A celebrated author told me his "secret" to success...
Just as I was getting ready to publish my first book in 2009, I got an exciting opportunity to sit down with a celebrated business author — someone I really looked up to.
Over a memorable (and delicious!) Indian lunch of samosas and curry, we got to know each other. There I was, crisscrossing between overenthusiasm and nervousness, and he was very generous in sharing his hardest-won lessons as an author.
Towards the end of our meal I finally worked up the nerve to ask the question I really wanted to know: “What’s the secret to your mile long track record of successful blogs, speeches and bestselling books?!”
I’ll never forget the simplicity of his answer: “Consistency.”
“I’ve been successful,” he said, “because I continue to write my blogs. I continue to fine-tune and reinvent my speeches. I continue to propose new book ideas. I continue to show up.”
Whoa, I thought.
Since that powerful moment I have found an incredible wellspring of confidence in learning to be consistent. Just last spring, I discovered TikTok (the video-sharing social networking site) and immediately loved it. I became an active user of the app, but I was doubtful about my ability to be like the video creators I saw.
Then, I realized I was squelching my own confidence and disqualifying myself before anyone else had the chance to. And that wasn’t cool or consistent!
On May 1 of last year, I committed to post 3 short, how-to videos on TikTok every single day, focused on career and confidence topics — and to do it for three straight months.
Was it tiring sometimes? Absolutely. Was I unsure of the outcome at times? YES. But today, three months after starting, I have an engaged and wonderful community of 12,000+ friends, colleagues, and subscribers who I have the pleasure of interacting with on TikTok. That followership exceeded my wildest hopes and the learning and confidence that came from showing up every day has been immeasurable.
What about you? What’s an area in your life where you could use the power of consistency to build your confidence?
Start with the three techniques below to show up and tap a powerful wellspring of steadiness in yourself!
Quick Confidence Tips to Fuel Consistency:
Embodied: Routinize your physical activity. Instead of working out when you can fit it in, what if you made an exercise regimen that’s protected from the daily ups and downs of life? I’m talking about an unwavering routine of physical activity where you continually show up for you. One study in the journal, Neurobiology of Aging, uncovered that consistency in walking was key to healthy outcomes for its subjects. The researchers found, “…the most important part of physical activity is not the level you start at, but actually how well you maintain physical activity levels.” So wherever you are today, don’t fixate too much on your starting point. Remember, persistence will help you *get it* – but consistency will help you *keep it*.
Interpersonal: Enlist a crowd. Mounting research shows that there are benefits to pursuing a goal with a pack. This concept of “strength in numbers” shows that working together with a group increases individuals’ consistency, duration, motivation, conversation, and inspiration. Wow! Part of the reason here is if someone misses a class, meeting or has an absentee day, it’s noticed by others. There is built-in accountability. So how will you leverage the strength of the crowd to boost your motivation and hardiness – to keep going?
Mindset: Set a consistency challenge. Setting a consistency challenge can take an aspiration and make it real and tangible. Maybe it’s a yearlong challenge around reading 12 books or a 30-day nutrition challenge. Setting a consistency challenge means we don’t wait around for a big life change to happen to us. Instead, WE make that life change happen through many steady, small steps. You should expect ups, downs and curveballs along the way — but decide that the one thing that will remain stable is YOU.
Repeat after me: You don’t have to be superhuman, just consistent.
Realize that consistency doesn’t mean never messing up – it’s about not giving up. And you are worth that commitment to excellence.
And on the really hard days? Remember this: the same voice that says, “Give up” can also be trained to say, “Keep going.”
What’s something you’ve done consistently, big or small? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to celebrate that achievement with you.
Something else I’ve done consistently this year? Stay in touch with my email list. And I have a whopping 1050% more subscribers now than when I started in January!