Finding your purpose

4 Things Successful People Do

December 16, 2015

Do you ever experience that nagging feeling that you’re supposed to be doing something, following your calling perhaps, but just can’t quite manage to get yourself to begin?

Maybe it’s to start a new project, or develop a hobby into a meaningful source of income for your family. Whatever it is, the barrier which often prevents us from starting, is fear – the fear of failure.

All kinds of thoughts invade our mind when we consider having a go. We think that we are unworthy – who am I to think I could be good at this? I could never ask for money in exchange for that. I am no expert, I don’t have a name people have heard of. I’m not accomplished enough. There are millions of people who could do it better than me. Do you recognise any of these?

We don’t believe that life could ever be that good, that we could succeed at pursuing our dream.

The truth though, is that you have that dream for a reason – it is supposed to be pursued, and you are meant to be successful. It doesn’t have to be related to making money – perhaps you just want to give something great. Whatever it is, you have what it takes to bring it into being.

Here are 4 things that can help you push through the fear barrier and get going.

1) Believe in what you have to give

You are like no one else in the world. This means that you can offer something that no one else can, and it’s something valuable. It’s easy to miss this, because the things you love creating or providing are probably the things that come naturally to you, so they seem obvious – surely anyone could do that, you think. In reality these things are not obvious to the world. To other people they are exceptional.

Even if what you produce is similar to something else, it will have its own identity, and people will be drawn to it. There is something so attractive about authenticity, about things done with care and passion. The world is crying out for it.

How amazing would it your community was full of people who fully believed in what they were doing, and spent their time creating real value? It would be one vibrant, exciting place. How many people are doing the same thing every day that they are utterly bored of, and have no interest in?

My time on this planet is short, and I don’t want to waste it doing something I don’t believe in.

2) Believe in yourself

Be sure of yourself. People who are following their calling and succeeding at it are not asking the world for permission. They are not apologizing for what they are offering. They are completely sold on what they are doing, and know they have the right to be doing it. They confidently put things of beauty into the world.

When you start enjoying the person you are, you begin to shine. It is then that you will create something truly amazing. When you finally embrace your true self and ditch wishing you were someone else, you will have the ability to create beauty the world hasn’t yet seen.

3) Become acquainted with failure.

The sooner you realise that setbacks and challenges are normal, that easier it will be to get going – because you won’t dread them. Failure does not have to be an enemy, but can be a friend. You can turn it into an opportunity to improve, and come back wiser and stronger.

No one has ever brought something exceptional into the world without having to go through a process of pushing through failure and coming out the other side with more to offer. I try to celebrate failure in my life and in those around me, because it occurs as the result of taking a risk – and that’s something that should be encouraged if you want to move forward.

The thing you produce or provide is never going to delight everyone. It’s impossible to get everyone’s attention, but it’s very unlikely that it won’t appeal to some people. Author Seth Godin says that ‘once you realize that failure is certain, it’s a lot easier to focus on impact instead.’ Be thankful for those who are interested. Don’t dwell on what you haven’t achieved, just concentrate on the people you are having an impact on, and hone your craft to make that wider, and deeper.

4) Start

Set aside a little time every day to do the thing you’ve been putting off – perhaps just half an hour each morning or evening. I think most of us can manage that – if it’s something you are passionate about, you will find time for it.

Getting momentum going by doing it regularly is really important. Only doing something when you feel like it is great for a hobby, but if you want it to become something more, it’s going to take discipline.

Don’t wait to become an expert. However knowledgeable or skilled you become, you will probably never feel ready to start. You probably will not be incredible at something over night – it always takes practice.

So go ahead. Start planning or creating something valuable. Then get it out there into the world. Put it in front of people. Push through fear of failure at all costs. Don’t allow your life to be characterised by what you were too afraid to do, but by courage, passion and discipline.

Do you have something you’re struggling to get going with? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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  • Pete

    Tom, your writing is inspirational and so encouraging, it is helping me more than you would believe. Thank you and keep them rolling!

    • Thanks Pete! That’s so awesome to know.