Success is Earned, Not Given

Success is Earned, Not Given

By Elizabeth Barrera

I debated so long on whether I should or shouldn’t write on this topic, specifically because the idea of professional success seems pretty straightforward – at least to most of us. However, I keep running into people who think they are entitled to success.

There are various components to professional success, and in order to get there, you must first be hungry for it. Determine what your ultimate passion is and set a goal. Find people and things that motivate you to do better and be better. However, you must always keep in mind one thing: if you want to succeed, you cannot be lazy.

You need to prepare yourself for long days, and little free time. You’re no longer in college, so quit acting like it’s okay to drown yourself in alcohol every weekend. Instead, use that time to work on yourself. I’m not saying that a night out with your friends should be completely scratched off your to-do list (we all unwind in different ways), but give yourself some time to prepare for the following week. Instead of getting completely trashed on Friday and Saturday, and using all of Sunday to recover, why not use one of those days to exercise, relax, and prepare for the next week?

Ask yourself: What will help me reach my ultimate goal?

Some people aren’t as easily motivated as others, and they must explore what it is that they’re passionate about before creating a plan. Below are some essentials that can help build your success:

  1. Discover your purpose. Take your time to really learn what it is that motivates you. What are some of the things you like most? What are you truly passionate about? Find something that makes you happy every day, something that is truly significant to you as a person, and work on it.

  2. Surround yourself with positive influences. Maintaining toxic relationships and friendships will only become a setback from wherever you’re trying to go. Open your arms to those who are willing to help you reach your goals, and let go of those who don’t support you. Network at local events and use LinkedIn to connect you to other professionals.

  3. Always remain driven and focused. Never lose sight of where you want to go. Remember, determination and consistency will bring in the most positive results, so keep your eye on the end goal and focus less on what others are doing. After all, they’re not all working toward the same goal as you.

  4. Be confident in yourself and your abilities. There’s nothing worse than a person with low self-confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, nobody else will. When you’re confident, people are more willing to listen to you and believe what you have to say. So stand tall, make your voice be heard, and believe in yourself.

  5. Be patient. Not all success happens overnight, and not everyone progresses at the same pace. Before losing hope, remember that everything takes time to reach success. And keep in mind that as long as you’re making progress, you’re already steps ahead of where you previously were.

  6. Don’t give up. This one is a tough one, but you need to constantly remind yourself why you’re fighting so hard. Why is it that you’re working toward this? How meaningful is it to you that it reaches success? Ask yourself these questions when you’re close to giving up and remember the passion that motivated you in the first place.

Even though you may be working excessive hours, it’s important to realize that success doesn’t come easily and takes time, so don’t rush anything. (This doesn’t mean that you should allow work to drown you either - it is crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance.) Focus on learning more about your ultimate goal and surround yourself with people who want to get to the same place as you do, or who want to help you reach your full potential.

Confidence is key, and if you’re not confident, nobody is going to believe in you. Do whatever it is you need to do to gain that confidence - all in a healthy manner, of course. When you believe in yourself, the passion radiates without forced efforts and others are more willing to listen to you. So stay hungry, be proactive, and never give up.

And once you succeed, remember to stay humble.

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