The Top 10 Habits Of Wildly Successful People ♟
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Taking the lead often seems glamorous, but is not always as easy and effortless as it appears. You may not always be or think of yourself as a leader, especially in certain contexts, situations, and circumstances, but the one aspect that you must be a leader in is your own life. Always.
Everyone, given the opportunity, can be or learn to be a leading lady/man/individual. You’ve probably even seen this with actors who started out their careers in “supporting” roles where they were essentially overshadowed by a main character (who has the spotlight aimed entirely at them), and then have their breakthrough roles or “big breaks” where they became the main/lead characters and ended up shining brighter than anyone could have anticipated because, this time, instead of propping someone else from the background, they were at the forefront and center. For example, Kerry Washington from the movie “Save the Last Dance” to the hit TV show “Scandal“, Viola Davis from the hit TV shows “Law and Order” as a non-reoccurring defense attorney to “How to Get Away With Murder” as the star criminal defense attorney, Chris Evans from “Fantastic Four” as a lax, somewhat irresponsible superhero team member to “Captain America” and “Avengers” as a very responsible superhero team leader, Janelle Monet from “Hidden Figures” to “Antebellum“, Lupita Nyongo’o from critically-acclaimed “12 Years a Slave” to critically-acclaimed “Us“, Taraji P. Henson from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” to “Hidden Figures” and the hit TV show “Empire“, and the list goes on. You can clearly see from these examples how a simple shift in position allows a person to move from shade to stardom when given the opportunity. Each of these actors had what it took to be leading stars well before they ever became them. And, while this example is about acting, it 100% correlates to real life.
Everyone needs to follow suit from the actors above and be the star of their own show. Basically, the star of their own life. This particular phrase is something one of my closest friends said a while back in college during a particular conversation surrounding our then mutual group of friends. It resonated as deeply at the time as it does today and has stuck with me ever since she uttered the words because the phrase perfectly summed up my sentiments (at the time) on people (in this case, our then friends and acquaintances) holding themselves accountable and responsible for their choices instead of always making excuses, justifications/evasions and sometimes just downright blaming their shit and poor decisions on others. Basically, I just wanted people to own their shit.
It was also said in reference to the notion of allowing people (and having them allow you) the freedom to make the decisions they/you ultimately want (and need) to make–and live with both the rewards and repercussions of those decisions. Basically, you can’t control the behavior(s) of anyone other than yourself, so don’t bother trying. Focus on yourself and the decisions you need to make for yourself and the person you want to become instead of trying to make decisions for others, even if you are doing so with good intentions and their best interests at heart. This is especially true when a person has their mind made up. You can tell. It doesn’t matter what you say, do, or how much you try to help; a person will do what they ultimately want to do.
Moving back to the main point of this post, were going to go even further here and say you need to be the superstar of your own show. Just like there’s a distinction between a hero and a superhero, diarrhea and super diarrhea (a la “American Dad“), there is a marked distinction between the embodiment of a star and that of a superstar. And, in the context of your life, basically, the Beyoncé of your own life and reality. If you aren’t, someone else will be. You may not have thought of the idea or even possibility of somebody else occupying that premium position in a life you know as your own, but trust and believe, it happens. A lot. This is especially true for people-pleasers and those of us who have been conditioned to believe that it’s “noble” to put yourself last/at the bottom/the end of the line and have everyone else ahead of you or on top of you. But, if you don’t rock your own stage, who the hell should? Seriously, think about it. Beyoncé was big when she was part of the girl group, Destiny’s Child. But she blew up astronomically, bigger and badder than anyone could have anticipated, far more than she likely would have as a solo artist.
Coming–or rather, growing–into yourself (and the person you want to become) is all part of self-improvement–the entire point of being a Youniqorn–and you need to get to the point where you command your own stage without permission, apology, or hesitation. You must occupy the primary position in your life, be your single best investment and asset, and your number one consideration. That is what it means to be the superstar of your own show. You don’t just bask in the limelight; you soak in the sunlight (the sun is the biggest star in the galaxy).
But, in order to do this, you need to understand and truly come to terms with the fact that your life is, in fact, yours.
I know that sounds like a painfully trivial and obvious statement, but you’d be surprised just how many adults still grapple with and have a really hard time acknowledging this, let alone accepting and even embracing it. And, who can blame them, when so many of us have been taught from birth (by parents/guardians/teachers/authority figures) that we should essentially live for others? That we should set a good example? That we should be a good role model for others? That those younger than us look up to us so we need to make good decisions (for them to emulate; not necessarily for our own immediate and direct benefit)? To make our parents/family proud? All these things may be said with good intentions, but often times, they result in negative impact. So, for that reason alone, I say eff all that. Do not allow others to dictate the course, potential, trajectory, and outcome of your life – for better or worse. Even when they want what’s best for you. In fact, especially then, because it’s easy to pick the choice(s) someone else made for you when you feel like they’re coming from a good place and it’s intended for your benefit. But, again, intention does not equal impact. Your destiny is the one that you choose for yourself – or allow someone else to choose for you. The latter is a choice, as well. In the end, it’s still up to you.
In order to be the superstar of your own show, you need to take the reins of your life. Don’t just be a passive participant in your own existence. Be the active star of it. The superstar. This means that you must take active responsibility for the things you do, and that, in turn, means you must take active responsibility for the things you think. This means that you must be conscious and aware of not only who you are now, but who you want to become. The emphasis here is on the latter because it’s more important to know who you want to become and work toward building that person than dwelling on who you currently are. Self-improvement is all about growth and doing better than you currently are. So, focus on who you want to become. That is the person who is sure to rock the hell out of your life–and do it in stratosphere-high stilettos. I mean, think about it. If you don’t know who you are and who you want to become, you won’t know what your current role in your life is or what you want it to be. Don’t just assume. Again, participate actively, intentionally and emphatically in your life and all it entails as you grow it and the superstar you want to become.
Put yourself and prioritize your own interests first.
We mentioned earlier how a lot of us are indoctrinated from childhood into this toxic belief of putting others before ourselves as a default and equating self-prioritization/preservation to selfishness and selflessness to nobility. This. Is. Utter. Bull. Putting yourself first does not even equate to putting others last. This is a false equivalence and a psychological weapon used to keep people from blossoming into their potential and beyond. Please know that there is no shame in thinking of yourself. Not only is it natural, it’s actually smart, if you really think about it. How can you help or assist or do for anyone else if you have not helped, assisted or done for yourself? It is actually in putting yourself first that you can more effectively and efficiently give back to others. You may “feel” good/externally validated about putting yourself last in the moment, because that’s what you’ve been taught is good, but tangible rewards and longer-term sentiments speak for themselves and those who put themselves first generally always come out on top and those who do not, unsurprisingly, finish last. Taking last-place in your own life, of all things, is absolutely insane. It should not happen. Putting yourself first reflects high self-esteem, high self-value and self-worth, and it means you understand that you are your most important person. Because, without you, you are nothing and have nothing. Literally. This isn’t a matter of opinion or subjectivity. It’s just plain logic. So, put yourself first, not at anyone’s expense, but for your benefit – and, by extension, the people and things you love and care about.
Plan and learn with the intention to implement.
No amount of planning and learning information will allow you to blossom and bloom into the superstar of your own life without execution. You have to do in order to be. It is as simple as that. Take action. Action. Action. Action. Even actors in fictional lead roles have to act. There’s a reason the director yells “aaand…action!” When you take intentional action and do so repeatedly, those actions become your habits, and those habits become the building blocks that create the superstar you want to become. It is important to reiterate that you should take action for yourself primarily (i.e. first and foremost) and then for those who value you, by extension/association as we mentioned above. *Please, keep in mind that this is only for those individuals who love, respect, and value you. Nothing less. Your time (your most valuable asset), and your mental, emotional, and physical energy/capacity is limited. The absolute last thing you want to do is spend any of them on people who do not value, respect and/or love you. You definitely do not want to make decisions for yourself and your life based on the opinions, demands, and desires of such people. Even if they are in your family. You must learn to assert yourself, particularly in these types of instances. Being assertive is something you will need to practice and develop consistently if you ever hope to be the superstar of your own show and it is one of the top 10 habits of wildly successful people. If you cannot assert yourself in your own life, you cannot expect to occupy or star in the lead role of it. Choose to ignore and let go of all that doesn’t add to or enhance you. This includes people, expectations, beliefs, negative/undesirable habits, etc. As you go through your journey of self-improvement, this will become easier and more intuitive. As you consistently practice intentional growth and betterment of yourself, you will build the habit of good judgment, including character, situations, and choices. This is understandably difficult for a lot of people, especially if you’ve been immersed in a negative/toxic environment for much or most of your life (childhood, in particular). It’s hard not to internalize that to some extent. But it’s always important to remember that nothing is set in stone and, as living beings, if nothing else, we have the ability to do one thing: change and adapt.
Even if you may not feel like it in the beginning, you absolutely have it in you to change and enhance yourself for the better even if you’ve been trapped in negativity for a lot or all your life. You have the power to change that. To change yourself. Again, by taking action. It is necessary to change your environment in order to begin the shift of this process, however. Even the most positive, optimistic, and strong-willed person will have a much harder time operating in a negative/toxic/discouraging environment, much less excelling. As echoed in the book, “Atomic Habits“, motivation is overrated. Environment is key. So, choose and design your environment for superstardom. Just like a Koi fish cannot flourish and grow to its optimal size in a tiny bowl of water, you cannot expect flourish and blossom into the Beyoncé of your life when you are cramped, restricted, and limited. This is both your physical and social environment, but particularly the latter. You are affected and influenced by the energies of other people more than anything else, so make sure that they help to propel you into stardom (directly and indirectly) and not hold you back or tie you down.
Practice being comfortable with winning and success.
Being a superstar means being in the limelight and positively celebrated. It means being wildly successful. A lot of us, despite wanting success, have a deep-rooted fear of it. This is not always a conscious fear. If you dig deep, as you learn more about yourself and the person you want to become through this Youniqorn journey, you may find that there is a part of you that wants success–but is afraid of how it will change your life–and potentially your relationships with the people in it. This is a hard truth, but a very real one. Without realizing it, you may indulge in self-sabotage or intentionally hold yourself back or not reach too far or aim too high because you are afraid of what attaining the success you crave might result in. You might get resented by those around you. Some people may choose to distance themselves from you out of envy or perceive you as a threat. Others may conversely start to see you as their default cushion/parachute/anchor in times of problems. There are those who may try to discredit your success to something outside your control (you got lucky, you’ve always been smart, things just come easy to you, etc.) instead of the dedication, commitment, and consistency you have put in to achieve what you have and the very intentional choice to becoming the superstar you want to become. Whatever you do, do not give in to that fear. Don’t hold yourself back or dim your light for anyone, but especially not for those you love. It’s easier to brush off people who you know don’t really give a damn about you, but because you care about those who do, you may find yourself engaging in self-limitation because of your consideration for them. Please, know this: anybody who loves you, truly loves you, will want nothing but for you to realize your potential–and more. No one who cares about you genuinely will keep you from choosing, pursuing and fulfilling your desired destiny. If they do, newsflash: they don’t love you. Not really. At the end of the day, your life and your happiness is not a competition. You’re not competing with anybody else for anything. The only person you will compare yourself to or should compare yourself to is the person you are now and the person you want to become. Period.
Always strive for more.
To do more. To be more. To do better. To be better. Never rest on your laurels or be satisfied in basking in your past glories. Complacency is the thief of success. When you become complacent, you no longer have a desire or drive to take action. Let alone, take action consistently, which is what you need to build lifestyle habits. Just like you’ll continue to learn, unlearn, and relearn as a lifelong student, you will continue to take action, implement, and execute. You are a lifelong doer. When you stop doing, you might as well be dead. Because it is only the dead who do not do anything. This is not to say that you should become obsessive with moving on to the next thing and never taking the time to celebrate what you have already amassed/accomplished/achieved. You should absolutely do that and make no apologies for basking in your sun and starlight. You will have earned it so it is a million percent yours to celebrate. But it is important to not allow that feeling of accomplishment to prevent or keep you from going after more. You might hear or think that that is greedy, but that sentiment could not be further from the truth. Wanting more or better for yourself, again, is a sign of high self-value, self-esteem, and self-worth. A sign of a bona fide superstar. Make no apologies for this, and do not be swayed by the opinions of others who may try to dissuade you out of doing more because they feel you have done “more than enough already”. Your desires, aspirations, and fulfillments are yours. No one else’s. If someone else is satisfied with where they are currently, or claim they would be satisfied with where you are currently, that is fine and dandy for them. This does not mean that you have to adopt their opinion about themselves for yourself if that is not what you want or if you feel like you’d like to push for a little–or a lot–more.
Fall in love and respect with the person you want to become.
Knowing who you want to become is only one part of the Youniqorn journey. As you work toward becoming that person and building the lifestyle habits that make up that individual, when you intentionally practice loving, respecting, and valuing that person (and their perspective, expertise, etc.) and doing so consistently, you begin naturally to put them on a pedestal and elevate them. You’re basically elevating the person that you are working to become and will eventually be. This means that you hold your future self in high esteem, regard, and put them first. This is the mindset of one who is the superstar of their own life. Do this not only mentally and emotionally, but physically, as well. Use a mirror and camera to not only familiarize yourself with yourself, but truly learn your body from head to pinky toe like the palm of your hand. You need to know and see who others will see as you visually become that person. Through your gradual transformation to becoming the superstar of your own life and a full-fledged Youniqorn, you will know your face, your eyes, all your expressions, gestures, body parts, poise and posture, and all the little intricacies and details that physically make you up. This is a powerful pillar of self-awareness and will take things to a completely new level.
Take logical risks and try new things.
Do not be afraid to fail or allow the fear of failure to keep you from pursuing/venturing into something you never have before or something completely novel to you. That’s how you learn and improve. You don’t have to know everything before you start. You honestly don’t even need to know most things before you start. The important thing to do is start. It is when you take action that you gain experience. And, as we know, experience is the best teacher. Remember, it is quantity that begets quality, not the other way around. It is when you repeat an action multiple times that you become familiar with it enough to start improving on it. You cannot improve what you do not know. So, worry about doing the basics and bare minimum before you worry about hanging up bells and whistles. As echoed in “Atomic Habits“, you must first standardize before you can optimize.
As we already talked about above, learn to be assertive and develop your intuition.
Your gut feeling can only be developed if you listen to it instead of hit ignore, like a lot of us tend to. Your intuition will never steer you wrong, so trust it, and act on it. Consistently. This is how you become intuitive, which is the core element of being assertive. Maintain your unique set of codes and mindsets for yourself and your life and don’t sway from them for the sake of others if they serve you well. This does not mean that you can never change, alter, or evolve from a way of thinking or a general school of thought. After all, part of being a Youniqorn, the superstar of your own show, and a wildly successful person is having the ability to learn as well as unlearn. You are allowed to change your mind as you come upon new information or insights that you were not privy to before. If something serves you well at one point in your life but not another, there is no point of hanging onto it just because it worked well for you once upon a time. Embrace change where it is necessary for you to grow, improve, and be better than you are. This will ensure you will always be the superstar of your own show because you will always be in control of what you choose for yourself and your life. Intentionally use what works for you at any given time and leave the rest. Not everything or every mindset is right for you at every given moment. Learning to discern and distinguish what is is another aspect of being assertive and a core trait of being the superstar of your own show. (Read Trusting Your Gut–and Building It, Too).
Choose wisely who you allow in your life and whose life, in turn, you choose to become a part of.
We’ve talked about physical and social environments and how you need to change them for your betterment if you ever hope to take the reins of your life and destiny and become a winner at both. They say you don’t choose your family, but I beg to differ. You absolutely can and do choose who and what you allow, not only in your physical space, but within your mental and emotional boundaries, as well. The latter two are particularly crucial because they affect your thought processes and feelings, which are prerequisites for taking action. Who you allow in your life and whose life you decide to be in has a direct and often profound influence and impact on what and how you think and feel, and, therefore, what you do and how you do it. But also what you don’t do.
Be both cautious and intentional about this, as this is one of the most fundamental and vital points. You cannot hope to become a superstar if you are around stand-ins. This may sound harsh, but it is the truth; pure and unadulterated. There is no point or reason to lower yourself to the level of those around you. Instead, what you need is to catapult yourself to the heights of those around you. This means you need to surround yourself with people who are already where you aspire to be or well on their way to that place. This means that you need to be in the company of those of similar mindset looking to improve and better themselves and become the superstars of their own shows. Again, not in competition with you, but with the current and future versions of themselves. Once more, your life is not a race or competition. Actively seek out women and men who are the superstars of their own show and steer clear of those who seek to be the superstars of yours. These are leeches and energy-vampires and are only looking to feel better about their lives by inserting themselves into yours. This is especially true when choosing long-term or life-long partners. Best believe, your partner’s habits eventually become your own and, if they are not in line with who you want to become, you will either find them becoming the superstar of your show or yourself starring in that of a person you don’t intend to become. So, choose wisely and surround yourself with the right people at all times.
The Youniqorn S+ELLAr membership (coming soon) is one such social environment where you can surround yourself and form connections (constellations) with other individuals who are the unapologetic superstars of their own shows. In the interim, enjoy soaking in the sunlight of your STAR+er membership.