10 Habits of Highly Successful People

Success doesn’t just happen. Discover the practical habits of highly successful people and how you can make them your own.

If you’re like me, you want to bring out your best and you’re also kind of allergic to self-help platitudes. I get it.

That said, in my past 30 years of personal growth work, I’ve learned that there are ways of thinking, being, and doing that bring me closer to living my life the way I want to and others that don’t. I want to share those ways with you!

Kathy Caprino, in the first article I chose for today’s roundup, defines success this way:

I’m defining “success” here not as some objective measure of wealth, accomplishment or achievement (which our society tends to do), but as achieving what matters most to you, individually and authentically.

I think success is an inside job as much as, or more than, it is an outside job. Though you can have outer success without cultivating inner success, it tends to lead to self-indulgent and unhappy rich people who don’t do a whole lot of lifting others as they climb. The more outer success they have, the bigger the stage on which their immaturity and insecurities play out.

But the ones who work on the inside and let it inform and deepen their work on the outside end up whole, integrated, happy, and contributing a lot of benefit to others. These are the ones I’m committed to creating more of in the world through supporting them with coaching!

For today’s roundup, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 habits of highly successful people from three great articles (in no particular order).

BONUS SUPER-TIP: Having a meditation practice supercharges all other success-building habits you may choose to take on. If you were only going to do one thing today, sit for a while and focus on your breath while allowing your thoughts to go by without reacting to them. Start with 5 minutes and add a couple of minutes a week until you get to 15-20 minutes a day. This builds the strength and awareness to engage in all the other habits.

8 Self-Limiting Behaviors Successful People Avoid, by Kathy Caprino

1. Avoid “Below the Line” Thinking.

“Below the line” thinking refers to a particular mindset that shapes how you view the world in a limiting way, writes Kathy Caprino. Successful people are self-responsible and avoid the belief that they have no control over events happening in their lives. They avoid thoughts like, It’s not fair or I can’t handle this. In addition, they learn from each obstacle and hold themselves accountable for their own success. Above the line thinking keeps them in the driver’s seat, with the agency to learn from challenges and the rock-solid knowledge that they’ve got what it takes to create what they want.

2.  Know Your Power and don’t be afraid to use it.

Successful people advocate for themselves and are clear about their unique offering. When there’s a problem, they meet it early on. They also invest in their own growth because they know that investment pays off not only for them, but also for everyone they serve. For example, the best coaches I know, myself included, all have coaches themselves. In order to keep bringing their most powerful self to their clients’ transformation, they know how important it is to stay on their own growth edge. Not because something’s wrong that needs to be fixed but because there’s always more to learn.

3. Clarify your priorities.

The most successful people are crystal clear about their priorities and can rattle them off when asked. Because they keep their priorities close and their boundaries defined, when new opportunities show up they’re able to make quick decisions about whether or not to take them on. When you know your priorities you’re less likely to fall prey to shiny new thing syndrome and more able to stay focused on things that are in alignment with the life you’re wanting to create.

To be successful, you have to pay as much attention to what you want to stop doing as to what you want to continue or start doing. Click To Tweet

How the World’s Most Successful People Eliminate Self-Doubt, by Jenny Medeiros.

As I wrote in this article, self-doubt is an invitation into a deeper inquiry into who you really are. That said, the need for this inquiry is not in opposition to the excellent suggestions in this article by Jenny Medeiros. It’s a both, and.

4. Surround Yourself With Confident People.

You’ve heard it said, you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you. Highly successful people are well aware of this and capitalize on it by making sure that their 5 closest people are strong, confident people who see the truth of who they are. Choosing your inner circle wisely is vital to success. Surround yourself with people who see the best in you and remind you about who you really are when you forget and lose your way.

5. Step outside your comfort zone.

One of the best habits that highly successful people cultivate is finding ways on a regular basis to step out of their comfort zone, not only in their chosen field, but in all areas of their lives.

You can’t grow and stay comfortable at the same time. Training yourself to take actions that scare you builds your confidence. And confidence builds success even more than talent, according to UC Berkeley’s Hass School of Business.

Because of their willingness to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zone, highly successful people fail repeatedly. They fail, learn, and grow all the time. They also mine past failures for opportunities they can use to build toward their next success.

6. Don’t listen to your negative thoughts.

When negative thoughts arise because something isn’t going the way you want it to go, you don’t have to believe them, or even listen to them too closely. You can train yourself to let them pass by.

Like a crabby uncle who just can’t help spewing trash talk, negative thoughts are best tuned out so you can focus on creating what you want and choosing to listen to the thoughts that support you in getting there.

Don’t get frustrated when negative thoughts arise. It’s natural, especially when you fail. As I write about in this article, instead of trying to erase or suppress them, get curious about and befriend them, so that you develop more concentrated power to aim at what you want.

The two mental shifts highly successful people make, by Benjamin P. Hardy

7. Believe You Have a Choice.

You don’t always have a choice about what happens in your life but you always have a choice in how you respond or react to what happens. Highly successful people embrace this life-altering habit to move from an external locus of control to an internal one. Taking responsibility means no longer blaming events or others in your life as the reason you don’t have what you want. Whether it’s your personal life or your business life, you are responsible for the outcome of it. Once you know this down to your bones, you will never again be bound by your past limitations.

8. Understand consequence

Highly successful people remember that all actions have consequences, so they choose their actions wisely. As Stephen R. Covey explains,We control our actions, but the consequences that flow from those actions are controlled by principles.

Those who don’t understand this truth get trapped in negativity and have a hard time moving past circumstances that seem to hold them down. Think before speaking, acting, or reacting and evaluate the consequences that follow. Making it a habit to think beyond what’s right in front of you frees you to let go of things that will block your success.

As Benjamin Hardy writes, this is the first shift from dependence to independence.

9. Have a big vision.

What is your ultimate vision? The long-term, end-of-the-line goal that pulls you forward through the day to day?

This is where successful people start. They look at the big picture and determine where they want to end up. Then they work backward, removing unnecessary steps and focusing on the actions that will get them where they want to go.

Having a clear vision, your moonshot (as Peter Diamandis calls it), is the beacon that gets you through the challenging times when it seems like nothing is working. Having a vision also helps you clarify your day-to-day priorities (step #3) because what you do either brings you toward your vision or it doesn’t.

10. Teamwork makes the dream work.

My friend, you won’t get where you want to go alone. None of us do and trying to do it all yourself holds you back.

Highly successful people all build a strong team around them and delegate everything that isn’t in their zone of genius. Sandra Yancey, founder of eWomen Network and brilliant entrepreneur, says to set yourself up to only do what only you can do. This way you get to hone and express your superpower without staying bogged down in the stuff that you hate doing but is actually someone else’s superpower.

As Benjamin Hardy says, this is the second shift from independence to interdependence.

The two mental shifts he articulates—dependence to independence and independence to interdependence—are crucial to success.

We’ve got to make this second shift, folks. Our survival as a species depends on it. The sooner we recognize that we are interdependent and our survival is bound up in learning to live that truth in real time, the sooner we can create a world that works for everyone.

As Toni Morrison said, When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.

In conclusion

Choose one habit to start implementing right now. Thinking about taking action isn’t the same as taking action, so start with one small action today that will move the needle.

Which habit’s your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know.

In future blogs this month, I will write about success, as I see it. Stay tuned!

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