Success. While this word has a dictionary definition, it means something different to every person.
Where some of us see being a hot-shot business executive as success, others see raising a family or simply living a meaningful life as the pinnacle of achievement.
Put simply, what I may define as success is likely to be completely different from what you, or even wider society deems as being successful.
However, there are some features that all successful people share, no matter the nature of their particular endeavor.
In this article we’ll be exploring the common habits and traits of successful people. If you possess these signs, then it is likely that you too will be successful.
If not, don’t worry! You’re like me!
Just remember that just because we don’t possess these traits inherently doesn’t mean that we can’t take a leaf from the books of others and learn how to achieve success.
7 Signs You’re Going to be Successful
1. You Can Adapt Swiftly to Change
A trait commonly held by extroverts, adapting to change is a leading difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t.
Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, and the same ethos can be applied to people who are resistant to change.
What works and helps you succeed in the present may not help you succeed in the future.
Trying to repeat the process that previously allowed you to achieve again and again and being met with a brick wall is a clear sign that change is needed.
However, some people can get so wrapped up in their own habits and ego that they refuse to change. They are unable to see the bigger picture, and often allow opportunity to pass them by.
Successful individuals on the other hand are able to study their failures and learn how to adapt and overcome them.
In regard to external changes, they are often able to stay ahead of the times by constantly seeking to improve themselves or their venture, to ensure they are the best they can be.
When sudden changes occur, successful people can take a step back from the action and assess their options, allowing them to navigate change smoothly and with little disruption.
2. You Have A Natural Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is achieved when an individual is able to motivate themselves with no output from those around them, as opposed to those who are extrinsically motivated, meaning they need the motivation of others or external pressures to achieve their goals.
Intrinsically motivated people are more likely to achieve their goals and become successful, because in the adult world motivation rarely consistently comes from outside sources.
Sources of extrinsic motivation usually comes from a boss at work or an individual in a superior position to you, which can leave you stuck in a position where you cannot reach your full potential – this is why in the world of business, for example, many successful people are driven to become their own boss.
When it comes to living your dreams and achieving your life goals, the only person you can consistently rely on is yourself, which is why intrinsic motivation is such an important trait to learn.
3. You Have A Strong Sense Of Curiosity
This is likely to be a trait many of you, as spiritual people, already have. I know I do!
One of my favorite things about being spiritual is being able to look at the world under a variety of different lenses and to examine events more closely.
Luckily, this is also a trait of a successful person!
Curiosity is something many of us are born with. However, some people lose it, because as we grow we are pushed to conform to a specific societal role, through school and family.
Successful people tend not to lose their curious side and this helps them to go further in the world.
To give a small example of this think of the person at school who always completed extra activities.
By being driven by their curiosity, they were able to learn new skills that they could apply to existing situations. This led to them being successful throughout their classes.
Curiosity is an invaluable trait to have for those who wish to be successful in their endeavors.
This is because curiosity leads to the learning of new skills and the gaining of knowledge.
These new skills and knowledge can then be applied in day-to-day life and be utilized in times where decision making or expertise is required.
Being curious can also lead to exciting new discoveries and outcomes which can pave the way for a completely new career or life goal.
4. You Can Deal With Criticism
Successful people are able to both take criticism and self-critique. This skill is rarely an inherent trait, more often it is one that is learned.
It can be very hard to hear criticism, particularly when it is regarding something you are passionate about.
However, it is important to remember that without feedback successful growth is impossible.
I’m a strong believer in the adage ‘stars can’t shine without darkness’, as to be successful means being able to handle the dark times, the criticism, and being able to grow a thicker skin and roll with the punches.
Being able to self-critique is also a skill most successful people possess.
In fact, many successful people appear as perfectionists because they are constantly self-critiquing and seeking to deliver nothing short of their best.
Put simply successful individuals don’t settle for second best and are always looking to improve.
Self-critique allows a person to improve as it helps develop skills of self-perception and self-assessment, meaning with practice an individual is able to learn what they are good at and what they can improve upon in any given situation.
5. You Still Achieve a Work/Life Balance
When aiming to be successful you may think that living by the adage ‘all work and no play’ is a good thing, as it means you are solely focused on achieving your goals.
This is actually a recipe for burn out, failure, and dissatisfaction in life.
While it is true that successful people do tend to have a stronger work ethic than their peers, they still know when it is time to switch off for the day, or step back from the task at hand.
Achieving a good work/life balance is a recipe for success, as it gives you time to decompress.
Think back to when you were at school or at university.
You may have been halfway through an essay or paper and found your level of frustration started to rise and rise until you found that you were writing utter garbage and at a snail’s pace!
In the early hours you probably admitted defeat and switched off your PC, and went to bed.
When it was time to revisit things in the morning, you likely found that you suddenly felt re-energized, and even had to go back and correct some of what you wrote the previous night, and ultimately completed the assignment in record time.
This is because sometimes the brain and body just need a break.
Stepping away from a task overnight or even for an hour or two gives you a chance to relax, to shake off mounting pressure and stress that are impeding you from completing your task effectively.
Removing yourself from the situation also allows for a chance to gain perspective, to view your particular task objectively instead of subjectively.
The time away allows you to refocus and come up with a plan for your next steps.
In fact, I had to step away from writing this article for an hour or so, because I felt burn-out creeping in (Don’t worry, I’m back now and ready to finish up my thoughts!).
So, when you’re feeling stressed or are losing motivation in what you are doing, take a step back, get some fresh air, spend time with friends or family, or take some time to do something you love.
You’ll likely find that when you return you’ll complete your task to a far higher level than if you’d forced yourself to continue then and there.
6. Balancing Patience, Willpower, and Passion
If there were to be a holy trinity of being successful, it would be ‘patience, willpower, and passion’.
This trifecta is the recipe for success.
However, possessing all three isn’t enough to guarantee that you’re aspirations will come to fruition.
These three traits need to be carefully balanced in order to ensure that success is achieved.
Patience is needed to be successful, as little good comes from rushing. Rushing leads to ventures being completed improperly or at a lower quality. Rushing also leads to increased stress and lowered satisfaction.
Being impatient can also mean that you falter when you first encounter failure.
Patience leads to success because it ensures that your skills are honed, tasks are completed to a high standard, and that the time is always right for you to shine.
Willpower is an essential trait to have in order to be successful.
No one can achieve your dreams but you, and therefore you need to ensure you have enough willpower to sustain you through your venture.
This trait also harkens back to becoming intrinsically motivated, as to be successful you need to be able to self-motivate, and have the sustained willpower to see a project completed.
Without passion, having willpower and patience is meaningless.
I’m a bit of an entrepreneur myself, and have tried to start several small ventures to fill a gap in the market I’ve noticed.
However, all my efforts have faltered quickly, because I haven’t had the passion to sustain my willpower, or the drive that gives me the patience to take setbacks.
Whatever you’re aiming to achieve, make sure you have the genuine love or passion for it as otherwise you might find your energy reserves run dry sooner than anticipated.
7. You’re Full Of Optimism
Are you a half-full glass or half-empty glass type of person?
If you’re the latter and you’re seeking success then you may need to rethink your worldview.
No journey ever runs smoothly, there will always be potholes or fallen trees along your path, and to achieve success you need to be able to navigate over, under, around, or through them.
A pessimistic world view can turn a pothole into a crevasse or a fallen tree into a rockslide, meaning that overcoming the obstacle becomes a far more difficult endeavor than if you were to view the situation in an optimistic light.
It is important to mention that being a pessimist and a realist are two very different terms. True pessimists may use the word realist sometimes to excuse their ways.
Being an optimist doesn’t mean you have your head in the clouds or refuse to accept the realities of your situation, instead it means that you view negative or challenging stimuli in a way that is conducive to a positive outcome.
Let’s say for example, that you were unsuccessful in applying for a job.
A pessimist might think something along the lines of ‘well I failed, and I’m probably never going to be hired’.
An optimist however may also feel deflated but may think something like ‘well that was a bit of a letdown, but at least I know what to expect for next time’.
The optimist is already thinking of future success and how the negative experience can be transformed into a positive outcome, whereas the pessimist is stuck dwelling on the failure, with no future game plan.
A simple change in thought process and outlook can really help transform your prospects when it comes to being successful in whatever it is that you do.
If you discover that this change is a struggle, then you may find connecting further with your spiritual side through acts such as meditation or positive affirmations may help tip the odds in your favor and set you on your own path to success.