Note from Wil:
This is a post from Jeff Atkins. Jeff writes about credit for sites that help those with no credit get credit.
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There are some great speakers out there who try to tell their audiences how they should change their lives to be successful. While some of these classes or three-step programs might work for some, I can’t help but think all these speakers want to do is make money. They write their books and develop a fan base so they will buy every book, audio recording, and pamphlet the author sells. These people are right in trying to learn how to be successful, but you don’t need a book to help you figure it out. Some of the most successful people in the world got to where they are without help from a speaker or an author. They did it with hard work, creativity, and by being themselves.
For example, Bruce Jenner travels around the country giving motivational speeches about how he became an Olympic athlete and how you can be successful too. He gets his audience so fired up that they want to take the same path to success that Jenner did, so they try to change who they are to get to where they want to be. The truth is Jenner isn’t that successful. He’s on a reality TV show where he gets degraded by his entire family. There are many who no longer take him seriously, and his level of success was a lot greater years ago when he was actually an athlete. Now, most people only know him as the Kardashians‘ step father, and the many who don’t know of him at all only see him as a creepy old guy with earrings.
While some lifestyle changes may be necessary in order for you to be successful, you should never feel like you have to change your thoughts or behaviors in order to see success in your business or in your life. Roll models are a wonderful tool to help you get motivated, but you shouldn’t try to change your personality to match theirs.
Trying to change who you are is hard work. I know this from experience. In my first job search, I tried to change my personality to match whatever the employer was looking for. When I did get a job, they were expecting an entirely different person, so I had to keep up the act. It was exhausting. I even tried to change the way I laughed to sound more manly. I dreaded going into work every day, and in the end, I had to quit because of all of the stress I was under.
When you go into a job interview, or if you are just looking to meet new people, make sure they are meeting the real you, not some version of yourself you will grow to hate. Your work will be stronger, and people will expect nothing less than what you are capable of doing. When you make the decision not to change, you will be able to have more fun in your life. Trying to stay professional all the time will make you look strict and unfriendly, but constantly being the funny guy won’t get you very far either. When you enjoy you work you will be able to enjoy your life and the success that will come.
If you make mistakes along the way, own up to them and accept that you are not perfect. Some of the most engaging people can laugh at their mistakes and help others learn from them. When you are confident with your personality, you will be surrounded by the people who truly think you are great. With their support, there is no way you won’t see the success you are trying to reach.
Jeff Atkins is an author who writes about personal growth, finance, and business strategy. His company strives to educate the general public about their personal finance options and ways to build their credit.