Overcoming These Challenges Will Make You More Successful
By Dr. Travis Bradberry
It’s truly fascinating how successful people approach problems. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to embrace and obstacles to overcome.
Their confidence in the face of hardship is driven by the ability to let go of the negativity that holds so many otherwise sensible people back.
Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania has studied this phenomenon more than anyone else has, and he’s found that success in life is driven by one critical distinction—whether you believe that your failures are produced by personal deficits beyond your control or that they are mistakes you can fix with effort.
Success isn’t the only thing determined by your mindset. Seligman has found much higher rates of depression in people who attribute their failures to personal deficits. Optimists fare better; they treat failure as learning experiences and believe they can do better in the future.
This success mindset requires emotional intelligence (EQ), and it’s no wonder that, among the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested, 90% of top performers have high EQs.
Maintaining the success mindset isn’t easy. There are seven things, in particular, that tend to shatter it. These challenges drag people down because they appear to be barriers that cannot be overcome. Not so for successful people, as these challenges never hold them back.
Age. Age really is just a number. Successful people don’t let their age define who they are and what they are capable of. Just ask Betty White or any young, thriving entrepreneur. I remember a professor in graduate school who told our class that we were all too young and inexperienced to do consulting work. He said we had to go work for another company for several years before we could hope to succeed as independent consultants. I was the youngest person in the class, and I sat there doing work for my consulting clients while he droned on. Without fail, people feel compelled to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do because of your age. Don’t listen to them. Successful people certainly don’t. They follow their heart and allow their passion—not the body they’re living in—to be their guide.
They follow their heart and allow their passion—not the body they’re living in—to be their guide.
Negativity. Life won’t always go the way you want it to, but when it comes down to it, you have the same 24 hours in the day as everyone else does. Successful people make their time count. Instead of complaining about how things could have been or should have been, they reflect on everything they have to be grateful for. Then they find the best solution available, tackle the problem, and move on.
When the negativity comes from someone else, successful people avoid it by setting limits and distancing themselves from it. Think of it this way:
If the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke?
Of course not. You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with all negative people.
A great way to stop complainers in their tracks is to ask them how they intend to fix the problem they’re complaining about. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.
Toxic people. Successful people believe in a simple notion: you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Just think about it—some of the most successful companies in recent history were founded by brilliant pairs. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple lived in the same neighborhood, Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft met in prep school, and Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google met at Stanford.
Just as great people help you to reach your full potential, toxic people drag you right down with them. Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, toxic people create stress and strife that should be avoided at all costs.
If you’re unhappy with where you are in your life, just take a look around. More often than not, the people you’ve surrounded yourself with are the root of your problems.
You’ll never reach your peak until you surround yourself with the right people.
What other people think.