Two Characteristics of Successful People

Written By Dennis

August 13, 2021

What makes a person stand out from other people? What makes a person emotionally “stronger” than others?

I’ve recently been involved in several projects around leadership development, executive coaching, relationship building and succession planning and while they are unrelated, I have noticed a common trait among the more “successful” (for want of a better word) people.

These shared characteristics I found were humility and faith.

Faith in themselves and the process that they follow in the running of their lives, businesses, and relationships. Faith in knowing what the right thing is to do for them and in doing the right thing.

When I ask these people how they developed this faith, they refer to four things – hard work, follow a process, timing, and luck.

Now I’m not quite sure what the various weightings are of those key faith factors, but I’m surprised how often they are referred to in our conversations.

Part of the four things in the shaping of faith seems to me, to be a belief of the need to “turn up” and “step up”.

To put in a process, apply it, celebrate successes and even your attempts. The difference between the successes and attempts seems to be where luck and timing come in.

So, do you have faith in yourself and the process you apply? And, after all the hard work and successes, are they met with humility?

I would define humility as being completely authentic with yourself and genuinely comfortable “in your own skin”. It’s not the most extroverted or introverted person in the room, it’s the humblest.

The humble person does not need other people to give them praise or accolades. They use social media for genuine connection and not for validation. They get that from themselves – from being truly self-aware with a deep understanding of their values and satisfaction with the work they put in to achieve.

I’ve been working with a wide range of people in helping them define what I call “I am” statements.

 These “I am” statements define how I see myself and shapes how I act and interact with the world -in both positive and negative ways.

I was recently working with what I consider to be a highly competent and successful individual. We were discussing a behavioural issue and the response I got to this behaviour was “that’s just the way I am”.

I asked if that behaviour was working for them to which I got a negative response. My suggestion then was that if it wasn’t working for them, maybe they should change.

Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done. But I think these “I am” statements assist in achieving this change.

If my statement is that “I am a procrastinator”, or “I am an overthinker”, it justifies procrastination and overthinking. It may even be a pre-emptive way of giving yourself permission to be so.

If, however, we switch that to “I am a planner”, a medium risk-taker, a thinker, a doer, then this self-defining mantra will influence you to act in that way.

Something else I’ve noticed with these success stories is that they have powerful but realistic internal “I am” statements along with a rule of thumb that encourages positive interactions with others.

Rules such as “assume positive intent”, “propose don’t oppose”, “we not me”.

These “I am” statements combined with a rule of thumb add up to a genuine, authentic, inwardly confident person – a profile of humility.

Have faith, be humble and enjoy the many fruits that this combination provides.

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