Success 101 – What does it mean to you?Feature article by Steve Jones Editor-in-chief
It goes without saying everyone loves the word success as it conjures up thoughts of so many great things. But what does it really mean and is it all about winning and being the best? The truth is success has many variables; success for one can actually be interpreted as failure to another, as it’s all in the perception!
What I want to discuss is the true meaning of success and why it’s important to set your own bar and not someone else’s. I also want to touch on the importance of maintaining a point of balance to ensure your personal success story continues as an open book. As this is a health and fitness magazine I am going to relate the following to the world we are a part of.
Starting with the meaning of success, for some the outcome has to be always coming out as numero uno, number 1 in anything that they do. For others the mere fact of reaching a small step in the right direction equals success. I want to relate this to fitness competitions as I know many of our readers are either active competitors or at least thinking of competing in the near future.
Competitor number 1 has a fierce competitive nature, goes at everything with 110% effort, has the win at all costs attitude and inherently has to come out number one otherwise in their mind its considered a failure. With this attitude comes an overly confident ego driven mindset that perceives themselves as being better than all the other competitors. But what if they fail? Oh no, that evil word had to come up at some stage “failure” but the truth is how we handle or interpret failure is equally as important as how we handle success, I will talk more on this as we move forward.
Now, let’s switch to competitor number 2 a very humble human being that has good solid work ethic, a clear understanding of where they are and where they are going, yes they want to win just as much as competitor number 1 but they do not have to win, to win! The mere fact of getting up on stage in the best shape of his or her life equals a major success for competitor number 2. They are happy with the outcome knowing they have reached their personal best, notice the word “their” as this is a vital component on how each competitor perceives success.
The difference between each of these competitors is. If the win at all costs competitor number 1 places anything less than first they are devastated, it’s considered an epic fail. Where competitor number 2 may not even place yet they perceive their achievement as a win!
You are only accountable to yourself
Who you remain accountable to determines how you will feel about any given outcome, in this case a placing in a fitness competition. From my observations those that can’t handle the thought of failure are those that remain accountable to others. This is due to the “I am going to win” talk leading up to the competition. This ego talk diverts the accountability
from one’s self to an outside source, one that you will
perceive to see you as a failure if you don’t win! Notice I said [you] will perceive you not [they] will perceive you as a
failure! This is a fundamental value where the truth always rolls back and shines through. Winning and success is not about how others perceive you, it’s about how you perceive you!
Success is a balancing trick
So, we have learned that the demands we place upon ourselves determine how we perceive success. However to have continued success there must be a constant balance between two trains of thought, or two mind-sets. The first mind-set is the one that says “I am not good enough” and the second is the one that says “I am too good”. Now, which one of these mind-sets do you feel is the most detrimental to achieving long term success? Many would edge in favor of the first mind-set “I am not good enough” as it denotes failure and lack of confidence. In fact the opposite is true, the second mind-set “ I am too good” will destroy your chances of experiencing continued success in any given field yet alone fitness competitions. Why? Because the balance has been lost, and along with it the hunger to become a better version of yourself ceases to exist. On the other end of the scale the “I am not good enough” mind set can be dangerous too, because you could get to the point where you don’t have confidence in your own ability to succeed. The sweet spot for success is smack bang in the middle of these two points. Confident, but not overly confident. Hungry to succeed but not desperate to succeed.
How you handle success is going to determine your ongoing success. If you let it go to your head and become some kind of egotistical nightmare failure is inevitable. I have seen this attitude stifle more great athletes than anything else in the world. It goes without saying no one likes an overly inflated ego. Remaining humble in victory is vital for your success story to remain an open book. As soon as ego enters the page the book closes and failure sets in. And this is not perceived failure, this is actual failure!
Its all about me
There could be nothing further from the truth, even though some folk tend to take on this trait. It has never and will never be all about one person, we need others to succeed and it’s important to show appreciation and respect for those that have assisted in your journey. It is easier than ever to fall into the “All about me” attitude these days with virtual platforms like Instagram and Facebook that play right into the cards of this type of mentality. To the point where it’s breeding (NPD) Narcissistic Personality Disorder and narcissism is not a good place to be! Narcissistic
personality disorder (NPD) is a Cluster B personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and to others in the process. It is estimated that this condition affects one percent of the population, with rates greater for men. First formulated in 1968, NPD was historically called megalomania, and is a form of severe egocentrism. In all this virtual space of Facebook and Instagram it’s important to realize what’s real and what’s not! If your virtual presence does not equal your real world you may be suffering from NPD! If you need to read more on the traits of NPD google it, it’s pretty scary.
To read Steve’s full feature article subscribe to Australian Natural Bodz Magazine Click here