Success is an iceberg. There is what people see on the surface: career, confidence, family, car, beauty etc. Then there is what people don’t see below the surface: doubt, failure, hard work, dedication, persistence. Artwork by @sylviaduckworth.
10 ways to improve your Iceberg & get yourself a safety net in place
I was in the fortunate position that I knew my father had my back in case I lost everything, that is truly a magical thing and I was very lucky, thankfully I didn’t have to call on him but having this safety net allowed me to push for something more in life.
Creating this safety net yourself is perfectly possible & it’s something I’ve done and will continue to do, here is what I recommend you do:
Have 2 backup plans
The most important thing you can do in life is have a backup plan for everything, so if you fail at something you can fall back to the backup plan. The trick is trying to never use the backup plan!
- Get yourself an emergency fund ready – Aim to never use it but have it there to keep you aiming high
- Have a place where you know you can get a job at short notice, try and become friendly with the owners of a business for instance
- Have a service you know you can offer if you need the cash quick (e.g. Mystery Shopping, Survey Filling, Freelance work etc)
Do something you truly love & don’t do it just for the money
Because it’s “Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way”
You won’t find happiness if you do something just for the money.
Pay your bills on time & be organised
- Don’t carry debt & don’t spend beyond your means – The very basics of money management!
- Keep your important paperwork in a safe place – If you lose something it could cost you time & therefore money replacing & if you need them for something important like a mortgage application it could be the difference between getting your dream home and not! Ideally scan them in to save time sorting/searching.
- We use this awesome scanner to scan every single receipt, important letter etc and have it saved in Dropbox so it can be accessed anywhere in the world within seconds.
Keep on top of changes in your chosen profession
- It is easy to think you’re great at your job and nothing will change but there will always be someone that is younger than you, has a new method of doing your job and may even be cheaper!
- Keep your CV / LinkedIn up to date with your achievements and skills – it is far easier doing it often than in two years time!
- Connect with like-minded professionals, they’re a fountain of knowledge
- Constantly speak with your boss / manager & find out about the issues they face. This will give you a good sense of how the business is doing.
- Never stop learning!
Make your home safe, secure & organised
- Grab a fire extinguisher, fire alarm and make everyone in your house ready for a fire
- Have an escape route planned
- Check the locks on your doors are decent enough
- Always check your doors/windows are locked before bed & take your keys to bed
- Have a grab bag ready (a bag with essentials for your survival for 1+ weeks)
- Have house insurance or DIY insurance policy
- Have a spare key at a trusted family/friends house
- Ensure you have emergency phone numbers ready
- Photocopies of your important documents (passport, IDs etc)
- Have a backup plan for your car!
Eat, Drink & be healthy
It is obvious but we all fall off the bandwagon sometimes. We’re not a health blog so won’t bother you with the detail
Be a nice person
- Give time or money to a charity that you believe in
- Practice forgiveness and try not to hold a grudge.
- Don’t over promise or over-commit
- Remember having all the money in the world doesn’t make you happy
- Don’t associate yourself with people who can harm you, your reputation, or your peace of mind. *unfriends half of facebook* 😉
Learn Why we make bad decisions
Learn how to cope with stress, fear, anxiety & emergencies
- How to fall asleep quickly – A good night’s sleep can solve so many issues
- 10 ways to make getting up early easier – Lying in bed all day won’t help either
- Use F.lux to relax in the evenings
- Learn the signs of anxiety & how your body copes with it best – often people with anxiety are dehydrated so grab some water. Get up and walk/run to clear your mind etc.
- Expose yourself to the fear – The more you avoid them the more panic you will have! Expose yourself and often the fear will fade away.
- Compare the odds – Lots of people are scared of the dark or being home alone at night for instance, they will say “What was that noise!?!” but if they think about it logically they should be able to think of what it actually was, gate knocking, guttering squeaking etc, chances of someone breaking into their house is actually very low!
- Talk about your stress, fears, anxiety with others – Samaritans (open 24 hours a day) or speak with your GP
Learn how to embrace criticism
- Most criticism stems from either people wanting to help, even if it’s a backhanded compliment or people’s jealousy.
- Remember criticism opens you to new ideas, new ways of looking at things and if embraced will make you a better person.
- Once you start to listen to criticism you will start to realise that listening is a skill you need to hone!
- If you disagree on something don’t let it affect your relationships – agree to disagree and make friends.
- Make a decision on the criticism – Don’t sit on the information for days, act on it immediately!
- Don’t take it personally – Let go of your feelings about being criticised and you will automatically become less stressed about it in the future.
- Don’t attack back – Often criticism attacks your inner insecurities, you may already know the issue but would prefer to excuse yourself by attacking back, than to stand up and embrace it.
- Ensure you know the difference between genuine criticism & non-constructive criticism. Know what to ignore and what to take on board.
- It will only ever get worse – The more popular you become the more criticism you will face, remember you cannot please everyone!
- Realise you’re not perfect – We all have imperfections and realising this is the key to improving yourself (& enjoying the process).