April 7th – 6.45 am – Paris, Gare Du Nord
As I step into the bustling Gare Du Nord, DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean” resonates through my headphones. French and British officers thoroughly inspected my passport at the Eurostar customs as I embark on a journey to London for a four-day motivational marathon. During this time, I hope to find clarity on a single question:
What sets certain individuals apart in their exceptional performance?
Some individuals are simply outstanding at what they do, often called “insanely great.” It might seem as though they possess an innate recipe for success encoded in their DNA, leading others to believe that they should accept their own limitations and give up. However, the truth is that most exceptional people weren’t born that way. They consciously chose to pursue greatness and took steps to transform themselves into who they aspired to be.
If greatness is something we can learn, it is within reach for all of us. So, why do so few people achieve exceptional results despite putting in moderate effort and seeking guidance? While it is a complex question, I believe one predominant factor hinders success: the fear of failure.
Conquering the fear of failure is paramount. Fear often prevents us from making decisions in our personal and professional lives. We frequently find ourselves uttering phrases like “I can’t do it,” “I’m not qualified,” or “that’s too complex for me.” Sticking to what we know is more comfortable than taking risks to pursue success.
Fear is a natural human instinct designed to protect us. However, in modern life, most fears arise from situations that may make us uncomfortable rather than pose genuine harm. Often, venturing beyond our comfort zones is essential to seeking positive change. Fear can be a signal that we are engaged in something worthwhile.
When we remain too comfortable, we risk falling into passive routines that stifle our potential. The path of least resistance can be tempting. Think about the countless New Year’s resolutions that fizzle out after the first week of January. Making promises to ourselves is easy, but it becomes challenging to confront our fears and embrace change.
The good news is that straightforward techniques are available to overcome this challenge. By shifting our mindset from negative to positive, we empower ourselves with a mentality that invites success. We can train our brains to believe that achieving the seemingly impossible is possible.
Creating a positive state of mind is key. We all know individuals with a negative outlook, regardless of the circumstances. They have developed a habit of seeing things in a negative light, affecting them and those around them. However, just as negativity can be contagious, so can positivity. Smiling is infectious and brings about a sense of well-being. Similarly, music can have a profound effect on our mood. Incorporating simple practices like smiling and listening to uplifting music into our daily lives can help us maintain a positive and peak mental state.
You know you succeed when those around you embrace your energy, reflect your smile, and echo your positive attitude. They feel rewarded by your state of mind, and you, too, experience the benefits. For many individuals, achieving a positive mental state involves physical activities. Some people engage in a quick run, a jump, or raise their hands in the air. Proper breathing techniques provide the brain with more oxygen, resulting in an invigorating feeling.
So, how do these exceptional individuals surpass their limits and achieve outstanding results?
Embrace Continuous Learning
Exceptional individuals understand the value of lifelong learning. They actively seek knowledge through reading, attending seminars, taking courses, or engaging in conversations with experts in their field. They never stop expanding their skills and staying updated with the latest advancements.
Set Ambitious Goals
Extraordinary people set high, yet achievable, goals for themselves. They don’t settle for mediocrity but strive for excellence. By setting ambitious targets, they challenge themselves and push beyond their comfort zones, constantly raising the bar for their own performance.
Cultivate Discipline and Consistency
Consistency is key to achieving greatness. Extraordinary individuals develop strong discipline and stick to their routines and commitments. They show up daily, put in the necessary effort, and remain dedicated to their goals, even when faced with obstacles or setbacks.
Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity
Exceptional people understand that failure is not an outcome but a stepping stone to success. They embrace failure as a valuable learning opportunity, analyzing their mistakes, adjusting, and persevering until they achieve their desired results. They view failure as a necessary part of the growth process.
Seek Feedback and Mentorship
Extraordinary individuals actively seek feedback from trusted sources and surround themselves with mentors who can guide and support them. They are open to constructive criticism, as they recognize that feedback provides insights for improvement and helps them refine their skills and approaches.
Develop a Growth Mindset
Exceptional people adopt a growth mindset, believing their abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. They view challenges as opportunities for growth, embrace setbacks as temporary, and maintain a positive and resilient attitude in the face of adversity.
Practice Deliberate Practice
Extraordinary individuals engage in deliberate practice, which involves focused and intentional efforts to improve specific aspects of their performance. They break down complex skills into smaller components, identify areas for improvement, and engage in purposeful practice to enhance their capabilities systematically.
Prioritize Self-Care and Well-being
Exceptional individuals recognize the importance of self-care and maintaining physical and mental well-being. They prioritize rest, relaxation, and activities that recharge their energy. They understand that self-care is crucial for sustaining high performance and avoiding burnout.
Unlock your potential, conquer your fears, and embrace greatness. It’s time to rewrite your story.
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Image: Red Bull