How to make sure that your hard work becomes your success!

This article originally started as a ‘why your hard work is not turning into success‘, article. While I was writing, I realised that I was having trouble articulating myself and then it dawned on me that I had based the whole idea based on negativity, so, I switched it up.  

The words started to flow with ease again!  

The power of the internal language that we use is as mighty as any external ability or tool we have at our disposal. I am ruthlessly kind to myself, and even I didn’t realise that my negative bias has hopped into the driver’s seat for a while there.

Since allowing myself to become a full-time writer and focusing on the novel that I am writing, I have been doing freelance work as a copywriter, and it’s great fun. It’s also a bit of a rollercoaster; sometimes, I have tons of work and other times I have none.

I love to write, and I’ve been doing it for my whole life. I love being a writer so much that I don’t care that it’s not a massive financial success for me, when I’m writing I’m happy and after spending so many years battling in a career that I disliked PURELY for the money I have learned to count my blessings!

I’m fortunate enough to have an incredibly supportive partner who has a ‘proper job’. Hence, things never get too scary for me when it comes to the irregularity of a freelance income.

That said, there are parts of writing, and freelancing, that I don’t enjoy!  

I’ll admit it; I’m a writer that doesn’t like to proofread. I feel like this is some cardinal sin. As a result, I fear I will suffer ex-communication from the writing community – cut off from communion with the muse and banished to the barren landscape of the dreaded writer’s block.

I set about thinking of the strategies that I use to keep my spirits up, stay true to myself and set myself up for success all at the same time.

The realisation then hit me that I could distil these ideas and extrapolate the learning so that they are useful for anyone no matter what their passion is.

I also turned the whole idea from negative, to positive.

Here are my seven strategies for making sure that your hard work pays off:

Learn to see feedback as a gift (and criticism as a curse)

I think a critic is hiding inside each of us; some people don’t even hide it – they are a straight-up critic, and that’s okay.

We can’t control what other people think, say or do, but what we can control is how we receive, understand and respond. Learning this was a game-changer for me, and it radically altered how I live my life.

I’ve written another post on self-awareness where I talked about this in that post, and it bears repeating.

Now I know how to create the space between somebody that has cast themself in the role of grammar police criticising me, and my response to it. In that space, I can turn critique into feedback consciously. Reframed positively and helpfully this becomes a learning experience, and will not destroy my fragile creative flow.

Of course, we all know the difference between kindly pointing out an error and a harsh critique – it’s all in the delivery!

Embrace change

Life happens. It happens whether you engage with it or not, so it’s easier all round if you participate actively.

When I discovered that my astrological sign, Pisces, is a mutable sign, and after looking up the meaning of mutable and learning that it means changeable or inconstant, my life suddenly made a little more sense.

I hitched my little wagon to that train and my brand, Mutabilis, was born as a result, which is both the name of my writing services business and my growth blog.

Change itself isn’t frightening; it’s the resistance to change that stokes the embers of fear, encouraging flames that lick your ambition wickedly.

Trust your instincts and intuition.

Nobody knows you better than you know you. Never forget that.

When it comes to making decisions, the answer is in your subconscious way before it makes it to your conscious mind. The key to success is to find the solution that’s within you before seeking to find the answer in some other external location.  

Of course, it makes sense to talk through your thoughts with others, and this can be extremely valuable.  

I am always conscientious when I collaborate with others; always seeking to learn what responses are elicited by my ideas, contributions or work and then taking that learning to make onward decisions.  

I have learned that opinions are close to useless, subjective as they are.

Remember; your life has to be lived by you, about you and for you.

Obliterate the idea of credential-based success

All it took for me to become a writer was to say the words, “I am a writer.” and it took twenty agonising years to learn this lesson.

I’m grateful for my career as an education recruitment specialist because it has equipped me with a wealth of knowledge in the unique and sometimes convoluted processes and procedures of that sector and I often draw on that experience and expertise for writing.

I’m not suggesting that to be a Heart Surgeon; a person can make a declaration and become one. However, explicitly stating the intention to become a Heart Surgeon is the first step to reaching that particular goal.

Not only are you enough, but you are also everything you need.

Find what you love and do all of that! (Even the bits that are boring)

I read a book called Essentialism a while back, and this book transformed the way that I use my time and how I decide to invest my energy. 

We all run the risk of reducing our life to one big ‘To-Do’ list, and the truth is that we don’t need to be as busy as society leads us to believe.  

I took me thirty-eight and a bit years to acknowledge the simple fact that money, job titles and material possessions do not interest me. It is quite startling that I accumulated so much stuff in the name of socially acceptable insanity. 

One day when I was at my lowest point, so low that the only way I could describe my emotional state was to say that I felt overwhelmed by the absence of hope

Discovering and acknowledging your purpose is much simpler than most people think. Still, it does require the abandonment of the social construct that is selling your time to an employer in exchange for a salary being ‘the norm’.  

It is an option, but it’s important to remember that it’s one of many.

Allow your choices, and yourself, time to evolve!

We don’t plant seeds and expect a flower the next day! So why do we plant ideas in our mind and expect fruit immediately?

Being busy for the sake of busyness is a fool’s errand.

It’s crucial to invest your energy in identifying your purpose, and you’ll know when you’ve found it because you will experience flow.  It’s an incredible sensation to become so immersed in something that ignites the fire of inspiration in your soul, and time seems to pass so very quickly!

Not everyone can be a CEO, or an artist, or even an entrepreneur. Some people are here for something much more straightforward than pioneering spearheading or blazing a trail of any kind!

Some people have the sole purpose of propagating the earth with kindness. We need more people that identify this as their purpose because if there’s one thing in short supply across the globe right now, it’s kindness!

Sometimes your purpose is right in front of you, hiding in plain sight. Once you identify it, give yourself the time to settle into it.

After all, we’ve got nothing but time.

Harness the power of vulnerability

Living with authentic intention demands a rawness of thought, feeling and action that makes vulnerability unavoidable.

From a frighteningly early age, children learn how to put on different masks depending upon the circumstances that surround them in the name of the social constructs that they learn about at the same time. 

These masks work in direct opposition to the integrity that is required to build self-esteem; making each of us a fragile person holding up a fragile social construct.  

The vulnerability that comes from removing these masks and actively engaging with an explicit intention or purpose develops self-esteem by the doing of esteemable [estimable] acts.

The joyful product of self-esteem is that causes that vulnerability to becomes a super-power, rather than a point of weakness.

I’d like to open the discussion about harnessing the power of vulnerability as a tool for success, tell me your thoughts in the comments.

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