Maybe you have already noticed that I am not a big fan of positive thinking just for the sake of positive thinking. This is especially true when it comes on the expense of ignoring important emotions and dealing with very real issues.
All around the internet you will find lists of things that successful and confident people don’t do. But isn’t it quite difficult to give definition on what a successful person is? Indeed, some of us deal with certain aspects of life better or worse than others. Everyone has his fears and inadequacies. Only maniac people are 100% confident and this unreasonable excessive confidence might bring you to a psychiatric institution (or in very rare occasions – the White House).
Everyone else – all of us slightly neurotic but overall mentally healthy people – have insecurities. Here is a list of things we believe that successful people don’t do; but we are very, very wrong.
- Successful and confident people don’t need others’ approval
We don’t live in complete isolation. Everyone longs for some kind of appreciation for their efforts. We needed our parents’ approval when we were children (and even as adults sometimes). By winning their trust, we gained more autonomy as teenagers. We need someone else’s approval when we apply for a job. And let’s not forget the dreamy “Yes!” when you knee with a ring in your hand in front of the woman you love. Approval is important!
Work without appreciation leads to severe burnout. We just can’t feel successful without perceiving that what we do is important for someone else besides us.
Of course, the key is to aim for the right kind of approval. You must know where to draw the line. What are your priorities and values that you won’t compromise on for the sake of others’ appreciation? You must know whose approval you need and whose you don’t. An essential part of practicing self-love is to know how to stand by your desires and decisions. You must learn how to be responsible, reliable and nevertheless, self-compassionate at the same time – this is it!
- They don’t blame others for their own misery
Every escalating problem is a result of the misunderstandings between at least two people. Very often none of them is guiltier than the other. Confident people suffer, too! Sometimes they need time to forgive; sometimes they walk away and never look back.
The difference is that even if they are hurt and they blame it on someone else, they also recognize that that person is not responsible to make things right and he/she most likely never will. Then they take their life into their own hands and deal with their feelings. Some do it alone, most of them with the help of friends or a therapist; nevertheless, all of them take initiative and do their best to put their shit together.
- They are not afraid of challenges
To be honest – if it is not scary, it is not a challenge.
- They never doubt themselves
It is not realistic to believe that there are people who never doubt themselves. As I said earlier, the lack of self-doubt is a serious problem, maybe even scarier than the excess of it. The key is in the moderation and the capability to register when progress has been made.
- They don’t procrastinate
There are plenty of reasons why one might procrastinate. Sometimes it is due to a fear or lack of Confidence; but in other cases people do a better job when the deadline is close and they have a more solid time-frame that helps them focus on the task. Who’s to say what your deal is?! If it works and stress levels are not far beyond the healthy limits for long periods of time, do what you do best the way you do it most successfully and stop torturing yourself! Everyone has his/her own rhythm.
Of course, it is important to ask yourself what your own reasons are for procrastinating, but once you get that information, own it and deal with it accordingly.
To conclude this topic, I’d like to add that it is very unhealthy to create some extremely unrealistic idea of what successful and confident people are. This way it will be extremely difficult to check all the boxes and consequently see yourself as successful. The truth is that we need this sense of achievement to be high achievers (note that the tautology, ironically, is placed here on purpose – meditate on it).