That's right. You can learn to be self-driven.
Earlier this year, I heard something from Susan Chambers that stuck with me.
"If you practice something enough, you will develop a skill you weren't born with."
She's so right. I had never really thought through that concept before. I believe this to be true, because I've lived it. It's a big (HUGE!) part of my story.
I grew up thinking the only types of jobs available were doctor, dentist, lawyer... (you get it). I wasn't exposed to many go-getters and out-of-the-box thinkers at a young age. Maybe I was, but it never clicked.
As I got older and went off to college, I started to meet more and more successful people who were always going and always doing. I observed them and learned from them little by little. Soon enough, I started to pick up their habits. Before I knew it, I had become motivated to be the best version of myself. It's contagious.
Reflecting back on my journey, I'd like to outline some pretty big lessons I learned along the way.
Believe in Yourself
It all starts here. And this doesn't happen overnight. You have to work at it and develop a habit of truly believing you can do anything you put your mind to.
At INBOUND 2015, Kevin Eyres explained that embracing doubt is key to growth. When you take time to evaluate the purpose of doubt, you'll see it gives you a moment to pause. To revisit, refine, and recommit to your vision, as well as to yourself and what you believe in.
"Embracing doubt can fuel some unbelievable potential & unlock incredible opportunities."
Overcome fear just once. Then do it one more time. And then keep doing it, taking it one task at a time. You have to start somewhere.
Challenges are exactly that...Challenging. Let's think about muscles for a second. In order to build up muscle you have to push them to their limits, tear them up a bit, and then rest and repair before you repeat. Jeffrey Hayzlett said it best.
"Be the biggest, baddest, boldest version of yourself that you can be. Because if you don’t, someone else will."
It's true. There's always someone else out there who can do it better. Not what you wanted to hear, right? Instead of feeling discouraged, let that fuel you. Embrace challenge by outperforming yourself day-over-day.
Does it sound terrifying? Do you need a TON of courage to do it? Perfect. Say yes and go from there. Figure out how after committing to the yes. That's how you dive into new challenges headfirst.
Learn... And Continue Learning
You should be learning something new every single day. Yep, every day. Whether it's applicable to your personal life, work life, or spiritual life. Exercise your mind as much as possible, and then take time to process that information - this is very important.
"Become a known expert in what you do."
Everything that happens in a young brain can happen in an older brain. Keeping your mind stimulated and consistently challenged is good for you. No, it's great for you! This causes continued growth in connections and pathways, resulting in longer lasting neurological benefits.
Invest in Personal Development Programs
One of my colleagues, Michael Gaddy, is an amazing mentor on people development. He is so passionate about people it's contagious.
"You have to be more interested in your own development than anyone else. You can either wait for it to happen to you or you can make it happen."
Basically what he's saying is you shouldn't be developing yourself for the sake of others. You, more than anyone else, should want to be developed and care about that process. Be proactive in making that happen. It’s on you.
I was accepted into a biblical leadership program, Workmatters Institute, earlier this year. Best decision of my life. It gave me practical ways to become not only a better leader at work, but a better friend, [future] spouse, [future] mom, and member of the community. Making the effort to develop yourself is empowering and invaluable, and you can potentially make great friends in the process.
This point is short and sweet. We were created to be a community. To be around people. YOU choose what type of crowd that is. It's a simple concept...
Input = Output
Intentionally surround yourself with like-minded people who are goal-oriented and success-driven. You will learn a lot from them without even trying. The same is true of the opposite. You will learn and develop habits from the people around you, so make long-term focused decisions.
Use Failure as a Motivator to do Your Best
Success doesn't happen overnight. You are going to fail. It's not a matter of if you will fail, it's when. Don't be scared. Everyone goes through this in the business world. Everyone.
Failing doesn't make you a failure.
Fail hard and fail fast. But most importantly, learn from those unsuccessful attempts and don't make the same mistake twice. It's all about perseverance.
Never Stop! And Never Settle
I've learned that possibilities are endless, and you really don't know what lies ahead. Keep learning. Keep growing. Be relentless.
Start with the above six principles and evaluate what it looks like to develop yourself in those areas. You never know what opportunity will arise, so be readybefore it gets here.
Preparation & persistency pay off.
There is no reason you can't become a better version of yourself day over day. All it takes is that initial step in the right direction. Remember, this is a steady growth process. It doesn't happen over night or even over the course of a week/month. Have patience in the process and embrace new things you learn about yourself. Never stop learning. And good luck!