Saturday, March 2, 2024

What Separates The Successful From The Average?

No matter which part of the world we live in, these days, all we have in common is the hunger to become successful. Humans are bestowed with a brain that has the same size, shape, and thinking pattern. Then what are the things that make some more successful while others average? Not to mention, many of us have the fear of living an ordinary life and crave more success. While labels such as being mediocre, average, and ordinary often meddle with our performance, being extraordinary seems more appealing. With the lingering thought of being the best and outstanding, sometimes people who have the potential can be held back due to this constant phobia.

Have you ever wondered why some people “make it” and seem to have everything while others never get the things they want? For example, some people get promoted within months of joining a company, while others remain in the same position for years.

It may not seem fair at first sight, but before you conclude that some are simply lucky, you need to take a closer look at the details. There are significant differences between the successful and the average, and not all of them are visible on a resume.

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Simply put, successful people are proactive and resourceful. In contrast, ordinary people need to be told what to do. Indeed, a proactive attitude can take you a long way. Here are some of the key qualities that indicate the difference between being successful and average.

Key Qualities That Separate The Successful From The Average


1. Self-Confidence

If you don’t trust yourself to be able to learn and accomplish certain things, and you cannot find the strength to at least try, chances are you will never be successful. Sure, you may fail, but trying, failing, and learning from the experience is preferable to living with the doubt of what may have happened.

2. Being A Man Of Your Words

When you promise something, live up to your promises. It doesn’t matter if you have somewhere to be or something to finish; make sure you are on time. Let everyone around you see that you are dependable and trustworthy.

3. Passion

If you are not genuinely interested in your activity, passionate about it, curious to learn, and willing to work hard, reaching success will be difficult, if not impossible. However, if you focus on something you love, everything will follow. Naturally, your efforts will seem lower, and your achievements will be worth more.

4. Positive Attitude

You have to anticipate the good before it can happen to you. People get relief from placebo pills because they really believe those pills can help them. You can be successful if you really believe in your chance.

5. Perseverance

If success were accessible, everyone would take pride in it. But, unfortunately, attaining it takes trial and error, making mistakes and learning from them, falling, getting up, and trying again. So don’t expect it to happen overnight, and don’t despair if it doesn’t.

6. Prioritization

We all want everything from life: love, money, health. However, we cannot obtain everything at once. Successful people prioritize. They decide what they want most, and they go for it. Then, once they’ve accomplished it, they focus on something else.

For example, the first step to achieving financial freedom is to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. Once that goal is achieved, you can start prioritizing the next steps like starting a business, buying property, saving for the emergency fund, starting a passive income, investing, etc.

7. Appreciation

If you never take the time to appreciate and enjoy what you have and you always strive for more, chances are you will never consider yourself successful. In my books, you reach success when you can say you have obtained everything you wanted, and all you have left to do is fight to keep it and enjoy it to the fullest.

8. Courage

Staying in your comfort zone forever will get you nowhere. Success comes with risks. Some people take chances and assume the implications of their actions. Others prefer to let opportunities pass by them for fear of missing out. But, if you don’t fight for what you want, you’ll never get it, even with the risk of losing something else.

9. Lifelong Learning

Times change. If you don’t change with them, adjust, continue learning, and struggle to improve, you will not be able to keep up. Successful people always keep an open mind. They learn from the best, prepare for the worst, and adjust to whatever life throws their way.

Taken one by one, these qualities may not seem like a big deal. After all, they’re just a piece of the puzzle called success. But, what do they actually mean? The difference between the successful and the average is one of mentality and attitude.

10. Discipline

All it takes for one to be successful in life can be showing up and staying consistent on your goals. The attitude to stay disciplined even when it doesn’t feel can be the most challenging yet important factor in being successful. For example, it’s about hitting the gym after work even when you don’t feel like it. It’s about staying consistent, day in and day out.

Other Ways To Become Successful And Come Out Of Your Average Life

  1. Stop snoozing the alarm
  2. Have a good morning routine
  3. Start your day with purpose
  4. Set SMART goals
  5. Overcome fear of failure
  6. Come out of comfort zone
  7. Find your weakness, and convert them to strengths
  8. Cultivate a growth mindset
  9. Stand out of the crowd & define your own identity
  10. Quit procrastinating

Success Mentality And How To Stand Out From The Average?


Believe it or not, successful people are not necessarily better than average ones. Unlike the latter, however, they never waste time thinking of their limits or shortcomings. Instead, they choose to work with what they’ve got.

Let’s say you are at work and your boss asks you to do something you’ve never done before and have no idea how to do. The average person will refuse, saying they’ve never done that before, it’s not part of their job description, or they simply don’t know how to do it. The best-case scenario is they’ll ask someone else to do it for them.

The successful person will try, thinking that they probably can if their boss trusted them to do it. They will be curious to find out what it entails and work hard to do it right. They will look for information, ask around, follow their instincts, and get it done.

If they try something and fail, the average will conclude they were not cut out for it. But, on the other hand, the successful want to see what went wrong, how different things could have been, they learn from their mistakes and even try again to prove to themselves.

Success is not something you either have or you don’t, given or taken from you. Some start out from the top and hit rock bottom. Others start from scratch and build empires. There are no limits to what you can achieve other than the ones you set yourself. Also, you are the only one who can decide whether you are successful or average; you are the only one who gets to set standards.

Successful Or Average, What Sets You Apart from the Rest?


For most people, I’m one of the averages, perhaps even a loser for giving up a career other would kill for in favor of freelancing, for trading office meetings and corporate parties in favor of play dates and bedtime stories, for marrying a wannabe police officer instead of a successful business manager.

In my book, I’m the most successful woman in the world. I’m married to the man of my dreams, loved and deeply in love, I get paid to pursue my hobby, and I get to laugh my heart out and live every minute to the fullest with my too clever and gorgeous princesses.

My secret is simple: I don’t let anyone define me or tell me what you can and cannot do. I do not compare myself to others, and I never stop trying, hoping, fighting for what I want, and enjoying what I already have.

Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, success is in the hands of whoever measures it. Don’t live your life trying to live up to other people’s standards. Set your own standards and exceed them! Who cares what others think, as long as you are happy and at peace with yourself!

A Word From AlignThoughts

How we define success can vary significantly across cultures and nationalities. But the single golden thread the denotes success globally is to live a good life across all areas – having friends, traveling more, less commute to work, fewer working hours, and more money in the bank.

A survey published on WeForum shows that for 22% of respondents having a dream job meant success.

Other factors the defined success were:

  • Freedom – 79%
  • Wealth – 71%
  • Respect – 52%
  • Less responsibility – 26%
  • Fame – 8%

Whatever your definition of success, it all starts with small actions to become the extraordinary person you want to be. So, overcome the fear and take the plunge today.

Ditch the habits that drain your energy and cultivate healthy habits to sharpen your mind and body. And try to put your focus on how to stop being average. Transform your life by believing in yourself and having faith in what you do.

Do express your opinions about what you think separates the successful from the average? Where do you think you fit in and why? What separated you from the rest?

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Key Takeaways On Difference Between The Average And The Successful

  • Small life changes make all the difference.
  • They will be the deciding factor whether you become successful or an average person.
  • A person has to choose between comfort over their goals or goals over their comfort.
  • Remember, you have the power to change your destiny and become successful.
  • There are a few essential qualities that indicate the difference between successful and average.
  • Self-Confidence: No matter what, always have confidence in yourself.
  • Successful people have an aura around themselves, which speaks volumes of the self-confidence they hold.
  • Reliability: Become a reliable person. Stick to your words and promises.
  • Passion: Successful people are highly passionate about their goals and aspirations. 
  • Optimism: Things will be challenging in life but be optimistic about your future goals.
  • Perseverance: It is the perseverance towards their goals that leads successful people. Be determined and goal-oriented.
  • Prioritization: Prioritize cautiously. Remember, what you do right now will be the defining factor.
  • Appreciation: Express gratitude for the things you have. Appreciate every little you have.
  • Courage: Show courage. One of the defining qualities of successful people is their courage.
  • They are risk-takers and never shy away from their responsibility or taking charge.
  • Lifelong Learning: Successful people are learners.
  • Discipline: Staying consistent and disciplined to reach your goals can be the most challenging yet essential factor in being successful.
  • They never stop learning and are always open to learning more new and innovative things in life.
  • Successful people choose to work with what they’ve got. 
  • Do not let fear hold you back. While the average people fear change; successful people embrace it.
  • Lastly, remember that it’s your choices that will define your future, whether you will be successful or just average.
  • Successful people do the same things as an average person but a little bit differently.

Is There A Difference Between Successful And Average Person?

It is the daily habits and thought processes that make the whole difference between successful and average.

A few of the difference between successful and average are:

  • Successful people talk about ideas, unlike ordinary people who focus only on others and what they are doing.
  • Successful people hold themselves accountable in case of failures, whereas average people blame others around them.
  • A successful person always gives credit to others where it dues. But, on the contrary, an average person is more likely to take credit for the work done by others.
  • Successful people want others around them to succeed in life. But an average person may quietly hope for their failures.
  • Lastly, successful people do not fear taking risks, whereas ordinary people are more likely to settle in instead of taking risks.

Why Is There A Fear Of Being Average Amongst People?

Although the fear of being average is subjective, it can stem from the conditioning one receives during their life. A few other reasons why there exist fear of being average amongst people are:

  • They feel the society will not accept them.
  • People believe that being average will take them nowhere in life.
  • Another reason is the acceptance in their inner circle of friends.
  • People fear they will not have the same respect as successful people do.

What Is Koinophobia?

Koinophobia (KOY-NO-PHOBIA) is the fear of being ordinary or having led an ordinary life. It is derived from the Greek word “koinos,” which means “common.”

Is Koinophobia Real?

Yes, Kionophobia is real. It means one fear to lead an ordinary and average life.

Mihaela Olaru
Mihaela Olaru
Mihaela is a sociologist, an English – Romanian translator, the proud mother of two joyful girls and the happy wife of her soul mate. She turned writing into a career in 2010 and has never looked back. She spends her leisure time by cooking healthy foods, reading princess stories, watching movies, playing games in the park, or walking along the Danube.

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