On paper, I was killing it. I racked up top internships, graduated summa cum laude, landed a management position in a health organization, and wrapped up my first year of work with an 8% raise.
Work-life was primo, but I was a wreck. When I chased the goals I cared about in my personal life, something inside me always froze — panicked really — and I quit.
It happened when I wrote books. One was about zombies; one was about capitalism. One explored a five-island fantasy world called Quintapel; another unpacked the science of obtaining and monetizing attention. But no matter the topic, fiction or non, I didn’t finish any.
Sometimes I would get stuck in the plot and flail trying to write my way out. Another time I threw in the towel after a brutal hour of “constructive” feedback.
I also launched three businesses and enjoyed some early success. In one case, I had products selling in seven stores across three cities. I’d walk into the mall and see my creation sitting on shelves.
But soon I had customers refusing to pay, a business partner who wanted out, and a state tax commission that lost my lost my sales tax payment (and somehow thought that was my fault). It drained me. Instead of facing the chaos, I would promise myself, “I’ll dive in tomorrow.” And each baby business slowly fizzled out.
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was smart, creative, ambitious. Why did I have nothing to show for it? Why did I hit home runs at my day job, but strike out with the goals I longed to achieve? Why did setbacks and negative feedback overwhelm me? Why were people around me achieving their goals while I stayed totally stuck?
After attending one of my pity parties, a friend kindly introduced me to a quote by Winston Churchill: “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
I was skeptical. Growing up, I believed success came from what you knew, who you knew, or the talents you were born with. I thought achievement was a clean, simple process reserved for the best and brightest — the winners who didn’t fail. But when I dug a little deeper into the lives of people I admired, I discovered a pattern.
I interviewed an entrepreneur who makes $7 million a year.
…only to learn his first 30 businesses failed.
I chatted with an author who has sold over 10 million copies.
…turns out his first five books were rejected by publishers.
Every success story I could find had a slow, boring start. Every person I admired went through failures, rejection, and setbacks. What set these people apart wasn’t talent, intellect, or luck. They encountered the same obstacles I did — but didn’t lose their enthusiasm.
I resolved to know what was sustaining these people, and my research led to the following conclusion:
Success is fueled by what you believe.
The right mindset, the right attitude, is the key to achieving big, challenging goals.
I’ve identified five core beliefs that power the world’s most successful people — five beliefs you’ll need to finally achieve your dearest goals.
You can discover each of these crucial beliefs in my ebook QuitterProof: The 5 Beliefs of Highly Successful People.
You’ll get the book as well as interviews, exercises, and science-backed essays to strengthen the winning mindset you are going to build.
I’m convinced the world is brimming with unfinished success stories. And the missing ingredient is maintaining your enthusiasm. Learning how to win with failure. Thriving in the mess.
That’s what I’ve set out to develop in myself, and you’re invited to join me.
I’m examining the stories of authors, entrepreneurs, investors, musicians, athletes, podcasters, and politicians who started out slow…but finished so big.
This article is from Medium.