Is Your Head in the Right Place? 5 Rules for Success
By Angie Patrick
We all know them – the people who seem to breeze from one patient to the next, one project to the next, one crisis to the next, and always seem to come out on top. While many of us feel as if there is a glass ceiling, an insurmountable hurdle, or feel fear in stretching our own bubble to try something new, these people seem to simply take any challenge and own it with gusto.
However, people who seem to be successful in most of the things they do are not magicians; they are not genetically predisposed to be successful and they aren't simply lucky. Being successful is as much about how you think as it is about the actions you take to get there. Here are five things strong and successful people think about and live by.
Rule #1: Don't Dwell
Successful people do not dwell on the past. We've all done things we've regretted or made mistakes, from minor to catastrophic. You know the things I mean; like saying something you regretted the moment it was said. When you recall it, you find yourself right back in the same embarrassed state and relive it all over again. Successful people do these things, too. The difference is, they do not beat themselves up for it repeatedly. They acknowledge it, make the apologies, set it right and move on.
So, you made a mistake in scheduling and it caused some undue angst for a patient. Acknowledge the error, own it, make amends, compensate the patient and move on. Don't let the one instance of awkwardness or challenge wreck your relationship with the patient.
The true testimony of character for a person or a business is in how they manage a challenge. Learn from whatever led to the problem and make sure you do not repeat it. Success comes not from always being an ace, but from learning from the errors along the way. Chalk it up to experience. Be fair, be prompt, be humble, be honest; then take steps to correct the situation and let it go.
Rule #2: Keep Learning
Successful people never stop learning. It can be easy to feel set in your ways and do things the same as they have always been done because it's easy. Some may even feel like they know all they need to know to get by and are not interested in seeking new horizons or reaching new goals. For these people, this idea may work; however, success is not achieved by being complacent.
The world in which we live changes every single day. From technology to techniques, people are out there working hard to do better, be better, make better goods, provide better service and offer more. Successful people stay informed of new ideas and advancements by being well-read in their chosen profession, being involved in events that pertain to what they do, and consistently educating themselves on new modalities, applications, equipment, supplies and trends. As the world changes and expands its knowledge, so must we in order to remain competitive, sharp and above all else, successful.
Rule #3: Focus on Goals
Successful people have clearly set goals and focus on achieving them. Being able to visualize your path is essential in preparing for success. Having a clear vision of what success looks like in your own eyes and maintaining focus on the steps you must take to get there is paramount in creating successful outcomes.
It is easy to get waylaid and deviate from the course. Sometimes, that deviation cannot be avoided; after all, life "happens" to all of us. The kids, the pets, the parents, the partner, the day-to-day business and more all compete for your attention and focus. The key is to be able to come back to center and when these bunny trails come up, you must be thoughtful, care for the needs at hand, but then return to the path you have set to reach the goal.
If your goal is to gain 50 new patients by June, then do the research and find the way that will work best in your practice, and then execute the plan. When setting your goals, stretch yourself some. Anyone can set a goal they feel they can easily achieve; however, pushing the envelope and going for more is cathartic! When you focus your mind, your actions and your energy on a task, you will indeed be surprised at how well you will do.
Rule #4: Block Out the Negative
Successful people do not adopt the fears of others. Advice is great; in fact, advice from those who may have walked a few miles in the shoes you hope to be in is essential. Learning from others' mistakes and taking the time to listen to their experiences and pitfalls can help you avoid making the same mistakes yourself.
However, as helpful as positive advice and direction can be, you must also be wary of those who detract from the vision and embodiment of your goals. Inevitably, there will be those who may not want to see you succeed or are afraid you may achieve more than they have and want to stall you. They may even want you to fail and are quick to tell you your ideas have little merit or your efforts are pointless. These people may truly feel they have your best interests at heart; however, many times, they are speaking from a place of their own fear.
If, after careful consideration, research, advice and initiative, you have set about your path, let no one impose their fears upon you. If you feel you are on the right path and that it is the path that fits you to get where you want to go, then it need not fit another's expectations. I am not suggesting you block out anyone who has an opinion different from yours, but I am advocating placing the appropriate amount of importance on those ideas that detract from your goal.
Rule #5: Find Balance
Successful people find a work-life balance. Yes, it is possible to accomplish, despite all the reasons many say it is impossible. Many will say to be successful in business, you must put business first, always. While this notion may have worked for some, often the tradeoff is a lackluster or virtually non-existent personal life.
Finding a way to place importance on both your work and your home life in equal measure is a skill you must try and master. After all, what is the point of gaining success if you have only that success with which to identify?
There are times in which your business may need added attention. This is absolutely acceptable and expected. You may find it has become a problem when you find yourself working around the clock, missing family events and not being present for your family or for yourself. You must allocate the time required to solely focus on the goals of success, but also allow yourself the time to set it aside to enjoy your life outside work as well.
You are more than your job, and while it is a hugely important part of your life, it cannot become all there is.
People find their own definition of success. Once you have given this thought, you will find what will make you feel successful. Don't measure your definition by the definition of others. Find your own voice. Whether that is in business, home life, parenting, education, marriage, sports, fitness or whatever your heart desires, you can apply these five skills and they will undoubtedly help you in reaching the pinnacle you seek. Success is attainable for all of us; recognizing you are worthy and deserving is the first step.
Angie Patrick has been an active participant in the massage industry for more than a decade. Currently, she is director of massage business development and corporate sales for Massage Warehouse, Scrip Companies. Angie is also a regular columnist for one of MPA Media's other trade publications, Massage Today, where her articles inspire therapists to achieve higher planes of success through marketing and making professional decisions for their practices.