5 Ways to Develop Conviction Toward Your Dreams and Goals
People often ask me, “How did you know you were going to succeed in becoming a successful leader, considering your humble beginnings as a housekeeper with Marriott Hotels in the face of the daunting odds against you?” Depending on the person and the context of the conversation, I draw on the wisdom of my experience to answer the question in a way that is relatable to their particular situation so that they can see how it is possible for them to achieve a particular goal.
When someone asks me this question, I understand it is often because they are wondering to themselves if they have what it takes to achieve a goal. This is a common thought among all of us when we set out to achieve a new goal. This is why I share some or all of the tips outlined in this article with them so they understand what I believe to be some core fundamentals to success. I share why I believe the level of conviction in our heart towards a dream and goal is the #1 factor that determines the success we achieve in life.
Why Conviction is the #1 Factor for Success
The possibility that you can experience new possibilities in your life raises your hope and increases your faith in your ability to do what it takes to experience greater happiness and success. Hope and faith are critical to cultivating a belief in yourself. When a belief becomes a conviction in your soul you’ll begin to tap into a greater force of power that enables you to accomplish what others may have deemed to be impossible. Because your level of conviction towards a goal cannot be seen by others, there is no other way for anyone to be aware or be able to acknowledge your ability without you taking consistent action.
A conviction is a sense of knowing that you have something or someone that can’t always be explained in a logical way. Conviction is a firmly held belief or opinion. Firmly held implies that it’s not something that you will dismiss easily or question if it is so. You believe it to be and someone would have to fight you tooth and nail for you to even consider that it is not true for you. It is a belief or opinion that you will stand up for.
When I think about the passionate determination I held in my heart to improve the lives of my children and demonstrate to them that's it's not where you start that matters as much as it is what you do with what you have to develop your self-leadership capabilities to BE more and DO more to eventually HAVE more.
I was convinced in my mind and heart that my children deserved better in life and it was up to me to make it happen. This belief became a conviction that fueled my desire to be more, learn more, and do more.
This conviction enabled me to cultivate an open mind and open heart to new possibilities. This state of allowing helped me to see and seize opportunities to grow myself and grow my influence and impact as an emerging leader for Marriott Hotels. This conviction became my “Mighty Why”.
Regardless of how I felt, what I thought about a particular task, or who doubted my ability, this conviction served as my compass for the attitude and level of commitment I showed up to work with day after day. It helped me to develop a mindset of being willing to do whatever it would take to be successful on the path I’d chosen, no matter what!
Your level of conviction towards any goal will influence how you show up and the consistency you demonstrate toward completing tasks relevant to the goal. My friend, the level of conviction in your heart toward any goal will ground you in your "knowing" and you'll become more willing to face your fears, overcome daunting odds, bounce back from setbacks and maintain an unwavering belief that you will accomplish your desired end. This is the power of having a conviction towards a goal versus just having a thought or belief about you achieving a dream or goal.
The five tips below can help you begin to nurture a conviction in your heart toward a specific dream or goal.
1. You need to genuinely care about people. You can have the education and skills to know how to do a particular job, however, no one can make you care about people. It’s an attribute that comes from within you. If you don’t genuinely care about people they can sense it. Your heart attitude energy speaks even when you don't. If you want to be able to cultivate and nurture caring and supporting relationships, you have to demonstrate care and support towards others, first. Most of the people you interact with are always tuned in to the same station:
WII-FM (What's In It For Me). When you genuinely care about people they feel it and see it through the consistency of your actions to see them, hear them and value them. Genuine care for others is how you show up daily in your interactions with them. It’s how your presence impacts how people see and feel about themselves. It's whether you demonstrate strong character and you're trustworthy.
Reflection Point: How would the people in your sphere of influence define the impact and legacy your life has had on their lives? Are their lives in some way better because of your presence? If so, what are the tangible ways that it is? If not, what action can you begin to initiate to increase the tangible impact you have on the lives of those around you?
2. Believe that NOW is the time. It doesn’t matter your age, whether you are 20-something, or 50-something, if you have a strong conviction in your heart that now is the time to pursue and achieve a dream or goal then your burning desire to do so will inspire you to move in the direction of your goal. Your actions will help to reveal a path for your unique knowledge, skills, talents, and experiences. When you believe that “now” is your time, you will eliminate distractions that inhibit you from doing what matters most toward the achievement of your goal. These actions will help to fuel your momentum as you experience positive results from your efforts.
Reflection Point: Do you constantly talk to others about a dream or goal that you desire to accomplish, yet, you’ve taken little or no action towards making it happen? If so, it’s important for you to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect time to begin making strides toward a goal. Unless you believe that now is the time for you to start, you continue to talk about a dream or goal and that’ll be all you do…talk about it. You’ve got to put some skin in the game to win it. What can you do today to begin to stand up for your dreams with action?
3. You are your greatest asset. You don’t move from desiring something to having it without becoming the person that can manifest it. Investing in your personal development, and additional training, and other activities that help you develop and execute essential capabilities that increase your self-trust, well-being, and career success is a key habit to building sustainable success. Your personal and professional development is your responsibility. Creating sustainable success throughout your life and career requires that you become a lifelong learner.
If you’re not growing, it's likely that some of your insights and perspectives about the world and how it works are no longer relevant to the times in which we live now. Life and the world are evolving. Are you? If you're only consuming information that supports your assumptions and perspectives, you will begin to stagnate. If you continue to do so, your thoughts about the world and reality will box you into a limiting and small way of living. You deserve better. You're capable of more. Always be growing in some way to keep the roots of your soul nourished and your mind and emotional agility strong.
There’s a difference between knowledge and skills. Knowledge is information that you have about a particular subject, whereas, skill is the ability to apply the information you know to produce specific results. Knowledge can be learned, where skill requires direct exposure to experiences to be developed.
Reflection Point: Identify your present knowledge and skill set relevant to your desired goal. What additional training do you need to invest in to close the gap between your present knowledge and skill set, and the knowledge and skill set needed to achieve your goal? Create a personal development plan that will help to direct your focus and guide your steps toward acquiring the capabilities you need to position yourself for the wellbeing and next-level success you want to experience.
If you are a female and you know that you are not realizing your full potential and you know that part of it has to do with the stories that you are telling yourself about yourself and your capabilities, my Believe You Are Enough self-empowerment audio training program has been created based on which insights and strategies were the most effective in helping my clients reconnect to their inner knowing and develop the self-trust necessary to embark upon their journey to greatness with success.
If you're interested in knowing how I can help you as a professional go from good to a great leader, with or without a title, download a FREE copy of my eBook "What It Takes to Be A Great Leader".
4. Cultivate mental and emotional resilience. Success is rarely a straight path. Along the path, you will be faced with problems, obstacles, missteps, detours, and setbacks that frustrate the smartest among us. Individuals who learn how to master the meaning they associate with challenging experiences are more likely to develop the mental and emotional resilience necessary to embrace a state of allowing which helps them to ebb and flow with life instead of resisting reality. This is important because when you’re able to do this, most of your attention will be focused on creating solutions to a problem versus complaining about a problem. Energy flows where attention goes.
The American Psychological Association writes this about resilience: " Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.
While these adverse events, much like rough river waters, are certainly painful and difficult, they don’t have to determine the outcome of your life. There are many aspects of your life you can control, modify, and grow with. That’s the role of resilience. Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way."
When you're facing a challenge, you need all the energy you can summon to overcome it. You don't need your energy diminished because you can only focus on the problem and your feelings about it. Experiencing better in most situations requires action. You will need to embody a “can-do” attitude and positive energy to take effective action, build momentum and move forward to reach your desired solution.
Reflection Point: Resilience is defined as the ability to adapt and recover from difficulty. It is an emotional and mental toughness developed most often through experience. The manner in which you respond to the not-so-good times in your life displays your level of resiliency. So, be honest with yourself, how do you normally show up when faced with a life challenge?
If you were to ask the people closest to you, what would they say about your normal reaction to challenges? If your answers and their answers do not reflect a consistent display of resilience toward life’s challenges, start building your mental and emotional resilience with small challenges. Instead of the normal reaction that you have toward something that annoys or bothers you, remind yourself that you have the freedom to choose how to respond to the situation.
Just because you have always reacted to a situation the same way does not mean that you can not be different and do differently. I've found in my life and in the lives of those I've had the opportunity to serve is that when we begin to be more mindful about our response to life experiences, we begin to be more intentional and proactive versus reactive. This small habit can help you build a toolbox of mental and emotional skills that increase your resilience.
5. It takes what it takes. Now that you’ve identified the knowledge and skillset required to achieve your dream and goal, are you willing to invest in your personal and professional development and do what it takes to accomplish it? I've been around the block a few times. Many people claim they want better in their life, but if you take a look at their actions, they continue to act and behave in the same manner that created their present reality. Many of them take on the attitude that somehow life needs to change before they change. That's nonsense and childish. Life is always going to do what it does regardless of how we feel about it.
Traver Boehm writes, "Change is inevitable. We can embrace it, breathe into it, and allow it to be. Or we can fight it. We can become rigid against it, angry at it, or broken by it. Change is not concerned with how it affects us any more than the ocean concerns itself with the day-to-day feelings of the rocks it crashes into. It just crashes. Wave after wave. Day after day."
This fact is why we need to develop and nurture skills that help us to maintain mental and emotional resilience. It is also why we need to understand natural laws like the Law of Impermanence. All of what exists in our life will either cease to exist or evolve. This is the way of life.
Regardless of the dream and goal, and the reality that all things will either cease to exist or evolve, there is a level of commitment that is essential to manifesting positive realities in your life. And the price of your commitment to achieving your dream and goal is summed up in this phrase: "It takes what it takes." Simple and straightforward.
Reflection Point: This is where the rubber meets the road. Are you committed to investing your time, energy, and resources toward developing new capabilities that will help you succeed? Are you dedicated to finding new solutions to your current challenges? Do you trust your ability to figure things out as you take new ground as the leader of your life?
Personal and professional success is not a by-product of wishing and hoping. It is a direct reflection of a daily commitment of your heart, mind, and body toward implementing actions aligned with what you intend to achieve. If you’ve ever played sports or participated in professional training, your coach or trainer emphasized how important fundamentals are in preparing for a successful outcome.
The five tips I’ve shared in this article, genuinely care about people, believe that now is your time, you are your greatest asset, cultivate mental and emotional resilience and it takes what it takes are what I consider to be fundamentals for developing a conviction in your heart, mind, and soul that inspires you to prepare and position yourself to produce value-driven results that expand your opportunities to be more, learn more, do more and experience greater wellbeing and success.
Thanks for reading this article.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Which of these tips have enabled you to produce sustainable success? Based on your present dream or goal, which of these fundamental habits of mind and/or behavior do you need to develop to achieve success?
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