Forget about luck. According to Jessica Stillman of Inc., luck doesn’t exist — not in the classic sense — and it’s up to you to create your own opportunities and successes. But how do you do it?
In a Daily Muse post titled “3 Ways You’re Standing in the Way of Your Own Success—and How to Stop Today,” Stillman says it’s all a matter of mindset. You’ve got to get your head right, and the first step is defining success. Stillman uses the analogy of running: It doesn’t matter how speedy you are if you have no clue where you’re going.
Are you looking to travel, or make loads of money, or have a happy family life? Maybe all three? Until you realize what it is you’re chasing — and learn to follow your own “internal compass, as author Srinivas Rao puts it — you’ll never truly be able to call yourself successful.
Another way Stillman says you might be sabotaging yourself: “You put yourself in the wrong contexts.” Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and unless you position yourself someplace where your talents can shine, and you’re realizing your full potential, you’re bound to feel unfulfilled. If you’re a creative type, find a job that lets you think outside the box. If you’re a more detail-oriented person, seek opportunities allow you showcase your knack for planning and organizing.
Finally, Stillman warns against focusing too hard on pleasing others. While kindness is a virtue, there comes a point where you have to follow your own agenda and learn to say “no” when people ask you to do things. According to corporate wellness coach and Brazen Careerist writer Mike Iamele, it’s about putting your own priorities first and living the life you’ve envisioned for yourself — not the one you think people want you to lead.
“Disagreeing with and displeasing people—whether they be friends, significant others, parents, or even occasionally bosses—is a sign that you are moving more and more into your own authenticity,” Iamele says.