When you think of the world’s most successful people, what do you think are their biggest challenges in life? What are the qualities that separate them from you? Are they really that different?
The main thing to notice is how they respond when life throws a curveball and they’re faced with difficult challenges to overcome. The most successful people will take it in their stride and even seek ways to use it to their advantage.
Successful people are often defined by what they have overcome in the past and remain mindful of their personal growth. The following 8 common problems can be experienced by anyone in their lifetime. Here are the different ways the triumphant approach them.
What does success mean?
The definition of success differs from one person to the next, but the general concept of success is the state or condition of meeting a defined range of expectations, and would normally be summaries as the opposite to failure. Often when we experience success, it leads to a feeling of joy and positivity.
Think back to a time you were successful. Perhaps you completed your exams with top marks, or maybe you bought your first home for a great price. When you had this level of success, what were the feeling that you felt? No doubt you experienced happiness, fulfilment, and positivity.
It's important to know that one persons idea of success could be completely different to another persons. For example, for one person becoming a millionaire might be their idea of success, and for another person it might be having a family of their own.
Success is also a continuous journey. How often have we succeeded, and then realised we wanted to succeed at something else?
How to overcome fear?
How to overcome fear? A challenge that everyone will face, regardless of what they may have achieved, even successful people need to know how to overcome fear. Those who are successful are aware of fear, but don’t let it hold them back when taking risks, or making a decision that they do not feel comfortable making.
As much as it’s tempting to believe fear is an external entity that suddenly jumps out of hiding one day, the truth is you created it, so you also have the power to take it away.
Below is a simple list of ways to overcome fear. This list is aimed at everyday fears, and if your fear is more significant we recommend that you seek professional help.
- Remove yourself from the situation. Take a few minutes to compose yourself. This could be through distraction, by either making a cup of tea or going for a short walk.
- Remember to breathe. Using simple breathing techniques to overcome a fear helps calm your mind and body. Calming the mind will help you to cope with the fear in front of you.
- As strange as it sounds, face your fear head on. The more you dwell on a fear, the more power it has over you. Through repetition of dealing with a fear, it soon loses its impact on how you feel and it becomes the norm.
- Think of a worst case scenario. What is the worst thing that could happen with your fear? In a normal situation, you’ll realise that the worst case scenario is very unlikely to happen and your fear may be unjust.
- Use evidence to squash your fear. The more you understand your fear, and how unlikely it may be to happen, the more likely you are to overcome it.
- Visualization techniques can help to calm the mind. As with the first point, remove yourself from the situation, close your eyes, and visualise a happy place for yourself. This will have a calming effect on your mind, allowing your heart rate to decrease, and your breathing to steady.
- Reward yourself on overcoming a fear. If you’ve managed to tackle your fear, then reward yourself. Perhaps a slice of cake, a night out, or a weekend away.
There will be negativity in almost every aspect of life, but successful people know how to not let it stop them from reaching their goals. A person who backs away from a negative reaction is letting it defeat them; however, those who embrace negativity and turn it to their advantage and another one of their challenges to overcome are the ones who are truly successful.
When it comes to facing negativity, successful people know to approach challenges in life with a strong positive mindset and the knowledge of how to manifest happiness in their lives.
Even the most successful person in the world will still experience certain setbacks. What divides them from the average person is when things go wrong, they don’t give up.
The most successful people recognise the inevitability of failure and setbacks and see them as just another challenge in life to work toward overcoming. And certainly not reasons to completely give up on achieving the goals that will inevitably lead to them pursuing their dreams.
Remaining undeterred in times of difficulty is what enabled the most successful people to get to where they are today. It’s what allowed Sir James Dyson to persevere through 5,126 failed vacuum prototypes across the span of 15 years. And what eventually allowed Abraham Lincoln to ascend to his presidency after several failed runs at political office.
Overcoming Losing Control of Your Power
With success comes power, but there will always be aspects that cannot be controlled. The most successful people have to overcome factors that cannot be pre-determined and have to face situations where they have a lack of control.
There are always going to be some challenges to overcome in life that crop up when least expected. During these times, it’s easy to react emotionally rather than respond with thoughtful consideration. Possessing the ability to remain grounded and calm under pressure is the biggest power and true success in itself.
Overcoming What Others Think
You can either let the opinions of other people influence you positively or negatively. The opinions of others are definitely at the top of the list of challenges successful people overcome.
Successful people must deal with criticism from others but overcome challenges in life by knowing when criticism is valid. To be successful, you must possess the ability to recognise when an opinion is valuable, or when it is simply a hindrance to their success.
Overcoming Lack of Motivation
The meaning of motivation is a reason, or reasons, to acting or behaving in a particular way. It is the process that initiates and maintains our goal oriented behaviour. We use motivation in all areas of our life, such as motivation for business, motivation for weight loss, or motivation to study at school.
Motivation wanes, and even successful people will experience times when it is scarce.
The feeling of being unmotivated makes even the simplest of tasks difficult, but successful people are able to recognise that it is something they will have to deal with and are sure to not let it hold them back. You too can refuel motivation during weighty challenges in life with the right mental pillars.
Simple steps to overcoming lack of motivation are:
- Be easy on yourself. We all have peaks and lows in our motivation, and it’s hard to keep motivation at its peak constantly. For example, when we struggle with motivation for weight loss, we can often start using negative self-talk, which then has a more damaging effect. Instead, identify the lack of motivation and think about what you can do to reignite it.
- Write down your goals. Using a daily planner or journal to write down your goals can help to motivate you towards your goals. This act of journaling can help to clarify the feelings of completing your goals, and result in a new sense of motivation.
- Hold yourself accountable. Again looking at motivation for weight loss, it’s important to hold yourself accountable for your efforts, or lack of efforts. No one else will lose the weight for you, so it is important you hold yourself accountable. You could do this through using an external presence, such as a personal trainer to keep track of your progress.
When looking at celebrities and people in the public eye for all that they have accomplished, it’s very easy to jump to the conclusion that their journey there was smooth sailing. This may of course be true for some, yet for others, life has been littered with extreme adversity and challenges to overcome.
One standout example to consider is actor and producer, Sylvester Stallone. Complications suffered by his mother at birth caused part of his face to be paralysed. He’s now considered to be one of the most successful actors for writing and starring in three-Oscar-winning (ten nominations) Rocky, and his facial features are what makes his image more iconic.
Fully embracing yourself through the difficult times in your life can empower you along your journey to success.
Throughout life, there will be times when you will be told that you aren't good enough, but those who succeed accept this and move forward regardless of the rejection. Even billionaire icon, Oprah Winfrey, got fired from her first job as a TV anchor in Baltimore. That certainly didn’t stop her from achieving global success later on in life.
It’s common to perceive rejection as a form of personal failure. One thing to remember is failure can build resilience and presents a greater opportunity to learn.
Some simple tips for overcoming rejection are:
- Accept the rejection and let it go. Do not hold on to the negative feelings, as hard as it may be.
- Validate how you feel.
- Think about what you can learn from rejection. There are lessons in every aspect of life. Was there something you could do next time to improve your chances of not being rejected?
- Have confidence in yourself and know your worth. Don’t take rejection as a personal insult on who you are. Sometimes things are not meant to be. Life would be pretty boring if we always got what we wanted. Try to look at rejection as something positive.
- Avoid negative self-talk. We all receive setbacks in life, and when overcoming rejection, negative self-talk can have an even more damaging effect. Sometimes we just need to dust ourselves off, have some words of encouragement or repeat affirmations, and get back out there.
Overcoming Anxiety and Overcoming Social Anxiety
One of the most common problems to overcome in ourselves, is how to overcome anxiety, and specifically how to overcome social anxiety. Many of us suffer from this, whether it be in a work or social environment. Anxiety is a general feeling of unease, such as feeling worried or fearful, and can be mild or severe for some. Social anxiety is when you experience these feelings in a social situation. This is a very common problem, and normally occurs in your teenage years, but can carry through to your adult life. Key symptoms associated to social anxiety are:
- Worrying about everyday life, such as bumping into people on the street or speaking to someone on the phone.
- Avoiding social situations, such as meeting with friends.
- A constant worry about being embarrassed.
- Finding it hard to be observed when doing something, such as writing on a white board or speaking to a room full of people.
- Panic attacks caused by social anxiety.
Overcoming social anxiety needs outside help and practice, but there are some steps you can start to implement.
- Try to understand your anxiety. Next time you feel anxious in a social situation, write down what you are feeling and what you feel triggered it.
- Try some simple breathing exercises. Breathing correctly can be used as a form of relaxation technique. Inhaling slowly for 4 seconds through your nose, holding for 2 seconds, and exhaling slowly for 6 seconds. This is a simple breathing pattern that can be used for a few minutes to relax your body and calm your mind.
- Focus on what people are actually saying to you, rather than assuming the worst from the situation.
Successful people aren’t born, they are made through process, practice and patience.
The biggest challenge in life for you is to understand how to adapt your mindset to be able to face them head-on. From time to time, life is bound to throw you difficult challenges to overcome.
Allow these approaches to make them more manageable and less unapproachable for you.