Let’s talk about the over-defined yet misunderstood concept of success.
Sometimes it isn’t about what you don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, what you don’t know plays a factor as well.
But often, it’s more about being mistaken about the things you think you KNOW are true. Ultimately, those misconceptions create challenges.
What if your preconceived notions about success are incorrect? How might your beliefs about attaining success and actions to achieve it change?
Misconceptions of Success
Depending on your current ideas about how you can be successful (whatever that means for you), you might find that achieving success is a lot easier than you originally thought. With a fresh set of beliefs, new actions and outcomes can be expected.
Let’s see how you match up with what are considered commonly held misconceptions about success.
- It’s too late to reach your goals. Many of the world’s most successful individuals didn’t get started until later in life. Consider Colonel Sanders, who started Kentucky Fried Chicken in his sixties. Dangit, now I’m thinking about KFC’s mac and cheese and biscuits! LOL
- Successful people have to work insane hours. While many successful people do work many hours, that’s primarily because they enjoy what they’re doing. It’s important to spend time doing things that help you move forward in a positive direction but it’s unnecessary to focus ALL your efforts on work. Having a plan in place with goals and dates can help you map out how much time you can (and need to) realistically put towards your efforts.
- You have to play by the rules to succeed. The alternate, “You have to break all the rules to succeed,” is also false. Each situation is unique. You can make up your own rules, as long as you avoid hurting anyone or breaking any laws. But if you really think about it, who do you know (historically or presently) got anywhere by complying to every rule. *waiting*
- Money isn’t important. I don’t know where this belief came from but money is very important for those things that require money. It’s a tool that many of us use daily to get what we need including financing our goals. If success for you is to travel to every continent at least once, you better believe that either you need to finance it yourself or know someone who’ll let you use their private jet (and then take me with you!). 🙂
- Success is only about making money. So speaking of money, we just talked about how it’s important but it’s not what defines success. It’s important to have enough money to support your idea of success, yes. But money isn’t everything! Maybe your version of success is about having freedom and enjoying life. Having more money than you need is then of questionable value.
- You’ll achieve the most success if you do it alone. Success rarely happens in isolation. You’re going to need help along the way. Partnerships, joint ventures, favors, and mentors are often part of becoming successful. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pay it forward and help someone else on their road to success someday.
- If you lack education or come from a certain background, you won’t find success. Successful people come from all backgrounds and levels of education. In fact, a disproportionate number of highly successful people didn’t complete high school or college! Having a certain background and education can provide different opportunities, but there’s an alternative path to success. History is filled with success stories of those with serious disadvantages.
- Success is the goal. Not at all actually. Success is the condition of having met your goals. It isn’t a goal in and of itself.
- Success is [fill in the blank]. Before anybody ever finishes this sentence and tries to tell you what success is, consider it a lie (outside of what Webster says is the simple definition of the word itself that is). Maybe it’s their idea of what success is but that’s not what it means for everybody else. You have to have a goal before you can be successful (see #8) and your goals will be different from your friends’, parents’, children’s, doctor’s, lawyer’s or cat’s goals right? I sure hope so!
- Success is hard. That’s just what lazy people say. LOL Seriously though, success doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. However, there will be times when we have to get uncomfortable to keep moving ahead. Wanna change your diet? Your body will make you uncomfortable until it adapts. Wanna be a head honcho of a group/organization/cause? You’ll have to learn to get comfortable with ridicule, jealously, and haters. The first time we do something new, it will be uncomfortable. But guess what? It will all be WORTH it in the end!
- Only the lucky achieve success. Really? After the other 10 misconceptions, I thought we’d be past this one by now. *smile* Okay, let’s address it. Go read this, Reasons Why People, Except You, Get Lucky, and then tell me what you think!
Just for grins and giggles, thought I’d share with you the road to success. 🙂
Over to you…
Since there is no rulebook for success, you have to create your own. One of the reasons I think success is often misconstrued is because people don’t have their own definition of what it is – for them. It has to be unique. You can’t fit someone else’s idea of success into your life plan. Go now and write down what success means for you and know that it’s never too late, will take some time, and get comfortable being uncomfortable. You’ll thank me later. 😉
Have you taken the time to write down what success means to you? What other misconceptions of success do you know of?