There are so many opportunities for success to be abundant, but it can actually be one of the most elusive things in your life. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you think you are doing all the "right" things.
But here's one secret to success you might not realize: It has a lot to do with your mental resilience. The way you approach your goals internally can make or break your results.
These "internal settings" take many forms. Here are five reasons most people never achieve the success they want:
1. They listen to their negative mental chatter.
Start to observe the negative mental chatter that occurs in your head, and notice how much of that is targeted towards yourself. What negative messages are you allowing yourself to experience? All of us have some level of negative mental chatter, but those who struggle to achieve success are often at the mercy of their own negative messages.
What to do: Acknowledge that your negative mental chatter is partly a result of how your brain is wired. It focuses on the negative more than the positive. First realize that the messages are only one perspective--your own--and that they are most likely false. Create positive messages that feel realistic, and tell them to yourself to counterbalance the negative. Before long, you will see the negative for what it is: worthless.
2. They give up.
Grit is essential for success, according to Angela Duckworth. Grit means never giving up on yourself, and having the determination and perseverance to pursue your long-term goals. People with grit experience failure like the rest of us, but they re-think their approach and never give up.
What to do: The best way to tap into a habit of grit is to connect with work that gives you purpose and that you are not only passionate about but also are naturally good at. Find work that is aligned with your genius and make a commitment to not give up. You can also learn more about grit by following the work of Angela Duckworth.
3. They give up on their dreams.
We all have dreams, and they are in many ways the kernel of the best ideas. But somehow we have this idea that getting older is associated with giving up on dreams. Not in my world. You are never too late or too old to do anything you want. So many people hit success at different stages in life, like Louise Hay, who was in her 60s when she started Hay House, and Samuel L. Jackson, who didn't get his big break until he was 43.
What to do: Read this article about people who create success at any age. Realize that age is in your head and that possibility is ageless, and start to pay attention to your dreams.
4. They listen to what others tell them.
Successful people will often say that most people thought they were crazy when they were starting out, and that they got more rejections than acceptances. I don't think this is ever not the case. So don't listen to other people--listen to your gut.
What to do: When you start a new venture or have a new idea, practice not listening to what others have to say. Hire a coach--someone to support you in this idea as you tap into your instinct and learn to follow what is right for you.
5. They focus on external validation versus internal.
This one is the most common of all. Money, promotions, and validation from others that you are successful can prevent many people from ever experiencing the kind of success that they truly desire. This scenario is aptly called golden handcuffs: when you have enough material success that you stop listening to your inner desire for more purpose. The work you're doing is OK, but doesn't light you up. The external validation negates your own belief that more is actually possible. At the same time, the results of external validation lead you to a lifestyle that is a cage to possibility.
What to do: Take stock of your job, and what really excites, challenges, and inspires you about it. If there is nothing, start to re-think staying. At the same time, deeply assess your lifestyle. What are the must-haves and the nice-to-haves? Try not living with the nice-to-haves for a few weeks and see how it feels. We often think living without things is going to be harder than it is. Continue this analysis and see if you can give yourself the freedom to re-think your career.