If You Only Learn These 3 Things About Success...

Through the process of working toward and achieving my own goals, I am rebuilding the way I think, and discovered some important lessons that every successful person practices every day. No matter what.
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I have learned a lot about myself over the last few years of being self-employed. And some of the hardest-won battles so far have been fought inside my own mind. In fact, a majority of them. I don't remember exactly what life was like before I was completely and fully responsible for my own income, schedule, and productivity. I do, however, remember my thoughts, and they weren't pretty. But through the process of working toward and achieving my own goals, I am rebuilding the way I think, and discovered some important lessons that every successful person practices every day. No matter what.

1. Believe In Yourself -- Out of everything on the list, this is the most important. It is the foundation for everything else. The single biggest obstacle between you and whatever it is you want to do or be isn't external. It's all upstairs, in-between your ears. And the sooner you silence the critic, the more you will be able achieve. Have you ever noticed some of the most successful people in your field or in life happen to have this insane "can-do" attitude? They get up every morning and they take action on behalf of their goals. Often times, they take action because it's a part of the process of proving to themselves (and the critic upstairs) that they can do it. And because it is only "the doing" that matters, to yourself and to everyone else.

2. Depend On Yourself -- The sooner you realize that you are the only person you are truly responsible for, the sooner you can start to release all of the other things that you try to hold on to and control on any given day. This frees up a lot of time and energy for yourself. When you take responsibility for only you, you learn that what you think and feel and do is important. And you start to rely on yourself. This is the sign of a successful person. Someone who knows themselves and what they're capable of. And as a result, they start to trust and depend on themselves. To trust their intuition, and follow through on it. You will be surprised by how much you can actually do. More than you ever imagined possible.

3. Take Care of Yourself -- This is sometimes the hardest lesson on the list to practice. We are a culture of people pleasers and workaholics, and we find it hard to check in with ourselves in healthy ways and make sure we have what we need. It's even harder to ask for it from others. But, you are the most important part of your life. Not because you're selfish, but because that's just the way it is. You are the main character in the play of your life. And only you know what you can handle, what type of environment you need to be productive, what type of friends you need around you, and what types of diet and activity you need to stay healthy. If you don't know these things, then get to know yourself a little (or a lot). Because knowing yourself will be the one of the biggest parts of your path to success. And then learning to take care of yourself will keep you there.

I am by no means perfect or even good at these things all of the time, but I have noticed that they are the keys to unlocking a whole new world of opportunities and possibilities. It's not always pretty. Sometimes believing in yourself looks a lot like sitting at a computer in your pajamas and a half empty jar of olives, convinced you're going to fail but hitting send on the article anyway. Each of these lessons will transform the way you make decisions, take risks, do work, and live life. And you can't do any of the brilliant, bold, and crazy things rolling around in your head without implementing at least one of these. You won't do any of them well without implementing all of them. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

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