Tips to help you have a successful 2014

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

I loved Mary’s post from yesterday about how important attitude is for success. It’s always so hard to start back to work after a vacation without any grumbling, but Mary’s blog really helped me to see how exciting new beginnings can be, and I hope it was inspiring to you, too!

I’d like to expand on what Mary wrote by adding a few more tips that I think can help us all as we start work in 2014. The beginning of January is a good time to make positive changes, and I believe keeping these tips in mind will help us to make the most of this upcoming year.

1) It’s okay to take risks.

Staying in a comfortable groove isn’t good for us. It doesn’t help us to grow and there’s no potential for upward change. I believe God wants us to prayerfully consider what we can do to step out of our comfort zones to take our work for Him to the next level.
My new house is near a church, and I drive by their sign each day.  The current motivational message is “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I rolled my eyes when I first read this (I’m not big on these types of signs), but the truth of it has started to sink in. If we don’t take the risky shot, we aren’t going to progress any further. We might as well be sitting on the sidelines, and that’s a boring, yet safe, place to be. I’m going to hazard a guess that all of us want to be part of the “big game,” even if risks are involved, so I’d like to encourage each of you to reach for something big. Go ahead and take a risk. I know God will be there with you as you step out in faith.

2) It’s okay to fail.

I know for me a lot of the reason I don’t want to take risks is because of my fear of failure. I want everything I do to be successful so I tend to hang back where it’s safe. I don’t think this is the way we should live. We should see failure as a stepping stone to success. It means we tried something and found out that the way we tried it didn’t work. We can then change our approach and try again. We learn things through our failures that we can apply to help us move toward success. It’s never fun to fail, but if a fear of failure is holding you back, you need to try hard to get beyond that.

3) It’s okay to ask for help.

You are only one person. I am only one person. And sometimes it takes more than one person to succeed in these risky moves.

Maybe you need more time. Ask someone to help you with the tasks that are taking up your time. I’m sure even if someone helped you with something once every two weeks it would enable you to progress further on what you are trying to accomplish than if you keep trying to do everything yourself.

Maybe you need prayer. Asking for prayer isn’t a sign of weakness, and we all could use more of it!

Maybe you need accountability. If you are struggling to move forward with your risks it might be time to ask someone to keep you accountable. Critique groups/partners can do this. Your agent would likely help you with this.

Many times we get overwhelmed and forget that we have support from the body of Christ. We just need to ask for the help. And asking for that help is NOT a sign of failure. It’s a sign that you are pursuing your risky goals diligently and that you are determined to succeed.

I hope these three points help you as you move forward with your positive attitude in 2014! I am wishing you all the best! God’s blessings to you as you step out in faith and take risks.

23 Responses

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  1. Great suggestions – so many of us are so focused on the consequences of failure that we flinch from that perceived pain as from an expected physical blow.

    There’s a corollary to the first two that might serve as a caveat…”It’s better to aim high and miss the mark than to aim low and make it.”

    Not true. Failure is a learning experience, but among other things – it teaches us how to fail.

    Building smaller victories develops confidence, and a habit of welcoming success.

    David Stirling, the founder of Britain’s Special Air Service (the model for our Delta Force), made training objectives incrementally easier in the time leading up to planned operations during WW2, to give his men confidence.

    The mastery of technical skills, whether to assault a guarded airfield or pitch a book, are straightforward.

    It’s the confidence, the flair that can carry one through obstacles both known and unforeseen – this we have to nurture.

    • Rachel Kent says:

      Great point! Building small victories is very important. It’s like Mary said yesterday–set goals that are like building blocks to your “big goal,” but keep the “big goal” always in mind.

      I love the WWII story. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Rachel –
    I love the message that it is “okay”. Keep going. Keep giving your best. You are not alone. Don’t stress! Everything really is okay. Hey! God has a plan that is bigger than we can ever imagine!

    • Rachel Kent says:

      Thanks, Carol! I think that if we keep in mind that God has a plan that is bigger than we can imagine that we will be on the right track. 🙂

  3. Rachel, thanks for encouraging us to start the New Year with “It’s Okay…”
    Many of my friends have a word or scripture theme for the New Year…I have a song…”Wade in the Water.” The historical and Biblical implications in this song vary, but for me, the significant lines are…wade in the water…(get in it!)…and comin’ on, comin’ on through…(persevere!). Happy, happy Friday to all…and hope your New Year is blessed!

    • Rachel Kent says:

      I love that song! Whenever I hear it it gets stuck in my head because the tune is so catchy.

      Thanks for sharing your song. I love the idea of having a song as an encouragement throughout the year.

  4. I think writers forget that there is no such thing as a One Draft Wonder. And that in order to grow, one must leave behind the stagnant and accept the need for adaptation.
    Creativity is not a solitary pursuit.

    What? Big words???

    Why yes, I did get extra sleep last night, how can you tell?

  5. This is awesome, Rachel! I’m late checking in … we have good friends coming in today and I’ve asked my girls to help me clean house! But seriously, our friends are heading to Asia for years … we are going to miss them terribly. Best of friends. But I had to stop to check out what you posted. I don’t like missing a word!

    I’m excited about 2014!

    And Rachel … finally had a chance to see Catching Fire … loved it!

    And I have to ask for help … I’m desperate for it.

    • And I think that failing does not make us failures. I think failing is God’s heavenly lure to keep us striving and hoping, among many other things! It may not appear too good initially, but it can definitely have its pluses.

    • Rachel Kent says:

      Wow! That is a journey for them! Lifting up a prayer for safe travel for your friends.

      Glad you were able to see Catching Fire! And I always have to ask for help too. I do fight feelings of failure when I am desperate for help, so this blog post was for me too!

  6. Lovely post, Rachel. For some reason, as I was reading it, the hymn, “All is Well” popped into my mind. It’s one of my favorites. Here’s the chorus:

    All is well, with my soul,
    He is God, in control,
    I know not, all His plans,
    But I know, I’m in His hands.

    Though I don’t think anyone will ever accuse me of being a huge risk taker, I know God has me covered when I do. And I’m confident if things don’t turn out the way I thought they would, He has something else in mind for me. It definitely helps me deal with rejection easier and lessens that fear of failure.

    Happy New Year!

    • Rachel Kent says:

      Oooo! Nice lyrics! Another song. It’s interesting that you and Katheryn both brought up music today.

      Music is a wonderful tool and a blessing from God.

  7. Thanks for sharing Rachel.

    I have met other writers through ACFW who help me and lift me up in prayer.

    My goal this year is to stay focused and not give up on writing.

    Happy 2014!

  8. patrice says:

    Good post! Something I really needed to be reminded of in 2014. Happy New Year!

  9. Teri Orlando says:

    I know you rolled your eyes up in your head when you read, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” but I am going to write this one down and read it every day! I love it.

    I just finished my book, and am in the process of ‘perfecting’ it, so I needed some encouragement! I’m sure you were at that stage once in your life where, even with strong faith, you were anxious and afraid to go further.

    Now, with your encouragement, I feel I have nothing to lose!

    It is a great way to start 2014.

    Thank you.

  10. Sarah Grimm says:

    Wonderful post! Great suggestions!

  11. Thank you Rachel. I’ve been quietly risking by writing every morning at 4:00am, but now that all three of my kiddos are in school, it is a whole different thing to choose to write in the day, when everyone is asking if I am going to get a job or start a garden. Risk, failure…difficult things but maybe necessary.
    Thank you.

  12. Pearls don’t lie on the seashore.

    If you want one, you must dive for it.
    Chinese proverb