One of the most intriguing things I’ve learned as an executive coach is this: The more successful you are, the more successful you get.
Because when you’re successful, people see your success and your confidence, they’re drawn to it, and opportunities arise. The more opportunities you have, the greater your chance of success. And so the cycle repeats.
I like using the word Slipstream to describe this flow of success. Some might call it The Zone. Others Alignment or The Vortex. Or you literary types might call it The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Whatever it’s called, you sure know it when you’re there. It’s getting there that’s the difficulty, isn’t it?
Don’t worry – I can help with that. Want to know the secrets of getting into the Slipstream? Lean in close, now – there are just two things you need to know:
Believe you deserve to be successful.
Dare to take a stand.
Let’s take those two keys one at a time.
It’s amazing to me the number of people who are not successful simply because they believe they can’t be. They say things like, “People like me never…” and “My parents couldn’t…” and “I didn’t go to the right school so…” They focus so much on what’s lacking that they can’t see what they’ve got.
In London’s subway system, there’s a simple message painted on the floor: Mind The Gap. It’s meant as a warning that there’s a space between the platform and the train which could be hazardous. So, too, believing in yourself requires minding the gap – the gap between here and now. The gap between can and can’t. The gap in your idea of who you think you are and who you can be.
It’s sad to watch people get a taste of success and immediately implode because “success” is not how they see themselves. They have a vision of themselves as: Struggling. Striving. Oppressed. Success completely throws them off the rails, and they immediately sabotage themselves just so they can go back to what’s familiar and comfortable, which is: Struggling. Striving. Oppressed.
However, the most successful people I know believe in their own capacity to do well. Regardless of where they went to school, or who their parents were, or whether they’ve had cancer, or how much credit card debt they once had. They allow themselves to be successful because they know they have a right to create what they want for themselves.
And they do.
Now, the second key: Dare to take a stand. The other morning I heard an interview with designer Tom Ford who said that most brilliant design is the result of a bold vision, a unique statement. All successful design stands for something.
And he’s right. Whether you’re making art, looking for a job, starting a business or growing a career – remember this: You’ve got to take a stand. You have to be known for something.
Allow yourself to be memorable.
Why? Taking a stand is kinda risky, right? OK, you know Donald Trump? Like him or loathe him, every time Trump says, “You’re fired!”, he’s actually taking a stand. A stand which reflects his beliefs, his experience, and his vision for the future. And, subsequently, he’s known for being tough, straightforward and even more successful.
So how can you start believing in yourself? Take a stand? Create your own success? Get into the Slipstream?
Let me know what you’re thinking about this. Because I believe in your success.
That, my friend, is the stand I’m taking.