Success is a combination of persistence, timing, networking, financing, and a myriad of other factors outside your control. We often learn more about ourselves from the failures in our lives and these experiences play a large part in how we deal with success.
So why do some succeed when others fail?
Afraid of Success?
The fear of success is a real problem for many people and according to Susanne Babbel Ph.D., can stem from a traumatic event earlier in life. People with a fear of success may associate the same feelings of past trauma with the feeling of excitement when they experience success. In order to avoid those feelings associated with an unpleasant experience they avoid situations that can produce similar feelings.
Another reason some of us fear success is that we want to avoid the feeling of disappointment that is sometimes inevitable when taking risks. We may have been told “don't get your hopes up” and have conditioned ourselves that we simply don't deserve to be successful.
Afraid to Ask for Help
No one enjoys appearing uninformed in front of coworkers or friends and many people will go to great lengths to hide any shortcomings they may have. This can have serious consequences for your professional and personal relationships.
My advice? For those just starting out in the workforce, get over the fact that you aren't perfect and adopt the mindset that every work assignment is an opportunity to learn and grow as a professional. Most mid to large businesses recognize that employee development is key for the success of the organization and invest heavily in training and tuition reimbursement. The more knowledge and skills you have the more valuable you are as an employee so take advantage of every opportunity to add to your toolbox, especially if your employer is paying the bill!
One of the top priorities for any new employee is to find a mentor that can provide guidance along your path to success. Finding the right mentor is important but knowing what areas you need to develop is even more important. A good mentor can help you develop a plan to identify areas of needed improvement as well as what you should be doing to develop those skills.
Do You Have a Plan?
Defining your goal is a key first step. Having a plan on how you are going to achieve that goal will likely be the difference between success and failure. If you don't have the resources you will need to make a plan to obtain them whether those resources are talent, intellectual, or financial. One of the best resources available for small businesses is SCORE. From free business plan templates to free workshops to free mentoring from industry experts, SCORE can provide budding entrepreneurs with the resources and training necessary for success.
You've Got to Want It!
I tell my students that grades are not a reflection of how smart you are, they are a reflection of how hard you are willing to work. If you want something bad enough you will find a way to get it. This trait is called persistence and all successful people possess it in spades. It means never giving up. When faced with an obstacle, successful people find a way around it, over it, or through it. Nothing will stop them from reaching their goals. James Dyson, of Dyson Vacuum Cleaner fame, was turned down by Shop Vac, Black & Decker, and Hamilton Beach but through persistence continued on to success by finding an overseas company to license his product.