Belief: the best kept secret of successful people

My husband and I launched a tech start-up about six months ago. This isn’t the first company that we’ve started together,...

Secret of successful people

My husband and I launched a tech start-up about six months ago. This isn’t the first company that we’ve started together, and I don’t think it will be the last. Yet, and despite all the experience we already have (more than 30 years of business experience combined, oh dear!), this new project comes with its own set of challenges, hiccups, and hurdles to overcome. This made me wonder about what the secret of successful people is…

And so, these past few months, besides the many wonderful wins, lessons learned, and great opportunities that have opened up to us for this start-up, we’ve also experienced quite a few moments of doubt and insecurity, and sometimes this project has brought our worst fears to the surface and made us wonder: did we make the right decision?

And that is precisely what I want to talk about today.

When you aim big, and venture into the unknown with a new business idea, project, or any other kind of creative endeavor, you’ll have moments of passion, glory, and absolute bliss. I can guarantee it! But, and this is the tough part, you’ll also experience moments – usually right after you’ve made a big decision, or chosen a specific direction for your project – of doubt, insecurity, and even despair. And I believe that the way you handle those moments, much more than the way you enjoy and deal with the good stuff, is key to your success.

But how do successful people handle the dark stuff? How do they deal with themselves in moments of insecurity, fear, and doubt, or when all hope is lost? What makes them successful, despite all of that?

They believe.

That’s the major difference. In moments of doubt, they believe in themselves, in their projects, in their decisions, and in the route they’ve chosen to take.

And that keeps them going.

I’m convinced that the secret to success is to stay focused and on track. When you made the decision to start something new, you had a vision. And that vision made sense to you. Then you started to develop that vision into an actual project, or a business idea, perhaps. You took the idea out of your head and gave birth to it in the real world. And, as a result of that process, things happened. A lot of good things, but not always. And that caused doubt in your mind, and worry.

The secret of successful people

Maybe someone told you your project wasn’t worth it, or that the idea was stupid, or that you wouldn’t be able to make money with it, or that nobody would ever care for it. Or perhaps the idea actually took on, but then you made a bad decision about a business partner, or you ran into some administrative issues or other sorts of problems.

When you’re creating and putting things into this world, the road to success is paved with challenges. Unexpected things will happen. And when they do, we start to doubt our vision. It’s natural, in our DNA even.

But the secret of successful people is to believe in yourself – and to keep at it. 

I know it sounds simple, trivial almost. But in my opinion it is THE best kept secret of highly successful people. The capacity to stay on track, keep yourself motivated, and continue through adversity is something that you can only achieve if you really believe in the final outcome, and in the future success of the adventure you’re undertaking. And that confidence is really – and I mean really – hard to maintain.

But when you’ve mastered your thoughts and mindset in this fashion, there is literally nothing that can stop you from achieving your goals. So how do you do it? How do you believe when everything tells you not to?

Take inspired action.
You cannot achieve great things without inspired action (something we’re constantly talking about at The Boho Loft). I believe this is where a lot of people have it wrong, and where a lot of projects are set up to fail. Achieving your dreams is not easy, and certainly not something to take lightly. So trying to achieve big things if you’re not inspired is like trying to cross the Atlantic on a miniature boat. It won’t often work. So when you choose the projects you’re going to go for, make sure they inspire you enough to get you through the rough patches, too. And when you’re worried, or doubting yourself, tap into that inspiration and passion to keep going.

Always get back up.
You’re going to fall down. Some things are simply not going to go the way you want them to. That’s life. It’s how things are built, and it’s how projects get done. Sometimes it’s messy, and dirty, and difficult. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, or that you should quit. See adversity as an opportunity: to learn something about yourself, about the world, about life and business. Instead of dreading the fall, embrace it. Always get back up. And if you can, do so as someone who’s a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser every time.

Get to know yourself really well.
I believe that the success or failure of any project, business, or goal depends on the person who sets it in motion. When it comes to success, both in life and business, we are our own worst enemies. It is not the external world that tricks us, or makes us lose. It is ourselves, through the reaction that we have to those external situations. That is why it’s so important to get to know yourself really well. Because those times will come – when you want to give up, when you’re so afraid that you think you won’t be able to go on. And those will be the decisive moments for you, the ones that will not only define your next move but also, and ultimately, your success.

Don’t expect anything from anyone.
When you decide to follow your passions, to create, to launch a business, or to start a new project, you’ll find yourself to be all alone. And I’m not saying this in a bad way. I’m simply stating a fact, based on years of personal experience and unanswered expectations. What it comes down to is this: whatever it is you feel you need to bring into the world, other people don’t come from the same place. And as much as you would love encouragement, support, and help (and as much as you might get it to a certain degree), other people are not waiting to give all that to you. By not expecting anything, you can save yourself a lot of heartache and disappointment, helping you to keep a positive outlook and making sure others don’t bring you down.

Trust yourself.
And finally, here’s what I consider to be the number one thing to do in order to believe and achieve your dreams: trust yourself. Learning to trust yourself will be one of the most powerful things you’ll ever do. To a certain extent, we all think we trust ourselves. But when you create big things, you come face to face with yourself and your doubts, and you realize that you really don’t trust yourself that much. On the contrary, a heap of worries and questions may come up that can make you doubt everything about yourself. That’s why it’s important to learn to trust yourself and your decisions. Because the better you get at doing it, the less you’ll worry, and the more you’ll start to believe. And as I said before, belief is the best kept secret of highly successful people.

So, tell me, do you believe in yourself?

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