What stops you from being more successful? – We have seen many successful people plateauing out in their personal or professional growth. Do you know what’s the biggest obstacle in achieving your desired success?
Paradoxically, it’s success. Yes, success is the biggest obstacle in the path of achieving more success.
Strange, isn’t it? Of course it is. But more importantly, it’s true. We need to understand that what brought us some success at one stage might not bring the same results at some other stage.
We worked hard on something and became successful- it can be studies, sports or our profession. We learned the art of being successful in something at some stage. We gained the crucial experience required to be successful. We started attributing that success solely to our skills, knowledge and attitude, without appreciating the role of other people and the role of luck.
And now, we have started using this newly founded skill of being successful in one thing at one stage to different stages or to different things.
The dilemma of life is the skills, the knowledge, and the attitude that which worked at one stage might not work at all at a different stage.
There are practical examples of this all around us. Someone who was an amazing student in school life becomes a mediocre professional. A super aggressive startup founder who built a super-growth organization from scratch was thrown out at a later stage because of his lousy people skills. Someone who was superb at music throughout his childhood becomes an average musician. A student who was brilliant in his school life became a dud in the competitive examinations he had to face in higher education.
What stops them from being consistently good at something?
It’s their success. Success is a lousy teacher.
Success teaches us what worked at one point of time and under what circumstance. Sadly, we start generalizing that reason and start applying everywhere. Success also boosts our ego which prevents us from accepting that we can fail at something. It blinds us from the fact that there is so much we don’t know, even in our own field of expertise. Moreover, it makes us unconsciously resist any feedback coming from people working with us. We start shooting the messenger.
On the other hand, failure teaches us what didn’t work and forces us to think about what else could have worked. It makes us work harder to learn the lesson.
That doesn’t mean we will knowingly embrace failure for the sake of learning. Failure comes with its own toll on our psyche. We need not be scared of failure, but it’s better that we learn from other people’s failure than our own failure in everything we do.
If success is a lousy teacher, the alternative is to get self-trained. This is true in all fields but in my experience as an entrepreneur, this is the most vital truth we need to embrace for our continuous growth.
In short, your personal learning curve needs to be steeper than the organization’s growth curve.