Whether we're rebranding after 20 years in business or still working on the paperwork for our LLC, there are a few undeniable truths we must all keep in the forefront of our minds if we want to achieve our highest level of success.
The way we speak to ourselves and others, the pressure we place on our own shoulders and the way we perceive our "competition" can propel us across the finish line or keep us lagging behind.
If you want to be at the top of your game, you need to accept (and learn how to deal with) the following five truths immediately:
1. You're only human.
We live in a world that loves to amplify things. You can't just be at the top of your game, you need to change the whole game entirely. Being a hero (difficult enough in its own right) is no longer good enough. You must be a superhero. But here's the reality; no matter how exceptional a human being you are, you will never be one. Superheroes have supernatural powers which allow them to speed up and slow down time, climb buildings with their bare hands, fly and use magical swords and jewelry to win battles with "bad guys." Superheroes do not exist.
Attempting to hit inhuman goals because you believe that your only options are unachievable perfection and total failure is a surefire way to lose. It's impossible to be creative, productive, and proactive while under such enormous pressure--and it's an exhausting way to live.
2. Your "fluff words" will kill your credibility.
When addressing the importance of mindful speaking, Diane Von Furstenburg once said, "In this business, everyone says [things like] 'I die.' I never say 'I die,' who wants to die?"
The fashion icon raises a valid point. Our words send a message to the outside world about what we value, how we feel and what we expect. Thus, they can help shape others see us and how we see ourselves.
If we're tossing meaningless and/or overblown phrases like confetti, it will have an inevitable negative impact on our credibility. Think about it: How seriously can others take us if even we don't give consideration to what flying out of our mouths?
3. It's not enough to dream big, you must wake up and work hard (every day).
In this age of instant gratification and "overnight success" stories, it's easy to overlook an undeniable truth: There are no shortcuts on the path to success in any area of life be it business, health, or love.
As nice as those "Motivation Monday" memes might be, you've got to do more than dream. You need to wake up every day and do something (and do it well). Even if you speed up and do cross the finish line in record time, you'll eventually have to slow down and go back to pick up the things you flew by or dropped in order to gain momentum.
Instead of trying to win the medal and gain the glory in half of the time, think about your areas of opportunity. Set aside time to train every single day. Over time, you'll grow stronger, more polished, and before you know it, you'll have achieved your initial goals and be working towards new ones.
4. Disregarding your plan B is a bad move.
It's great to have a clear understanding of what you want, who you want to be and where it is that you want to go, but life doesn't always follow our plan and industries are changing in near real-time. This means that getting stuck on a specific idea of what success will look for you can actually make you unsuccessful.
Remain open, look at options, stay abreast of industry news and don't be afraid to take a look at plans B and C. The key is to stay true to your big vision and values. If you need to change the path or let go of a few ideas, that's okay.
5. Those who are threatened by the talent of others will never succeed.
Healthy competition can be motivating and fun, but when used to demean, devalue and discredit others, it's ugly and it can ruin both your business and your brand.
The most successful entrepreneurs believe there is room for everyone and see the skills of others not as a threat but a challenge to step up their game. Some of the more innovative business owners will even give shout outs to and/or find ways to collaborate with their competitors.
Which of these truths have you had the hardest time accepting?