What is a crucial secret to success? Successful people do what unsuccessful people do not want to do. For those of you who are thinking wait a minute, what about luck, the environment, systematic, or societal factors? Yes, those are important factors. I grew up in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles, and there are definitely systematic challenges to success, without a doubt. However, that is not the focus of this article. In this article, we are focusing on the individual rather than the system.
Successful people do what unsuccessful people do not want to do. For example, fit people like the Rock work out all the time; I don't want to do that. Writers such as JK Rowling battle an endless sea of rejection. Doctors study for over a decade. Great musicians practice all the time, and business leaders work countless hours. Yes, these activities are hard and take resilience, but the hard is what makes it great!
Life takes resilience, whether it's relationships, your career, sales, or raising kids. In this article, we will discuss three steps to develop mental resilience and achieve success.
Step 1: Get out of your comfort zone and run toward your fears. I am not referring to running toward a deadly spider but instead running toward the fears that will take your personal or professional life to the next level. Here are some examples that have held my clients back:
Human nature is to avoid discomfort at any cost. We are wired to take the path of least resistance and live on comfort zone island. Will you be able to achieve what you want out of life if you live on comfort zone island? Probably not unless you win the lottery. However, if you want to stand out from your peers and colleagues, the easiest way is to face your fears because most of your counterparts are unwilling to do so. Not because they can't but because most of us are wired to avoid them at all costs. At work, you will stand out by taking on tough projects, initiating tough conversations, networking, or speaking up in meetings. These activities will build your resilience and lead to more success if you can take action to stretch yourself.
Step 2: Use the gain-loss tool to take action. The gain-loss tool will help you evaluate your fear more objectively. For example, let's say you are afraid to speak up in a meeting. What you need to do is ask yourself, "what have I got to gain vs. what have I got to lose?" As you can see below, you have much more to gain than lose if you speak up. I hope evaluating how the upside outweighs the downside will drive you to take action and eliminate your paralysis. You should apply this to any activity where you perceive there to be significant risk. Our emotional mind can play tricks on us and this tool will activate your rational mindset.
Step 3: Listing your fears and committing. I recommend making a list of your fears in both your personal and professional life. If you are unsure of what to write, then a clear signal is the things you are avoiding, especially the fears that you know will take your life to the next level. Once you've written these fears down, write small action steps you can commit to over the next week. For example, I will volunteer to present at least one time this week in a meeting where I feel nervous.
Running toward your fears is equivalent to playing the lottery, except you have close to a 100% chance of winning. You invest a little in facing fear, and after facing the fear, you gain confidence and self-esteem. Don't get me wrong you may fail but even if that outcome happens I have confidence that you will bounce back from this setback. The best part, after bouncing back from your worst fear you will gain confidence. Think about how much better you would feel about yourself if you regularly faced the things you were fearful of. Consistently facing what you avoid will enable you to handle many things like a superhero.
Start today; take small steps. Raise your hand in a meeting or take on a challenging work project. The more challenges you face, the easier they will become; you'll develop courage, resilience, and more. I hope this article inspires you to take action.
I want to leave you with the 2% mindset. I found this graphic online, and I wish I knew who to give credit. If you focus on the 2%, you are doing what 98% of people are unwilling to do. Facing the 2% will lead to success. Remember, the secret to success is doing what unsuccessful people do not want to do.