Reshape your idea of success and create the mindset of the winner right now.
When you fail at something, it is not easy to maintain high motivation and keep working.
First, you lose focus and hope on your project, and then you start doubting your craft. Eventually, you stop working, making excuses like burnouts or no time. And the pressure weighs on your shoulders until you can’t bear it anymore, so you quit.
Until this past summer, I was doing the same. I jumped from one project to another and left each of them every time I failed. I can’t even remember how many things I gave up, but most of them were only delusional performances instead of bad ideas.
Then, two months ago, I wrote an article that took me three days of editing. I didn’t believe in it, but I sent it anyway, and it got published in one of the most relevant publications here. When that note arrived, I understood my emotions were unreliable, and I should use other metrics to measure my success.
Nowadays, that article is one of my most remunerative pieces. So here is how I learned to stop giving up to finally see my projects reach success.
Reshape your idea of success over time
Every time I feel like I did everything possible to succeed at something, I ask myself:
Did I give myself enough time for success?
Most of the time, I can’t answer this question. And even by searching online, I never found someone to tell me the truth about success.
Many people say they reached success in a couple of months, while others admit it took them years. Unfortunately, these marketing tendencies are making it hard to trust people and get relevant advice from them. So I decided to reshape my idea of success independently. Here is how I did it.
1 — I defined where I wanted to arrive, and in how many years.
Many success strategies start with goal setting, and there is no reason why this one should be different. Goals are a keystone variable of the success of a project, and without them, it is impossible to check and adjust the multiple outcomes.
Usually, the shorter the goal is in time, the easier it is to reach it. However, each short-term goal should follow a long-term plan. If you define where you want to arrive in a couple of years, you will understand better which small daily actions could bring you there.
So first of all, define where you want to arrive and in how many years.
You can either have one master plan or many different big goals to achieve. The number of achievements is insignificant because you can take them one by one and repeat this process many times to understand what you need to do. But you need to have at least one long-term plan.
2 — I considered the parabola of growth.
Once the goals are clear, you should consider the parabola of growth.
In my past failures, I didn’t notice this pattern, but success has a parabola form. In the beginning, growing will be painful, and even if you do everything right and work hard, you won’t reach that much success. However, after a couple of months, success starts building on itself.
For example, if your goal is building an audience, in the beginning, it will be harder to gain followers. But the more followers you have, the more people will be willing to follow you because of the illusion of leadership.
People value followers as much as content sometimes, and that number will hardly impact the chances that they will follow you or not. This is because a high number of followers build higher levels of leadership power and also trust.
Experience is another valuable feature for some goals, but you won’t have much in the beginning. With time, you will learn how to become better at what you are trying to achieve, so your probability of success will also increase.
This is the reason why you should consider the parabola of growth when projecting your success. There is nothing such as progressive growth. So by tracking a parabola over your goals, you will stop hyping up your expectations and giving up and finally see your projects reach success.
3 — I defined my short-term improvement.
The parabola of growth should help you control your emotions and the urge for success a little, but you still need some taste of improvement to understand if you are moving in the right direction.
When I was growing my blog, I expected to bring a lot of traffic to it in a couple of days and see it grow considerably over a month only because I was publishing there consistently. However, it takes time for people to discover you and decide to follow, especially when building a blog. So instead of giving up when I saw my parameters not growing that much, I set for a minimum improvement percentage I pledged to reach.
So I set an improvement percentage of 10%, and I worked to reach that minimum every month. In the first months, I failed many times. I had to over-promote my content and work hard to make people visit my blog, and it still wasn’t enough. However, six months after, I reached an improvement of 40%, and then last month it was 80%.
A safe parameter to measure your short-term improvement is any improvement percentage that goes between 5 and 20%. If you can reach that threshold within consecutive months, you should consider yourself successful.
However, don’t increase this parameter if things are going great. Lucky months can happen, and they can make you feel better. But that also means it will be a lot harder to reach the same success afterward.
4 — I protected my projects with a safe time strategy.
The last strategy I have been using to stop giving up and reshape my idea of success is the safe time concept.
Some months, I couldn’t reach my minimum short-term improvement percentage, and I felt so bad that I wanted to quit. But with the safe-time strategy, I always need multiple failures in a row to renounce a goal or profoundly modify it.
Usually, I use a safe time of 4 months for my projects. During this time, even if I fail to reach my short-term improvement percentage, I continue working. And even if it may seem like a lot of time wasted, it is nothing compared to the timings of success.
In the first months of my blog, I wasn’t getting that many visits, so I never reached the 10% minimum I was hoping for. However, I didn’t give up, and in the fourth month, something started building up.
So the last step to take if you want to stop giving up and finally see your projects reach success is to set a safe time strategy, a minimum amount of time in which you are not allowed to quit even if you are failing.
The Mindset of the Winner
When talking about winners, you probably imagine the CEO of a big company speeding on a fast and fancy car over the world. But that image is totally wrong nowadays.
You cannot be a winner without maturity and consistency.— Marco Silva
Successful people are often seen as snobby winners with more problems than victories. This imagery makes us feel better about ourselves, but most successful people have nothing to do with that.
A winner mentality is not focused on fancy cars and big hotel rooms with jacuzzis on the top of the roof. Instead, it prioritizes hard work, maturity, consistency, and resilience. And you can achieve all of this if you successfully reshape your idea of success.
If you define clear goals, you are willing to work hard to get to them. Considering the parabola of growth, you demonstrate maturity and willingness to go over fast victories.
Your short-term improvement will make you grow consistent, while a safe time strategy shows how resilient you can be.
This is how you can reshape your idea of success, stop giving up and finally see your projects reach the success you have always wanted.
Do you want to improve your productivity and motivation? Subscribe to The Challenge to receive your FREE dose of printable infographics each month, so you can better track your progress right now!
Article published on Curious.
Do you want other ways to support the blog? Subscribe to Medium through my referral link.