The Biggest Enemies of Success and How You Can Fight Them All 109

The Biggest Enemies of Success and How You Can Fight Them All

This is a guest post by Lois Sapare, an editor at Scoopfed. She is a former student journalist with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.

The road to success won’t exactly be smooth and easy.

The path you travel on will be filled with stones and gravels that will slow you down. If you’re not mentally strong or motivated enough, you might not be able to reach your destination.

All of us would encounter a lot of obstacles on our journey to success. The difference between those who arrived at their destination and those who didn’t is that the successful powered through and didn’t let any obstruction stop them from going where they want to go, no matter how hard it got.

If you want to arrive at your end destination that is success, you must recognize the obstacles that you’ll possibly face along the way so you could tackle them head on. Here are some of them.

Pride, aka fear of being judged.

The most dangerous enemy of success is fear and pride.

Fear is a paralyzing and crippling emotion that keeps people from going after what they really want in life. Pride makes us go against our best interests. They are both destroyers of desire and passion.

Many would avoid even attempting to start a business, learn a new skill, or audition for a contest, all because they’re afraid of taking risks, looking stupid, and making mistakes.

Yes, there’s a chance that you will fail and look stupid, which might make you eventually want to let go of that dream, but guess what? By not trying, you’re already letting go of your dream anyway, so you might as well just do it.

Don’t let the doubters keep you from doing what you really want.

Tag someone who's good at being adaptive.

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After all, it’s your dream, not theirs. If you constantly let others’ opinions influence your decisions in life, you will never truly achieve happiness and success in life.

Sure, you will encounter a lot of criticisms and failures along the way, but they’re all an essential part of your journey. They will make you even stronger than you were when you first started.

Criticisms will help you understand what you’re doing wrong and how you can turn things around from there. While failure will help you develop the courage and mental strength to keep on trying.

Lack of self-awareness.

Something many people lack but really need in order to achieve success is self-awareness.

In order to make changes and build on your areas of strength and identify areas where you should make improvements, you should first be able to have a better understanding of yourself.

Self-awareness, according to Warwick, means knowing what you’re good at but acknowledging that there are still many things you have yet to learn, admitting when you don’t have the answer, and owning up to mistakes.

In Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s article Why You Lack Self-Awareness And What To Do About It, he also cited the significance of self-awareness on our relationships with others. Chamorro-Premuzic discussed that the bigger the gap between our self-views and other people’s views on us, the more dysfunctional our relationships with others will tend to be. A clear understanding of ourselves is required in order for us to empathize with other people and create better personal and professional relationships with them.  

So how do we achieve self-awareness?

Scientific studies suggest that the best reflection of ourselves cannot be found inside of us, but in the eyes of other people.

If you want to know who you really are, ask other people. Many people aren’t self-aware because they refuse to accept negative feedback from others. We try so hard to maintain positive views of ourselves that we tend to blame others for our shortcomings. But that shouldn’t be the case.

The only way to find out how you can do better is by asking others what you’re doing wrong, or which areas you need to improve on.

We are so used to hearing feel-good advice and articles about accepting ourselves that we end up simply accepting our flaws instead of using our awareness of them to grow into a better person. When asking for negative feedback, make sure you tell the other person that you won’t take it personally, you respect their views, and it’s for your own good anyway.

Lack of motivation.

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Lack of motivation and lack of enthusiasm, according to Success Consciousness, are two of the main reasons for failure and living a mediocre life.

It can be caused by a lot of things. Sometimes, we lose our motivation because we get distracted or overwhelmed when we encounter a challenging task. So we begin to lose sight of our long-term goals and the rewards of accomplishing it.

There are also cases where some people struggle with starting a task because they are discouraged by various reasons.

It’s always important to have a true vision and to root your goals into something deep enough in order to avoid those situations.

If your reasons for achieving certain goals mean enough to you, you will feel more determined to work for it. There will be no obstacle or difficulty too big or challenging to overcome. You will be more motivated to tackle unpleasant responsibilities if you make yourself clear on what the higher purpose of the task is and you know that it contributes towards your goal.

Otherwise, you’ll likely never make it to the finish line.

If your desire to succeed is rooted in something negative, you are only setting yourself up for failure. And if you do reach success, you will never be truly happy.

The same goes for setting unrealistic goals.

Yes, you have something to aim for, but if it’s unrealistic, you’re likely to give up easily or get discouraged when faced with difficult and complex challenges. Always set realistic goals and divide it into smaller changes to produce visible results and avoid losing your motivation.

Bad social circle.

There’s a Mexican Proverb that goes: “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” I find it similar with Aesop’s “A man is known by the company he keeps.”

We tend to form friendships and close relationships with people we have the similar ideas, outlooks, and tastes with, but we also start to adapt each other’s habits along the way. In short, you tend to become like the people you hang out with.

The people you surround yourself with play a big part in your success.

It’s healthy to take the time off from your problems and professional life to avoid burning out, but it shouldn’t be too often that you lose track of your foals. You may enjoy being in the company of your friends because you like the same artists or food. But if they constantly make you want to divert your attention from your goals, they shouldn’t be in your life.

Surround yourself with people who have the same drive to succeed in life as you. The people who will motivate you to maintain healthy habits and boost your willpower when you’re running out of self-control are the only people you need in your life.

The road to success might be paved with failures, fears, and frustrations, but don’t let those stop you from moving forward.

There’s no shortcut to your destination. Throughout your long journey, you will encounter plenty of hurdles that will make you want to give up. It will be tempting to just go back and end your journey when you think you’ve already gotten far, but don’t.

There will always be a way around if you put your mind and heart to it. Think about why you started in the first place. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 10

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

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Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.