The Cambridge dictionary defines success as “the achieving of results wanted or hoped for.” For every single person on this planet, the definition of success will be different. The psychology of success has been on my mind a lot lately. I want success in my relationship with Jesus, my relationships with my wife and kids, in my career/calling, and so much more.
But for some, graduating from college could be their success. Others may define it as having their first million dollars in the bank. To some, success is having a happy and healthy family. Take a minute to think about what success means to you.
With mental health issues, the constant social media comparisons, and the toxic work cultures many companies provide, feeling “successful,” can be a rare thing for some.
What if I told you that you could achieve success? Success starts with God’s grace and it also depends on you putting your mind to it. You can only achieve success if you truly want it.
You may be thinking that you’ve wanted success all your adult life, so how come you haven’t stumbled across it yet?
If you don’t feel as if you have reached success in your life, it is likely related to the way you define success.
Successes don’t have to be huge, extraordinary life events. If you’ve just taught your dog a new trick, go you! You have had a successful day!
So, how can you feel more successful in your day-to-day life? I’m excited to show you some basic psychological strategies that you can implement today to make your life more successful.
The Pygmalion Effect
Have you ever heard the phrase, “believe and you will achieve?” This is one of the most commonly used inspirational quotes that regularly pops up on your social media feeds.
As cliche as you may think it is, it does have some power behind it.
Let us introduce you to The Pygmalion Effect. The explanation behind this theory is that when someone has high expectations of you, then you will perform better. However, if they have low expectations, you will perform poorly.
This theory was tested at a school. A random selection of students were given an IQ test and afterward, their teachers told them that they were going to have a fantastic academic year. A year later, when those students were re-tested, they had excelled and therefore had reached success.
The thing about this study was that the students were chosen at random and the IQ test was a standard paper. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking.
However, the inspiration that the students felt when their teachers had high expectations of them, helped them to achieve more in the year.
This is one of the most cited studies in psychology. It proved that if you had an inner belief that you would succeed, that you would likely achieve that.
Having someone else tell you that you are going to have success is always a great motivation. However, the person who can motivate yourself the most is you. But you have to work for it. Changing your mindset and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can help you reach your goals.
Whether you are looking to drink more water each day or reach a higher sales goal, believing in yourself will help you remain encouraged and find success.
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The Comfort Zone
We all have a comfort zone. Picture yourself as a dot inside a small circle. This is you in your comfort zone. You are happy. You are going with the flow. But you aren’t doing anything spectacular that’s stretching your abilities.
Now, picture a larger circle around the small one. The space in this larger circle is out of your comfort zone. This is where the risks are taken, but where groundbreaking success happens. Risks shouldn’t always be looked at negatively. Taking a risk can positively affect your life.
Within your comfort zone, you may feel safe and completely in control. But stepping outside of your comfort may raise some anxieties. This is always the mind’s initial response to any change, and it’s quite normal when trying something new and uncomfortable.
Remember your first day at school or a new job? Didn’t you feel slightly nervous? It’s normal to be a little apprehensive.
Many psychologists believe that when a person steps out of their comfort zone, they open up hundreds of opportunities. Stepping outside of your comfort zone forces you to learn new skills and discover new paths to success.
Expanding your knowledge will give you new ideas and motivations to help you reach any of your goals. So, why not try something new today?
The Law of Attraction
This theory is extremely popular with many psychologists. The basic definition is that positive thoughts will bring positive results.
I love the following scripture on positive thought:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
To begin, you will need to manifest your goal. Stop saying, “I aim to learn a new recipe each week.” Turn that into, “I will learn a new recipe every week.” Doesn’t that sound so much more powerful? Hearing yourself say that out loud can influence how you act. The key is to turn your positive thought into action!
If you put out into the world that you are manifesting to hit 10K steps a day, then you will begin to hit your target more often than you think.
The law of attraction motivates you to stop any negativity from slipping into your mind. The more you say you will do something, the more you will start to believe yourself.
You won’t have any worries if you keep reminding yourself that you will achieve your goals. Repeating your goals to yourself daily will trigger your mind to aim high. You will soon find yourself to be a very successful person. Combine this with prayer and you’ll be on your way to success.
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Success has such a varied definition to each and every one of us. Whether you define success as healthy relationships, career accomplishments, financial status, or other personal goals, you can only truly be successful if you believe that you can achieve those results.
For the psychology of success, we have looked at The Pygmalion Effect, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and The Law of Attraction. Now, are you ready to do the hard work that’s needed to reach your goals?
Using any of these techniques will help you to succeed more in your life. They will help open up new opportunities, guide you down a positive path, and change your mindset forever. Success is just around the corner. Just remember to express gratitude once you reach a goal, whether big or small.