Watch the evening news, and you’re likely to hear an inspiring story of a person succeeding against temendous odds. J.R. Martinez’s story of winning the Dancing with the Stars championship in November 2011 is a perfect example of someone who overcame tragic events to become one of the most inspirational people in recent memory. But for the average person, people like J.R. Martinez seem like those one in a million success stories – situations that the average person can’t duplicate. That’s far from the truth. Whether you’re a manager looking to lead your team from average to excellence or you’re an individual seeking to become more successful, there a few things you can do immediately that will help you move from ordinary to extraordinary. The key to adding the “extra” to “ordinary” simply lies in your attitude and your approach. Here is how you and/or your team can become extraordinary without spending a dime.
Your attitude is heavily influenced by your thinking. The more negative your thinking, the more you block your success and the success of others around you. It takes practice, yet the more you can get rid of the limiting and negative thoughts, the more opportunities to influence others will come. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, simply stop and redirect your thinking. Once this becomes a habit, you’ll begin to see how much easier it is to influence people and get what you want. Being consistently positive when so many aren’t is the first place you earn a qualification to be considered extraordinary.
Closely linked with thinking positive, you must also talk positive. People naturally gravitate to those who speak positively, so if you want to determine your “success-ability”, simply examine the words you use. Extraordinary people use words that include vs. exclude, that reward acceptance vs. rejection, that reinforce tolerance vs. prejudice, and that support belief vs. doubt. Everything you need to know about your ability to become extraordinary lies in the words you choose and the messages you send to others. As Scott Ginsberg said in an article in the March 2012 issue of Success Magazine, “Make people fall in love with you by helping them to fall in love with themselves first.” Do that and you will become extraordinary.
Track Your Progress
People often think success happens over night. Ask anyone who has achieved success, and they will tell you becoming extraordinary at anything is a journey. It is critical you track your progress and actually acknowledge progress no matter how small. A series of small steps eventually add up to become a significant leap forward. So set goals that allow you to get some quick wins, and you’ll be amazed at how motivated you will be to keep going. Successful people will tell you the journey was more impactful than reaching the destination because the journey is where you invested your heart, body, and soul.
When You Experience a Setback, Simply Change Direction and Keep Going
No matter how well we plan, sometimes things just don’t work out. No worries. Use the experience gained from the setback to start again from a more intelligent starting point. The key is to avoid repeating the mistake. And don’t be ashamed or embarrassed at failing at something. On the contrary – when people know you’ve experienced failure and survived to talk about it with a positive attitude, you become inspirational. And once people are inspired by you, you have achieved another qualification that makes you extraordinary.
Minimize Contact with Negative People and Non-Believers
Despite your good intentions, you will always have non-believers and negative people to contend with. You should try to help them if you can, but if the reality is that they are not going to change or support your change, you must minimize contact with them. Negative people and non-believers drain your energy and sap your resources. Stack the deck in your favor by surrounding yourself with people who are positive thinkers. When you do, others will easily recognize that you are truly extraordinary because you seem to believe you can accomplish anything – and you can because you’ve stop interacting with those who can’t.
Become Invaluable for Free
Draw a single line across a page. Label the left side of the line “Ordinary” and label the right side “Invaluable”. The only way to truly become extraordinary is to identify the value you personally deliver to any relationship. So under the “ordinary” side of the line, write down all the things you do today that keep you there. Typical lists include “doing what everybody else does”, having a limited understanding of other peoples’ needs, using a “1 size fits all” approach to solving problems, etc. Now, create a list under the “extraordinary” side of the things you can start doing immediately that make you invaluable. What insights, ideas, or information could you share for free that people would really appreciate? Do those things consistently and consistently do them for free, and pretty soon, you will be doing what very few people do. And that qualifies you as being extraordinary.
Doing what everyone else does makes you a commodity, and commodities don’t get a lot of attention because there is a lot of competition in the world of being average. You can become extraordinary simply by taking deliberate actions and thinking your way to success. And the really cool thing is – it doesn’t have to cost you a dime to become extraordinary. It simply costs you the price of eliminating some bad habits and replacing them with some extraordinary ones.
If you are a manager seeking to significantly improve your team’s performance or if you want more strategies for improving your individual level of success, email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.