8 November 2012 | Patricia Elliot
Ever wondered what the secret to success in life could be? Patricia Elliot lists key personality traits that might prove useful.
A positive mental attitude is what high achievers have in abundance. My research on ‘coping’ strategies found that there are seven attributes, and people who cope best with life and all it throws at them not only have these attributes but, more importantly, they use them.
The same applies to successful business people. Use these tips and you can become a high achiever in both your personal life and your career. They can even help with studying for examinations and preparing for interviews.
1. Become self-aware
Challenge your beliefs and past conditioning. Think of the ‘labels’ you have been given and ask yourself if and how these have affected you. Ditch unhelpful labels and start valuing yourself for what you are.
2. Build resilience
Don’t let the past hold you back. Successful people get excited about the future. Don’t grieve over past decisions or actions. This is a waste of your time and energy. Learn from them and move forward positively. Bounce back against adversity.
3. Be brave
Face your fears and move forward. Take action. Use them as opportunities to learn. Fear wastes your time, energy and potential. Sit down and make a list of things you are afraid to do and then take action. Make yourself do at least one of them and then go through your list. Take control of the little choices you have every day as these will shape the big decisions in your life. Ask yourself questions such as “What will I do today?” and “What will I do first, then next and so on?” But one question some people do not ask, and are sometimes afraid to, is: “What will I do when I have nothing to do?” This last question is very important, as research shows that people who have nothing to do (those who are unemployed or retired for example) can lose their feeling of worth and their mental health can suffer.
4. Embrace change
Many of us are afraid of any change, big or small. Learn to accept it. We become so attached to the familiar that it holds us back. Some change may not be perceived as to be for the better, but if you can then get involved and put your opinion forward. Make a difference where you can.
High achievers learn from their mistakes. Your greatest strength comes from your greatest challenge. A teacher who pushes you hard is the best teacher. Successful business people will tell you that they learned more from their failures than their successes. Encourage yourself. Don’t wait for others to encourage you.
6. Value yourself
Never quit. Remember you have thoughts, emotions and behaviour – change one of these positively and you change all three for the better.
Continually pursue new knowledge. Never think you know it all. Always be willing to learn by reading, observing and listening. Recognise that the higher you go the more help you need. Take advantage of mentors.
To achieve success in anything requires you to organise, plan and prepare for everything. Set yourself goals – easy ones at first and then ones that increasingly challenge you. This builds resilience and confidence. Nobody is born with the right attitude; it is gradually formed in daily life.
Research shows that there is a relationship between attitude to study and examination results. So if you want to achieve success in examinations you must have the right attitude towards your study, including an intense desire and interest in the study of the topic, making a constant effort and being persistent when completing assignments.
A final quick tip – imagine you have passed your examination and you are holding the certificate. That’s what high achievers do. They visualise receiving the medal or trophy. But of course, they put in the necessary hard work beforehand and you must do the same.
3 Key points
1. Be brave List all your fears and address them
2. Embrace change Forget mistakes and don’t be held back by the past
3. Know-how Never stop learning, the higher you go, the more help you need
☛ Patricia Elliot is an author, speaker and CIPS assessor for Legal Aspects and Strategic Supply Chain Management