What Is The Best Kept Secret Of Successful Women?
Tragedies and set-backs happen, yet the world keeps moving and you have to move right along with it.
One of the most important words in my life is perseverance. In order to experience success in any area of life you must embrace the word perseverance.
So what does perseverance mean?
Webster explains it as-
You are probably well aware of these come-back stories. But, I think it is good to be reminded that these uber successful people did not start out that way.
Ariana Hufifngton is the Founder and President of The Huffington Post. But she began her career as a writer. Her second book was rejected 36 times, so she decided to create an online magazine. She had several critics that doubted her, but she proved them wrong! The Huffington Post was acquired by AOL in 2011 for 315 million and is a global organization.
J.K. Rowling lived on welfare and struggled as a single mother. She wrote harry Potter at night while she was working as a teacher. Her manuscript was rejected 12 times. She was advised not to quit her day job, because her chance of success as a writer was slim. Well, who is talking now? Over 450 mission Harry Potter books are sold world wide.
Oprah Winfrey grew up with many adversities facing her. But, she always laughed in the face of it. At one point in her career the network she worked for wanted to broaden their viewership. Oprah was thrust into the spotlight with high expectations. When the show failed, she was blamed and demoted to writing and reporting again. She did not give up, instead she evaluated why she loved human interest stories. So, she took a job co-hosting People Are Talking with Richard Sher. After the show’s successful five year run, she began hosting her own morning talk show in Chicago. And you know the rest of the story- Oprah never looked back.
We spend a lot of time engineering our lives to avoid a set-back or failure, but the best kept secret to these successful women was to not escape or avoid failure. Instead they overcame the adversity by looking in the face of the fatal blows, closing their ears to the critics, believing in their abilities, and took one step at a time.
I get it! This is not easy. But, I want to share that these women took an approach as Stoics.
What is a Stoic?
“A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”
– Nassim Taleb
A stoic takes a refreshingly honest, direct approach and is practical for everyday life. The philosophy embraces a focus on dealing with hardship, taking personal responsibility, and reducing stress and suffering.
Many self-help books focus on happiness, confidence, balance, peace and tranquility. But to be honest, I find some of this B.S. and this 2000 year old philosophy seems to make more sense to me!
The philosophy was created in a time of war, famine, exile, death, disease and suffering. These threats were common and real but the Stoic philosophy thrived.
The Stoics embraced the thought that we can not control the tragic events, but we can only control how we respond to them.
They also teach that there is very little inside our control. Merely our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and actions. That’s it.
What are three ways you can embrace this approach and apply this 2000 year old belief to your life today?
- Firstly, take responsibility for how you view things occurring in your life. Rather than blame the world or other people for your situation, be empowered to accept it. Look it in the face and choose how you will respond.
- Secondly, no longer allow yourself to stress over things you cannot control. Draw a line between what you do and do not have control over. No longer allow yourself to suffer, get upset, or try and control the things in life that you have no control over. All this does is lead you to feeling helpless, ineffective, powerless, bitter, resentful, and as a failure.
- Thirdly, focus on what you can control. Which is your thoughts, actions, perspective and belief. When you begin to do this, you become effective, efficient, and create a solution.
Stoics embrace a life philosophy that anticipates hardships.
When good things are happening, we feel strong, resilient and proud. But, when we face hardships we are developing a narrative for our life.
Don’t allow set-backs, disappointments or failures create your narrative. Give yourself a fighting chance and the best opportunity of success by becoming more Stoic!
If you want to listen to this message, head over to the Become More Podcast!