Asian woman in hijab looking at mirror.

a world that celebrates productivity and achievements, the value of inner work is often overlooked. There’s that constant pressure to do things faster, better, go go go! But did you know that taking the time to – your strengths, your weaknesses, and your dreams – can be your key to success? Here’s how self-compassion can promote winning confidence.

Define Your Standards

What is your definition of success? Are your goals your own, or are they imposed on you by family expectations, peer competition, or societal expectations?

Shut out all the noise of the world and ask yourself what’s important to you. What do you stand for? Why do you do what you do? Knowing your why gives you the motivation to work on how to achieve your dreams. That's your key to success.

Acknowledge Your Weaknesses

“Our default position too often is to downplay our weaknesses, but those who find growth in failure begin by simply admitting its existence in their lives,” writes book author Joshua Becker on his website

When we acknowledge our weaknesses, they lose their power to trip us up. Know what is feasible for you so you can set realistic goals and deadlines. It even allows you to delegate tasks to those who can do a better job. Self-awareness and humility can ultimately take you farther than merely bluffing your way through.

Forgive Yourself

Made one too many mistakes? Not performing up to exacting standards? We are often our worst critics. Instead of continually feeling ashamed, inadequate, or even self-destructive, show yourself compassion and self-acceptance.

Sometimes, things lead to unfavorable outcomes. Forgive yourself and be accountable for your shortcomings, so you can quickly bounce back and do better. Take each mistake not as a failure but as a character-building experience. Remember, it’s the people who are unafraid to fail who are most resilient.

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Stop Worrying About What Others Think

Albert Einstein. Steve Jobs. Ophrah Winfrey. Throughout history, some of the biggest success stories are those of people who were written off, faced incredible odds, and were told they wouldn’t accomplish much but went against the grain anyway. The common denominator? They didn’t let other people’s opinions discourage them and simply trusted their instincts.

In this digital age where almost everything is documented for all the world to see, it’s practically impossible to do anything without the anxiety of how it will be perceived. According to an article on , “In some cases, putting too much time and energy into worrying what other people think can be harmful to your self-image and mental health.” Instead, it advises: “Being confident in who you are and what you stand for will boost your self-esteem and willingness to ignore haters.” 

When you practice self-acceptance and have a strong sense of personal values and identity, you are less likely to be affected by criticism. Indeed, we are and tend to seek affirmation or rely on a support system. But at the end of the day, know that you already have the answers within you. Know that regardless of what anyone says, you have the power to make your dreams come true. Listening to your voice – instead of others’ – can be your key to success.

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Nurture Your Well-Being

The struggle is real, so guard against exhaustion and burnout.

Sometimes, what derails potentially brilliant careers despite the abundance of talent is an utter disregard for the self. The relentless striving for perfection can be brutal. Be kind to yourself by noticing when you need a break or a change of pace. What is the point of success when it costs you your health, relationships, or well-being? Remember that self-care is also key to success.

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Strive for Personal Growth

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom,” goes the quote often attributed to famed Austrian psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl.

In the same vein, in the best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey shares, “If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself.” Habit No. 1 is being proactive, which involves taking responsibility for your reactions to experiences and taking the initiative to respond positively and improve the situation.

This ties in with self-acceptance, which ultimately means having a keen understanding of yourself, so you can define success on your own terms, grow from every character-building failure, and confidently achieve your goals.

The key to success may look different for each person, but with these reminders, may you be one step closer to finding your own.