5 Myths of the Road to Success

We all have hopes and dreams and are ready to put in the long hours it takes to accomplish them. But did you know you could be making it harder on yourself by believing these 5 myths? 


Myth #1: Motivation is what will help you reach your goal

The most successful people in the world don’t work on motivation alone; they work on persistence, consistency, and a rigorous schedule.  Motivation is hardly a constant factor; there is nothing motivating about doing the same darned thing day after day.  Our attention span can only handle so much to begin with and the initial spark of happiness we feel when we finally do become motivated quickly dies because routine just plain bores us after a while.  But this shouldn’t make you feel like a failure. You’re only human!

To reach your goal you have to accept the fact that you will get bored no matter how passionate you were when you began. As James Clear writes, “If you want to become significantly better at anything, you have to fall in love with the process of doing it. You have to fall in love with building the identity of someone who does the work, rather than merely dreaming about the results that you want.”  Once you have accepted that, how you choose to spend your time reaching your goals even when you’re unmotivated is what will ultimately lead you to success. And speaking of goals...


Myth #2: Reaching your goal will make you happy

The goals we set out for are usually short-lived and don’t leave us satisfied in the long run. Focus on long-term goals as opposed to short-term ones instead.  Focusing on the system, or the actual steps you need to take to reach your goal, is a better, more long-term way of achieving success.  In the end, if you want to make progress, it’s the system that will get you results; the goal is just the plan.


Myth #3: Once you fail, it’s time to throw in the towel

No one is perfect and everyone has encountered failure at some point in their lives.  Failures are only failures if you don’t learn from them.  There’s a lot to be learned from what you did wrong.  What distinguishes successful people from unsuccessful people is that the former spend just as much time, if not more, studying their mistakes and revising their plan. “You’ve got to keep finding better ways to run your life, or someone will take what you’ve accomplished, improve upon it, and be very pleased with the results.” Ralph Heath 


Myth #4: You can do it alone

Success comes from realizing you can’t do it alone and nor should you. There is this pop culture archetype of the successful person as someone who has done it on their own and proved the “haters” wrong.  Firstly, you shouldn’t spend your time proving others wrong, but rather giving back to those that believed in you in the first place.  Secondly, most people hardly ever fit this archetype.  Take a listen to this very interesting Cracked podcast which explains why the “underdog” story is rarely true.  The reality is that these people always had someone believe in them and the resources to pursue their dreams.  Bill Gates may have dropped out of college and started his software company out of his garage, but he also had the support and financial backing of his family and the rare and expensive education to develop that software in the first place.  There is nothing wrong with asking for support. Don’t let your pride get in the way.


Myth #5: You should keep it to yourself

Sharing is caring. Think about the most influential dance teachers you’ve had and more often than not they were also the most generous.  I’m not saying disclose all your business plans and ideas. But share something. Write a blog, tell your students more about a topic they enjoy and where to find more info, share a beauty secret, whatever. You don’t have to be an open book but try and see what you can contribute to the world and the world will naturally give you something back. You can’t expect to be influential if you refuse to reach out to anyone.  As Jeff Goins writes, “it’s not who you know, it’s who you help.” 


The road to success is a messy & long one but it’s doable. Take another look at your plans and see how you can tweak them to get the best results.


What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.