How your success could set you up for failure

what makes you successful


What are your reasons for success

If I were to ask you, “What makes you successful?” what would you say? Whenever I ask this question to any successful person surprisingly the answers are very vague. Sometimes I hear about hardwork, commitment, focus while some people just assume that their success was meant to be. Others give credit to mentors, well wishers, luck or God. But the real fact is that successful people rarely spend time asking themselves what makes them successful and those who do are mostly unclear of what “REALLY” makes them successful.


Infact the more successful the person, the less time they spend on understanding what makes them successful. On the other hand people who feel they are not successful spend huge amounts of time dissecting their performance and analyzing why they have not reached their goals. This is both a result of human nature as well as the way most systems are set up; to look for the cause of the problem and not the reason for why something works. Logic also dictates that if something is going well why worry about it.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. – Bill Gates

Why you need to know what makes you successful?

Longterm success in itself is a dynamic and changing thing. What makes you successful today may not be what you need tomorrow.  People who are successful in the long run always remember that sustainable success requires a constant commitment to changing, evolving and repeatedly reinventing yourself. If you do not know what contributes to your success today, you will not know what to change tomorrow.


What you need to know about what makes you successful?

Success is rarely a result of a single thing but rather a combination of things. Your success will always be caused by a combination of:

  1. Behaviours and habits
  2. Skills and talents
  3. People and environment

At every level in your path to success you need to know which of these factors have helped you get there and also which of these you need to change, replace or let go off to get to the next level. Carrying the same factors may not help because sometimes they just don’t work. For example being a perfectionist may have helped at the entry-level but it needs to get replaced with ability to mentor and delegate as you start managing teams. Not letting go of something that made you successful earlier will lead to a quick burnout.

The factors you are successful “inspite” of:

Some of the behaviours and inner beliefs that you may carry are those that you may have grown not because but rather inspite of. It is easy to ignore these because you’ve may have managed with them till now without really getting impacted.  It is important to know these as well because even if they have not harmed you yet they may in the future. These could be behaviour traits or inner beliefs.


The way to continued success:

Once you know what makes you successful and the factors that could stop your success, it is also important that you use this awareness. Spend time regularly to evaluate who you are and who you need to be to meet the goals you have set for yourself. Build and execute plans to get to the new skills, behaviours and effectiveness that you need as you grow in life and sustain your success.

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. – Confucius

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