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7 Psychological Habits That Will Make You More Successful Than 98% of People

Successful individuals maintain a positive relationship with themselves, exhibited by limited self-criticism and early acknowledgment of emotions. They also monitor and regulate their thought patterns, embrace self-compassion, and balance awareness of emotions with rational decision-making. Regularly updating expectations, prioritizing self-care, and embracing emotional vulnerability further contribute to their overall success.

Contents: 7 Psychological Habits That Will Make You More Successful Than 98% of People

7 Psychological Habits to obtain in your critical path to success

7 Psychological Habits to obtain in your critical path to success

Success starts with healing your relationship with yourself.

Success tends to be linked to having good relationships with your own mind. When you meet people who have been successful in life, whether in business, in their careers or in their personal lives, many of them seem to have an unusually positive relationship with themselves.

For example:

  • One of the signs of a healthy relationship with oneself is that you do not fall into self-criticism very often or intensely. Successful people tend to be very thoughtful and honest about their shortcomings. But they also avoid the most unproductive and destructive end of that continuum: self-judgment, rumination, self-punishment, etc.

Of course, there are many people who are very successful despite not having a great relationship with themselves. But the exception proves the rule.

  • It is my experience that when you closely observe people who have achieved and maintained a certain level of meaningful success in their lives, one of the hidden factors behind that success is that they are not sabotaged and derailed by their thoughts, beliefs and emotions.
  • It is much easier to be successful when you have a good relationship with your mind.

Here are 7 psychological habits I’ve observed in very successful people that we can all learn from, whatever your definition of success is:

1. They acknowledge their emotions early

It is difficult to succeed in any area of life if painful emotions constantly overwhelm you. Of course, we all experience difficult emotions like fear, sadness or anger. But why is it that some people manage these feelings relatively well while others do not?

Most people are overwhelmed by painful emotions because they ignore or distract themselves when those emotions are small. While this feels good in the short term, it generally makes those feelings become much bigger and more intense over time.

  • On the other hand, if you can get into the habit of acknowledging your emotions when they first appear, and then validating them instead of trying to get rid of them, you stand a much better chance of maintaining emotional balance and getting on with your most important work and goals.

2. They think about their thinking

In addition to ignoring your emotions when they first show up, the other reason they end up ballooning into giant, overwhelming feelings is because we unintentionally feed them. Specifically, patterns of thinking like chronic worry or negative self-talk lead to much stronger and longer-lasting emotions.

  • If you want to control your emotions, you must learn to manage your thinking.

Most people are not very aware of their mental patterns. As a result, they find themselves at the mercy of all the emotions those thought patterns lead to:

  • Chronic worry → chronic anxiety
  • Chronic rumination → chronic anger
  • Chronic self-criticism → chronically low self-confidence.
  • On the other hand, successful people often have the habit of reflecting on and paying attention to their thoughts. They are aware of the role they play in initiating or maintaining unhelpful mental patterns; and as a result, are better at regulating those thought patterns and the emotions that follow.
7 Psychological Habits to obtain in your critical path to success - Generating Ideas
7 Psychological Habits to obtain in your critical path to success – Generating Ideas

3. They are compassionate with their mistakes

One of the things I’ve noticed in observing successful people is that there are two types of successful people…

  • One type has a lot of external success, but is miserable internally.
  • The other type has external success and also has a relatively calm and confident inner life as well.

And while many factors could lead to this difference, here is a big one I don’t think is appreciated enough:

  • It is hard to sustainably succeed when you beat yourself up every time you slip up.

The externally successful but internally miserable types often have a pretty intense habit of self-condemnation after mistakes. They are constantly ruminating about past mistakes, worrying about future slip-ups, and generally being quite unpleasant to themselves.

But those whose external success matches internal calm almost always have a strong habit of self-compassion. They reflect on their mistakes and try to learn from them. But they don’t dwell on them or generalize them to what they mean about them as people.

4. They listen to their emotions, but rarely trust them

Most people’s relationship with their emotions falls into one of these two extremes:

  • They are dismissive and avoid their emotions. As a result, they don’t know much about them or how much those emotions influence them outside of their awareness (and yes they do!)
  • They are obsessed with and overly focused on their emotions. As a result, they frequently get lost in their feelings and are overly emotion-driven in their decision making and choices.

On the other hand, people who tend to be successful often have a middle ground approach to their emotions:

  • They are aware of and sensitive to their emotions but do not place blind trust in them either.

Instead, they see emotions as one source of potentially useful information but not gospel truth either. And when push comes to shove, they tend to use values rather than emotions to make big decisions.

7 Psychological Habits to obtain in your critical path to success - Expectations
7 Psychological Habits to obtain in your critical path to success – Expectations

5. They update their expectations frequently

Expectations are powerful beliefs about the future or what you believe should happen. But they also tend to operate in the background of our minds, which means we rarely examine them or question them. As a result, we can end up thinking, feeling, and then acting in ways contrary to our values and what we want, all because of old, unexamined expectations—either for ourselves or for others.

  • If you insist on having expectations, you should insist on having realistic ones.

Many people end up falling into patterns of self-sabotage and bad habits because they still operate according to old expectations—often from childhood!

  • Successful people understand that in order to continue making good decisions in an ever-changing environment, you need to regularly examine and update your expectations so they actually adhere to reality and move you toward your goals and aspirations rather than away from them.

6. They take self-care seriously

It is very hard work to properly manage difficult emotions, think clearly and accurately, update strong beliefs and expectations, manage mistakes and criticism well, and perform all the other psychological functions success depends on.

And yet, most people rarely do anything to support their minds in properly accomplishing those functions. It’s like being a professional athlete and eating a terrible diet. Or owning a sports car and never bothering to get the oil changed.

  • Success depends on a healthy mind. And a healthy mind depends on healthy habits.

The term self-care gets a bad rap because it has been hijacked to mean superficial acts of comfort and pleasure. But in reality, self-care means establishing and maintaining habits and routines that support emotional health and well-being.

7. They are willing to be emotionally vulnerable

Emotional vulnerability is another one of those terms like self-care that seems silly and superficial and not even worth thinking much about. But that’s only because most people don’t understand what it means…

To be emotionally vulnerable means that, when appropriate, you are able and willing to talk about how you feel—especially when it’s difficult. This is not only important for your emotional health and well-being (see #1), but it is also vital if you want to maintain healthy and effective relationships, which almost all forms of success depend on (probably more than you think).

  • From business to parenting, a successful journey depends on all parties feeling confident that they can talk about how they feel. Successful people understand that by modeling their emotional vulnerability and being honest about how they feel, they are empowering others to do the same.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts 7 Psychological Habits That Will Make You More Successful Than 98% of People

What makes all these people so successful is that they have refinement in their mind. That is really just another way of saying that they’ve developed a great relationship with their mind. And what does that mean? It means they are conscious of their thoughts and their emotions. They refine and update their expectation lists.

They take great care of their subconscious computer (i.e., their minds). They live open lives, showing vulnerability, emotions and feelings, but not blind faith in those feelings. And they work here, in their mind, to accomplish all these things.

These are all psychological habits these people have, and if you were to enjoy these habits as well, this would greatly increase your chances at being successful at whatever it is you are doing, both professional and personal. These would all be developed through the habit-building continuum.

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