Success Look Like?

Too often these days, it is easier to get what you want (or at least feel like it emotionally) by becoming a victim rather than taking risks and leaving your comfort-zone to achieve more, and strive for something better.

Failure is rejected in our society. Instead it should be embraced and recognized as a rite of passage to a higher-level of achievement and personal satisfaction. The worst part of this is that low achievement really is becoming the new norm for many in modern society.

It has become socially acceptable to “play the role” of the victim.

Notice that I said, “play the role.” I did not say that people are victims, because 99% of the time they are not. We have a lot of control over our situations, and our reactions, but are unwilling to do what we know must be done … the consistent effort, and the extra work and sacrifice.

It is now easier to just “play the role” of the victim.

So, what are the clues that someone is “playing the role” of the victim?

Justifying: People will rationalize and justify their situation or why they are not where they want to be any way they can.

Blame: People will blame everyone and everything … except themselves, for why they are where they are.

Complaining: They complain and focus on the negativity in their lives and that is what they get from it … negative results.

Deflection: Essentially, when the fault is in fact with them, they project the blame and fault onto someone or something else. It is a distraction tactic.

​We don’t want people to think badly of us. We don’t want them to think we’re inept or that we make mistakes. We want them to think highly of us and to look up to us. As a result, we tend to (inappropriately) look for ways to make ourselves look better.

Projection: They place unwanted feelings onto others. These can be feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, and other negative emotions. Projecting is when you place your own negative behaviors on others.

The psychology of people using excuses to shirk responsibilities is growing in our society. Consider the commonly heard phrases (excuses): “You can’t fight the tide,” “It is what it is,” “We will just have to deal with it” – and the granddaddy of them all: “Don’t blame me, it’s not my fault.”

We can change this mentality and it starts with taking one new action at a time, beginning with you — and me. We can positively influence the outcome of our personal goals and desires — and we do every day by our actions and inactions, or decisions and indecision.

So, how do you change so that we can bring back the personal characteristics that made us each exceptional humans?

Requirements to be a successful, self-directed human: 

#1. Accountability:

It all starts with complete self-accountability … and a small dose of tough love when we need to be realistic with ourselves. Honesty, integrity and responsibilty. We cannot let the “victim mentality” become a victim identity for ourselves. We must recognize our ‘victim’ traits and stop them immediately, even if we find ourselves tempted to use one of them. This will be painful at times, but it is a necessity.

#2. Be the Creator of your life:

The success of every individual in past generations was built on hope, adaptability, hard work and sacrifices required to find success.

What most people fail to realize is that we are all unique in our ability to function as a powerful creator in all the areas of our lives.

Whether we own a business, are retired, work for someone else, or champion a cause about which we feel deeply; we all have an ability to tap into our innate entrepreneurial spirit, and our intuition to aid us.

The entrepreneurial spirit is a gift that inspires you and others to become the best they can be. This spirit — a uniquely American, can-do spirit — must be recognized and reinforced over and over.

#3. Help yourself to become resourceful and adaptable:

We must always look for ways to make ourselves more resourceful and adaptable. Today many people wait for someone else to take care of things for them. Or stop trying at the first sign of discomfort or uncertainty, rather than be flexible.

America initially prospered because Americans had to be resourceful; they had to “find a way” no matter what. 

This American resourcefulness has begun to fade. We must remember and teach ourselves not to give up so easily, but to use our mind and talents to “find a way or make a way.”

The proliferation of Internet access and ‘instant gratification’ has worsened this tendency to not be self-sufficient. So much information is instantly and readily available to help you find anything we need to succeed. However, the Internet is both a blessing and curse. It has conditioned us to get whatever we want, right now, whether it is good for us or not — and if we can’t, just give up, or move quickly to the next shiny thing.

At the same time, the Internet offers us an amazing opportunity to be more resourceful than at any other time in our history. It is our responsibility to realize the difference and use the Internet to improve ourselves, what we can do, and not as a waste of time on mindless distractions.

#4. Teach ourselves to embrace failure — and learn from it:

We must seek out the lessons learned from failures, upon which to build our future successes. There is nothing wrong with failing. It means we did something, we took a risk, we got out of our comfort zone.

It is in failing that we can grow and learn the most. Failure helps to teach us, and demands that we be more resourceful and open-minded, so that we can find the ways to overcome obstacles and avoid new failures.

Whether the failure is in our career/business, a relationship, new endeavors, creative outlets, personal goals, making new friendships, etc., — we must try repeatedly to succeed.

#5. Do not make or accept excuses:

We must neither accept excuses, nor provide excuses, for not achieving what we seek — or for falling short. We must learn to have faith in ourselves and resolve to try again.

We must always accept responsibility for our actions and results and teach others to do the same.

If we truly want to be in control of our own destiny, we must take responsibility for it. Power = Responsibility

#6. We must celebrate the Individual:

Americans used to be called “Rugged Individualists.”

rugged individualism: the practice or advocacy of individualism in social and economic relations emphasizing personal liberty (freedom) and independence, self-reliance, resourcefulness, self-direction of the individual.

We must learn to celebrate that characteristic again.

We must celebrate the ability of the individual, not of the collective, because it is through individuals that truly great things happen.

We are talking about a person’s unique idea of success, happiness, and fulfillment. It does not come from a group. Even if our success is as part of a team effort, we are each unique and can never be defined by a label bestowed upon us by others or by society. Always remember this.

We are collectively becoming aware of ourselves as the unique Divine beings we truly are. Now more than ever, it is time to seek self-betterment: Challenge personal beliefs that no longer work for you.

The six characteristics above are simple but are essential to what we are and can become. 

Many have forgotten them over time, but they are always there. Our job is not only to remember them to guide our daily lives, but to help bring them out in others and foster them every chance we get.

By doing this every day, I believe that we will start to see the changes that we all are looking for so desperately and desire so much.

Life does not have to be a struggle.

A lot of people talk about improving their situation or even making a difference in the world. If you stopped any random person on the street and asked them their hopes and dreams, they’d tell you about all the important things they want to do. 

But that’s as far as it goes. For most, it’s all just talk. They never get around to actually living those dreams they’ve shared. 

We’ve all done it. But why does this happen? 

I can sum it up in one word … FEAR. 

That’s a fact — like most people, your life is running from a place of fear. Nobody likes hearing that, but it’s the truth. Fear has stopped you from achieving the things you want: fear of change, being judged, inadequacy, pain, failure, rejection, embarrassment, and uncertainty of the outcome. 

Identify any fears you have that stop you from taking new actions – and deal with them. Be open-minded, and be clear on what you need to do to change from fear-based living to feeling powerful.

I know deep down that everyone wants to see themselves — and others — to be incredibly successful.

Each of us longs to live in a peaceful home that is our sanctuary, in a city we resonate with, having friends we cherish, satisfying creative outlets, feelings of freedom, a career that fulfills us, with nature as our touchstone. Each of us has the power to create that reality for ourselves, both now and in the future.

Here’s to our personal journeys and to the future — reclaiming our fortitude, self-reliance, adaptability and determination to build the best life for ourselves.

There you have it. A heartfelt appeal from me to encourage you to regain the belief and desire that you can create the life you desire.

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Blogging since 2013, you'll find me with lots to share, plenty of inspiration, and helpful New Age and personal growth articles. 

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