What separates the most successful people from those who are simply good at what they do? It’s not talent. It’s not even skill or ability. The true mark of great performers is that they consistently learn from and build on successes. Anyone, whether you lead meetings, serve customers, cook dinner or coach rec. league soccer, can learn to do the same. Doing so leads to consistently better performance. Who doesn’t want that?
Check out this quote from the authors of Rework:
I love this quote because learning from our successes is the secret to growth and consistency.
As a speaker, I get plenty of opportunities to learn from my mistakes. However, what has really helped me take it to the next level has been learning from my successes. As I’ve continued to gather feedback as a speaker, I’ve found that there are specific actions and attitudes that correlate with a successful event. By analyzing and collecting those things, I have built a recipe, so to speak, that helps me speak well more consistently. Focusing on the things that lead to success lowers my anxiety, increases my confidence and allows me to trust my ability – like a golfer must trust her swing.
Here are 3 keys that help me sky-rocket my way to repeated successes. I invite you to try them out for yourself.
How often do you do something really well? Sometimes, we don’t even remember. We blow right past the moment of success and move on to the next task, commitment or challenge. When we don’t pause to acknowledge our success, we lose a huge opportunity. Just by stopping to recognize we did an awesome job, we begin to build momentum. It all begins here. Once a success is acknowledged, we can access what made it possible.
Psychologist Carol Dweck highlights the importance of identifying the strategy that led to the success in her book Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success. (See my previous post on helping others do this.) Think about this. How often do you analyze a mistake, setback or failure? Those missteps even keep us awake at night. I’m not suggesting you lose sleep over successes (or failures either).
We analyze in order to learn and grow by incorporating feedback, the things we need to improve. Why not apply this same thought process to successes? There is much to learn. Ask yourself, “What led to this success?” Then, capture the preparation, process and everything that made that success possible. Wait, there’s more…
Carry It Forward
Once you know what led to the success, capitalize on it. Incorporate that same strategy, preparation, and process into your next opportunity. This is the stick with what got you there approach. By amassing the things that led you to success in the past, you are building momentum. That momentum leads to more and more successes. Some call them winning streaks.
If you want to bring out your best, more consistently, you must learn from your successes. I started taking this approach in my speaking a few years ago and it has made a tremendous difference. Now, I consistently apply the things that led to past success. Added together, they don’t leave much room for error. I’ve noticed, too, this frees my mind up to be in the present moment – another aspect of being awesome. I’m not worried about my performance.
So, give these 3 keys a shot and unlock your potential to achieve more consistent success: acknowledge, break down the strategy, carry it forward. See what is made possible for you.
- Book: Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- Book: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
- Post: “Good Job” Isn’t Good Enough: What It Means to Praise the Process