You know you shouldn't. But you can't help telling yourself, can you? That somehow you failed. You didn't fulfill your potential with your college degree. You mangled your retirement savings. Or you're not with the person you wish you could be with.
The Graduate School of Stanford Business published a study about what's missing when we study success. In examining patterns of favorable outcomes, they found that success often looks like apparent failure while it's emerging.
After I graduated with two wildlife degrees, I was sure I'd done everything to position myself for success. Right out of college, my day began at 4:00 in the morning. I yanked jawbones out of dead deer when hunters brought them in to age the herd. As breakfast worn on, all you could smell was bloody entrails and fried pies. I'd wrap up my day in the freezing cold without even $100 to show for it.
I hated my life. Eventually, I designed the career I wanted and started my own consulting business. But not before I had convinced myself that I was an epic failure.
If you did everything right and things still aren't turning out the way you hoped, you might be on the verge of a breakthrough. Here are four personality types that may suggest you've fallen short, but actually predict that you're headed for success.
You wish you could be doing something else, but you've got a million excuses why you shouldn't even start. You look like a failure because you resist doing work you love. Resisters get nervous about leaving their comfort zone. But you need a creative outlet. You're on the verge of success because you're about to give voice to the inventive side of you. If you're a Resister, your biggest key to success will be indulging in work that fulfills you. Even if you work nine-to-five, carve out time to do what's important to you.
It may appear that things aren't going your way since you're disgusted with your job. You're stuck in the nine-to-five, oppressed with a boring routine and crushing circumstances. Job Haters cringe from confrontation. You push yourself to go with the flow until you consider doing something drastic. But you need to get back in the driver's seat. You're on your way to success as you give rise to the empowered side of you. As a Job Hater, your key success strategy will be to take control of the people and things you can influence. Whether it's stepping up to fierce conversations or locating a job that better suits you, invest your efforts in improving what you can about your situation.
You judge and criticize incessantly. Everyone around you is getting ahead and it's not fair. It feels like you're wallowing in failure with your constant blaming game. Criticizers don't know how to fill their empty spaces. But you need to take responsibility for what's going on with you. Success is on its way when you tap into your own inner caretaker. If you're a Criticizer, the best way you'll succeed is to give yourself what you've been waiting around for other people to give you. When you succeed at fulfilling your own desires, you no longer resent others who've got what you thought you couldn't have.
You're sick of everyone telling you what to do. You feel like a failure because you do what you're told, but it always lets somebody down. Advice Cynics are leary of standing on their own two feet. But it's time to stop doubting yourself. You're on your way to the top when you believe the side of you that's already certain. If you're an Advice Cynic, your greatest key to success will be voicing your own opinions. You know more than you think you do. You're sure to come out on top when you make your own decisions about how you want to succeed.