Melanie Childers – Want to know the secret to success?
Lots of people will charge you big bucks for the ‘secret to success’ but it’s actually quite simple – in concept, anyway.
The secret is persistence.
Maybe you already knew that. But do you know what it really takes to persist?
Because it’s the application of persistence that’s the REAL secret here. The magic lies in the how.
What does persistence look like anyway?
• Continued action, no matter what.
• Not giving up, even when it looks like you’re going to fail.
• Giving it your all, even when others say it’s impossible.
• Learning, failing, and learning again until you master something.
• Practicing again and again until you can’t NOT do it right.
Persistence leads to success because you don’t let anything stop you. No matter the setbacks. No matter the odds. No matter the pain and shame of failure.
So how do you keep going when things seem impossible? When you can’t hold on for one more minute? When you can’t stomach one more failure?
How many people have you met that have SO MUCH potential for success, could have had amazing careers, should have been famous, but they gave up on themselves? Brilliant people who just couldn’t handle one more rejection. One more missed field goal. One more broken dream.
I’m willing to bet that number is pretty high.
I bet you know people who seemed to have given up or lost everything, only to rally and become really successful as well.
How? What’s the key difference here?
The secret to success is in the application of persistence. Most people do not know how to persist. They think it means giving your all and never resting. Or banging their heads against walls that are never going to turn into doors. They see persistence as exhausting and futile. A waste of their time. Therefore, success feels like an unattainable dream.
Here’s what persistence really is:
It’s sitting with the feeling of discomfort and not doing anything to relieve that feeling.
There’s your billion dollar secret.
So what does that look like in practice?
• It’s finishing your workout, even though your brain wants to give up 10 minutes in.
• It’s finishing that book even if it’s not ‘perfect’ yet.
• It’s marketing your business even though the last time wasn’t super successful and your brain says it’s a waste of money and time.
• It’s talking about running for office to potential supporters even though your mind says you’re not qualified or good enough.
• It’s writing blog posts even though your mind says no one is reading them so why bother.
• It’s going for that run even though you want to stay in bed.
• It’s trying something new again and again until you get good at it, even though your mind says you suck.
Sit with the discomfort.
Allow yourself to feel that feeling. Yet do nothing to relieve it. Just allow it to exist, flow through you, and then move on.
We do SO much self-sabotaging when we relieve ourselves from our feelings – when we try to escape them and/or avoid them altogether. Overeating to feel more love. Shopping to feel less anxious. Giving up on important things to feel less shame about failure.
Yet if we’d allow ourselves to feel our feelings fully, acknowledge them (Hi sadness! I see you, I feel you, thank you for showing me something’s not right), decide not to make them mean anything bad about us, and keep going anyway, we’d all have damn near everything we wanted.
Let’s use an example.
Say you’re on a bicycle and the hill is getting harder and harder. Your brain says ‘OMG this is sooooooooo hard, just get off and push,’ yet you’ve done this hill before and you’re in no real pain (always the caveat ;)). The struggle is only in your mind. So you keep pedaling, even though your muscles are tired. Even though your brain wants you to quit. Even though it would be easier to give up. Thank that feeling. Hear that feeling. Keep pedaling anyway.
Eventually you make it to the top of the hill and you feel proud.
If you gave up on that hill, hopped off and pushed the bike, what would you be feeling? Temporary relief from ‘this is too hard!’ with a likely shift to shame at giving up on yourself, humiliation at being that person pushing their bike up the hill, making that mean you’re a failure, and maybe never riding your bike again. (It happens – ask me.)
Here are the hard questions to ask yourself about success:
- Do I really want to be successful (at weight loss, building my business, running a campaign, learning archery, whatever) or do I want relief from my feelings of discomfort, (failure, shame, etc) MORE?
- Am I willing to let myself be uncomfortable and do nothing to avoid that feeling?
- Am I willing to feel the fear and take action anyway?
Unlock that mystery box and you’ll discover what you’re capable of.
Melanie Childers, MEd, is a Master Certified Confidence and Leadership Coach, activist, yogi, writer, educator, and is best known as The Enlightened Badass. She is passionate about working with progressive women and entrepreneurs in building confidence and reaching their professional and political goals. Find Melanie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Republished with Permission.