The Most Unsexy, Under-Rated Secret Of Success — In Anything

And how to lean on it when Covid-19 has messed with your future.

“I don’t know for sure what kinds of flowers I’m planting with my days on this planet, but I intend to find out, and so should you.” — Austin Kleon, Keep Going.

Covid-19 has nipped in and stolen your dreams. All those bold plans — or even any plans — you had for the future have been put on ice.

Maybe you’ve lost your job? Or your options for getting one have been stymied? Maybe you hate the job you have but you’re now too scared to jack it in because the job market’s in turmoil?

Maybe you can’t move to a new city as you’d hoped to do? Or that side hustle you thought was your Ticket to Freedom now looks, and feels, like a massive waste of time?

You’re trying hard — but it’s getting to you. You’re waking up each day in a fog, unmotivated for a future that’s had all the colour sucked out of it.

What to do?

The Most Unsexy, Under-rated Secret of Success

First, take your feelings seriously. Seriously. This is a delicate time for our mental health. Because when people can’t see a future they lose hope. And a lack of hope leads to despair.

The best way to protect ourselves from that is to deploy the most unsexy, under-rated secret of success: CONSISTENCY.

I know, you’re rolling your eyes: I’ve seen my clients do it. “Consistency” as a concept lacks verve; even the word is boring. (And no-one rates consistency in a partner until they’ve been messed up by an inconsistent one!)

But the truth is consistency rules — in your job, your art, your relationships, your friendships, your health habits, your knowledge, your interests.

And the danger in a volatile world is that we’re destabilised, that we lose our good habits, that we lose faith in what we know is good and true.

So here are the keys to consistency.

1. Just aim to ‘get good’.

“Relying on craft and routine is a lot less sexy than being an artistic genius. But it is an excellent strategy for not going insane.” — Christoph Niemann

2. Show up even when you don’t want to.

“The willingness to show up changes us, it makes us a little braver each time.” ― Brené Brown

3. Tuck your feelings on a high shelf.

“Just being there is ninety-nine percent of what matters when your world falls apart.”― Holly Goldberg Sloan

4. Keep going when it’s hard and bad.

“Some days you just have to get rid of as best as you can.” — Austin Kleon

5. Don’t look over your shoulder.

“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” — Max Ehrmann

6. You can always move the ladder.

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” — Stephen R. Covey

And if you’ve showed commitment and perseverance to anything, you’ll have a magic bullet no-one can ever take from you: proof that you can.

Thanks for reading! Join my email list here if you’re interested in practical psychology for everyday life.

Written by

Clinical psychologist, writer. Editor of On the Couch: Practical psychology for everyday life. karen@onthecouch.co.nz

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