16 Traits Of Successful People You Need To Possess

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You want to be successful. You see other people achieve success, but it is just not happening for you.

What are you to do? The best thing you can do is understand successful people’s traits and ensure you have the same characteristics.

What I mean by this is, look at the common personality traits of people you find successful.

Then look at yourself to see which ones you have and lack. You can then begin to improve the ones you have and learn how to get the ones you don’t.

To save you time, I created this list of the personal qualities that are most common in successful people.

You can use this list as a checklist for yourself to help you improve your personal skills so you can finally experience success.

And this will set you up for exponential growth and success throughout the rest of your life.

#1. Competitive

Being competitive is important.

You don’t have to be mean, rude, or unfair to compete. You just want to be the best at what you do.

There is nothing wrong with this. You could even switch the word competitive to passionate.

They mean the same thing. If you are passionate about something, you want to learn everything and fully understand it.

You also want to be good at it. It’s the same thing with being competitive.

To be the best, you have to learn and understand everything there is to know about a subject.

You have to be relentless and focus your energy on that area. You will have difficulty succeeding if you aren’t competitive or passionate about something.

Sure, you might reach some goals or milestones here and there, but you will never see long-term, continuous success.

One of the best examples of this is Tom Brady. Love him or hate him, he is successful because he is competitive.

He wants to be the best. So he goes to bed before 9 pm every night. He rarely drinks alcohol and follows a strict diet.

He is constantly training and watching film of games. His work ethic is off the charts.

Doing all of this allows him to be successful.

#2. Ability To Let Go

Nothing works out the way we want 100% of the time. We have to overcome adversity and adapt.

This is a key trait of successful people. They have a remarkable ability to let go.

This doesn’t mean they give up.

It means they are OK when things don’t work out how they want. They dig their heels in and try again using a different approach.

If you never let go and hold on to past mistakes and failures, they will eat away at you.

They will distract you from your real goal. Take a failed relationship.

If you never let go, always trying to understand what went wrong and why odds are you will never have another meaningful relationship.

You are going to be alone for the rest of your life. Accept that the relationship ended.

Step out of your comfort zone, admit it wasn’t right, and move on.

You can take time to learn from your mistakes, but don’t focus so much on the past that you ignore the present.

Related: Discover the best affirmations for letting go

#3. Accept Failure

Related to the above is the ability to accept failure. Too many of us are afraid to fail.

To get better, you need to fail and learn from your mistakes.

Everyone great failed and still fails. It’s a part of life.

Don’t let failure define you. Use it to your advantage and grow from it. Realize that failure isn’t from a lack of ability. It’s more often because you went about things the wrong way.

The sooner you accept this and don’t allow it to limit you, the better off you will be.

Take the example of a failed relationship again. I’m sure you were hurt when it ended.

But you cannot let that pain and hurt make decisions for you in the future. If you never enter into a relationship again because you are scared of getting hurt, you will miss out on many fun times.

Remember, there are no guarantees in life other than death. Your next relationship might work out, or it may not. However, you can’t let that uncertainty decide if you should date again.

You need to live each day to its fullest and enjoy the present.

Related: Learn 10 life choices you will regret in 10 years

#4. Be Grateful

One of the most overlooked qualities of successful people is being grateful. When good things happen to them, they acknowledge and are thankful for them.

I’ve never seen a successful person be ungrateful. But I have seen plenty of unsuccessful people be ungrateful.

If a successful person is ungrateful, they won’t be successful for very long. Learn to be grateful for all you have.

Even if you think you have little, most likely, you have a lot more than you think. One way that works for me is I take 5 minutes every day and reflect on the things I have and the great things that happened to me.

I am often most thankful for the small things, like exercising daily or hitting the green lights on the way to work.

While it sounds odd to be grateful for these small things, doing so helps me keep a positive attitude all day.

I focus on the positive things in my life, which gives me energy and motivation to see what other great things will happen in my life.

#5. Reward Yourself

Even though we think success means we are hustling 24/7, we all need to take a break and relax.

You can’t work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You must take a break and reward yourself for your hard work and achievements.

It’s part of the process of being successful. What is the best way to reward yourself?

That is up to you to decide. It could be splurging on a fancy steak dinner. Or it could be a week-long vacation somewhere tropical.

At first, your reward might be small. Maybe it is just a long weekend getaway. But as you become more and more successful, your rewards will grow, and you will be motivated to achieve more and more.

Of course, don’t reward yourself in big ways just because you think you should. Many times, it is the small rewards that make the most impact.

So make sure that the reward is meaningful to you. This will help drive you to be more successful in the days, weeks, and years to come.

#6. Give Back And Be Selfless

All successful people remember where they came from and, as a result, give back to others. No matter your situation or circumstances, you should always give back.

Whether it be time or money doesn’t matter. You need to give back.

And don’t think you need to volunteer a lot of time or money either. A great way to do this is to start small.

Hold the door for a stranger. Smile and say hello to people you pass by. Ask a friend or co-worker how things are going and listen to their answer.

Even small gestures like this go a long way.

#7. Go Above And Beyond

To be a truly successful person, you must go above and beyond what is asked of you.

If you do what is asked, you will never be successful. Find ways to add value to the company or your business.

Find ways to keep your relationships with friends and loved ones fresh. Don’t just sit back and let life pass you by.

Take steps to help out more in every aspect of life. It will not go unnoticed.

It’s a lot of work to go above and beyond in every aspect of life, but the rewards are immeasurable.

If you fail, don’t let it define you, as mentioned above. Use it as a springboard to more incredible things and a better life.

All the successful people I read about go above and beyond what is asked of them.

This is easy when you are passionate about what you are doing.

#8. Create Your Own Opportunities

I hear many people talk about being lucky or waiting for something to happen to them.

Don’t be like this. Make your own luck. Make things happen in your life.

This will come naturally if you are competitive and go above and beyond regularly.

When you put yourself in the right place, you will see more opportunities come your way, leading to more success.

Stop sitting around waiting for life to happen and make it happen. You control your life through the choices you make.

Related: See how the choices you make affect your life

Make smart ones, and things will begin to fall into place. Pay off your debt to save money and take the vacations you dream of.

Save for retirement so you can retire on your terms. Live with an open mind and accept people for who they are.

Embrace the idea of lifelong learning, so you are always current on things in life.

The more you do to take control, the more times you will be able to act on the opportunities that come your way.

#9. Ask For Help

An overlooked personality trait of successful people is asking for help.

Why are so many people afraid to ask for help? Maybe they think it makes them look dumb?

I’d rather look dumb, get help, and be successful than look smart, not get help and not be successful.

Successful people always ask for help, and you should too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you don’t know the answer, find someone who does. Otherwise, you will waste your valuable time searching for an answer when you could be out doing something else to help you succeed.

This is one of the character traits I admire the most.

I see people who have achieved great success always asking other people questions and asking for help.

Many easily admit when they don’t know something. No one knows the answer to everything. Not even Ken Jennings.

So tell your pride to take a back seat and get the help you need. The sooner you do, the sooner you can continue progressing to success.

#10. Stay Positive

Many of us listen to the negative voices in our heads. There is enough negativity in the world; you don’t need to pile it on yourself.

Successful people learn to tune out this negativity and focus on the positive things in life.

They know how to turn off that negative voice and keep pushing forward, believing there will be a positive outcome.

It may not be their desired outcome, but they will find the positive in it.

Nothing will ever get done if you listen to others telling you it won’t work or it’s not possible. Tune them out and tune into the possibilities of being a success and reaching your goals.

You’ll go much farther in life with positive thinking than without it.

#11. Looking At The Bigger Picture

Don’t get caught up in the moment.

Always try your best to look long-term to understand the impacts of your decisions.

For example, buying the cheapest item makes sense now, but if you have to replace it every year, it will cost you more than a higher-priced, higher-quality item.

To help make this a habit, ask yourself how something will benefit or impact you today and in the future, like 5 or 10 years from now.

#12. Focus On Important Tasks

We all have a ton to do every single day. Most of us make a list and then pick the easiest things to do.

In our minds, this is smart because we get more done. But usually, the most straightforward things don’t have a measurable impact on our lives.

Instead, you need to organize your to-do list. Put at the top the few things that will significantly impact your life, and focus on doing these things first.

Doing this will make you more successful in every aspect of your life because you are getting things done that matter. And here is an important thing to remember.

Your first task should be the most challenging item on your list. You are most focused first thing in the morning, and getting this task off your list will motivate you as you’ve never seen before.

Related: Learn 25 things successful people do every day

#13. Take Care Of Your Physical Health

Most successful people not only manage to have a great career, but they can have family time and exercise.

You don’t need to spend hours in the gym every day. Start slow and go for a 20-minute walk every day.

Then add some weight lifting three times a week for 30 minutes daily. If you take an objective look at your day, you can figure out how to fit this into your schedule.

Additionally, try to pick healthy foods to eat. When you are hungry, stop and ask yourself a question instead of mindlessly grabbing something to eat.

Will this food fuel my body? In other words, if you put junk into your body, you will feel like junk.

But you will feel good if you put good food into your body. Try to eat as much healthy food as possible and make junk food a special occasion.

#14. Limit Instant Gratification

We are prone to give in to urges in our fast-paced world. Advertisements only add fuel to this fire.

You need to work to delay gratification as much as you can. This goes back to looking at the big picture.

It can be hard not to give in to your strong desire. But the more patient you can be and take your time, the better results you will see.

#15. Learn To Communicate

Learning good communication skills is an overlooked personal trait that you need to have.

This includes not only speaking but listening as well. Before speaking, take a moment to ensure you have the right words you want to say.

Speak clearly and calmly. If you disagree with someone else, try to make the issue about you and not them by saying “I” and not “you.”

This will help the conversation move forward and not put the other person on the defensive.

When listening, truly listen. Don’t think of what you can say in response.

It helps to repeat back to the person what they said, but in your own words, how you interpret what they said.

This helps to ensure you are both on the same page about a topic or issue.

#16. Express Empathy

Finally, learn to be empathetic more. Put yourself in someone else’s situation before you come to a decision.

If someone is talking with you about a difficult situation, tell them you can see how it’s hard and comfort them.

Just make sure you are genuine when you do this. This helps you form a connection with others, leading to greater happiness in life.

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