What makes someone successful?
You could probably rattle off 100 different things that you think lead to success in the blogging and online business world. Maybe it is fantastic connections, or viral content, or access to a Facebook Watch page. Maybe it is great SEO or Pinterest juju or an Instagram feed that makes you swoon.
But what if I told you that none of those things determine whether someone will succeed or fail?
Believe it or not, success really comes down to only one thing…and that one thing makes the biggest difference between people who succeed and people who don’t.
So what is that one thing?
It’s having the grit and the persistence to just keep going, no matter what. Even when things get hard. Even when you make mistakes. Even when life feels impossible.
Let me tell you, I know this all too well. In fact, at 22 I was pretty sure I had ruined my life forever. After a two and a half year battle with depression and five suicide attempts, I found myself divorced, unemployed, bankrupt, and utterly alone. In the years since, I’ve faced heartbreak and betrayal, setbacks and failures, crushing losses and bitter disappointments, health issues and money problems.
And while my struggles have been worse than some people, they’ve been far less challenging than others.
But that’s life. No one gets a free pass.
What are you going to do to keep yourself going, even when the going gets rough? How are you going to dig deep and find the grit and the gumption to persevere?
So let’s talk about how to always set yourself up for success:
The first step is to understand that the ONE THING YOU CAN CONTROL is you
The reality is that bad stuff is going to happen to you at some point, sometimes through no fault of your own. There will be people who treat you badly, or who take advantage of you. There will be lots of sucky things in life that you can’t do anything about.
And at the end of the day, the only thing you can control is the way that you respond. And, bitterness and anger and resentment don’t serve you; they only eat you alive. It’s drinking a vial of poison but expecting the other person to die.
So choose to accept responsibility for the one thing you can control—yourself. Because even in the worst of circumstances, you still have a choice. Refuse to let the actions and attitudes of others affect the way you act or feel. Refuse to give up the power of choosing how you respond. You can still choose joy and happiness and forgiveness. You can still choose to move on.
Step TWO is realizing that THE JOY IS IN THE STRUGGLE
Pain and suffering is never fun. No one wishes for hardship or struggle, or for life to be just a little more difficult. We don’t relish adversity or things going wrong. And yet, most of us, when we look back at our lives at our happiest moments, we will almost certainly find that they are inevitably tied to some sort of struggle. The things we are most proud of are the things we have had to fight for! Struggle and pain and adversity aren’t fun, but they do make us better. It’s where we learn how to be stronger and wiser and more patient and humble and empathetic.
Step THREE is to just TAKE ONE STEP, AND THEN ANOTHER
We might think we are at a disadvantage because we haven’t had the same opportunities as someone else, or because we’ve had more hardship or adversity along the way. We might think we’re not as smart or as talented or as naturally gifted as the people we see around us.
But at the end of the day, none of those things matter as much as your willingness to just keep going. To take one step, and then another, and then another, and to never, ever quit.