It's the New Year and a fresh start. Is one of your goals to be more successful?
Even if 2015 was awesome, there is always a desire to up the ante. Maybe you want to reach a new milestone in your fitness and health. Maybe you want to get a promotion or transition into a more fulfilling career. Maybe you're looking for love.
Throughout my time as a performance strategist, I've seen first-hand what it takes to transform yourself and create the success you're looking for. The most victorious of my clients know themselves well, and I've noticed they are rockstars at thoughtfully answering these ten common--but incredibly helpful--questions.
1. What is your definition of success?
This is important. Most of us are chasing success that has been defined by society or someone else. First you need to get clear on what your own goals are and what benchmarks you'd like to achieve.
2. Have you achieved this thus far in your career?
You may already be successful in your own eyes, yet have not acknowledged it. If you are, celebrate the fact that you have created a success that is meaningful to you.
3. If you already feel successful, how did you create it?
What was the root cause of this success? Make a list of actions or attributes that led to this triumph. If you already feel successful, then they key is getting clear on what has created this success and how you can continue to cultivate these behaviors in your life.
4. If you have not created the success you want yet, what is preventing this from occurring? Is it you, or something else?
This is a tough one, but it's important to be honest here. There are so many ways we--and others--can keep ourselves from achieving what we truly want. Be conscious of the psychological baggage you may be harboring. Note any toxic people, behaviors, or personal thoughts that you need to eliminate from your environment.
5. Are you seeking approval from anyone else besides yourself?
Sometimes it's hard to tell when you are seeking approval from others, but think of the important people in your life. Do you get a jolt of joy from sharing your accomplishments with them, even if the accomplishments don't feel good to you? If you are measuring success by other people's metrics, then you will never feel it yourself.
6. Do you care what other people think?
We all care what other people think. It's part of being human! Are you doing work that looks good to others but doesn't feel good to you? Is money clouding your ability to do work you enjoy? Do you ever feel that the work you do is for "show"?
7. Are you making an impact in the world that feels good to you?
Are you helping other people or creating a change in the world (no matter how small!) that gives you purpose? If not, then you may lacking fulfillment in your life. Feeling fulfilled is just as important as covering your bills and feeding yourself. Fulfillment is key to accessing motivation and the energy to get up in the mornings.
8. Today, make a choice. Do you want to feel successful or look successful?
Most people are optimizing how they appear, rather than how they feel. It's important that you know which one you want and which one you are living your life for.
9. Do you believe that you can create the opportunities that you desire?
Confidence, tenacity and constant belief in yourself are key ingredients to being successful. Find a daily practice that allows you to overcome any negative messages in your mind and any baggage that could be holding you back.
10. Do you have someone that supports you regardless of your ability to be successful?
It's important to have support. Whether this is a partner, friend, family member or coach, you need to have someone to turn to who will help you no matter where you are in life.
Answer all of the questions above and get clear on one area that you can focus on for this week that will allow you to move the needle towards your own definition of success.
Having that clarity will allow you to notice when you are exhausting your efforts on something that is really for someone else--not yourself.
Nothing is better than feeling successful every day, no matter what others say.