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8 Traits of Outstanding People

Outstanding isn't something a person has, it is something a person does
By Sherrie Campbell |

8 Traits of Outstanding People

Gary Burchell | Getty Images
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.



We know that the outstanding stand amongst us because we can feel it when we’re around them. They have something special inside we wish we possessed inside of ourselves. The good news is we are all capable of excellence. It is helpful to spend time learning about outstanding people and to bear witness to how they do what they do to be who they are. As we learn about them, all we have to do is emulate their character traits and own them as our own. Outstanding isn’t something a person has, it is something a person does.


What does it take to be outstanding?



1. Purpose

Outstanding people are driven by a powerful sense of purpose both in their individual lives and in relation to the world at large. They have defined the impact they desire to have and have held tight to their vision with every ounce of their focus. The purpose of life, for outstanding people, is always about service. They want to be involved in ways where they have the opportunity to show and use their compassion to help elevate others. To be outstanding, we have to find something dear to our heart and hold onto it. We need a purpose we are so deeply invested in that motivation and inspiration are not hard to access. We must know who we are and how we want to be of service in this world.



2. Passion

Outstanding people back their purpose with an unrelenting energy of passion. They follow their dreams, they work hard, are willing sacrifice whatever they need to, and refuse to let naysayers get in the way of their dreams. Their mission in life has nothing to do with surviving. Outstanding people don’t survive life, they live their lives to the absolute fullest. They make sure to possess a humble and great sense of humor, they make time for their personal growth and development, are dedicated to self-compassion and to living their lives with an energy of class. Their sense of passion for what they do is intoxicating.


To be outstanding, we must follow our passions. We must be prepared to work hard and to sacrifice. We must shun our naysayers by removing them from our consciousness, live our days with a lighthearted composure and deeply love what we do.




3. Perseverance

Nothing in life comes easy. Outstanding people don’t lament about his fact, they respect it. What they want out of life is perceived as worth the hard work it takes for them to get it. They are prepared to have to fight and dig for what they believe in. They are prepared for setbacks and accept that these are the times when they will need to gather their courage and fortitude. They are prepared to be tired, to feel burned out and frustrated. They expect all of this and are wise to prepare for it. They know that whatever they are going through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They know all they have to do to get to the end of a challenge is to simply keep grinding.


If we want to be outstanding, we have to be diligent in our pursuit. We have to develop the tough-mindedness and work ethic it takes to rise above the rest.



4. Choice

Outstanding people wake up each day and choose life. They choose joy, they choose grace, and they choose to see their blessings. Outstanding people thrive on the freedom they gain from being able to continue to make their mistakes and the choices necessary to learn and to grow from them. They know that it is one thing to be in the climb to the top, and a whole other thing to be at the top. Outstanding people make the choice to look their fears in the face. Through this process, they gain the strength, knowledge and experience to be exactly who they are.


If we want to be outstanding, we need to look back at the horrors and hardships we’ve experienced and know that we stood steadfast. We must see our time on this earth as limited. We cannot and must not waste any time while we’re here. We must gather the resources we need to make the best choices we can to set ourselves apart to live our own blessed journey. We must wake up and choose to succeed.



5. Commitment

Commitment is the cornerstone of success. Outstanding people understand that commitment isn’t something they come by naturally, so they back all their desires with the discipline to achieve them. They commit to their own excellence by actively being a person they can love and respect. If we want to be outstanding, we cannot low-key commit, we must commit one hundred percent to what we’re pursuing. If we aren’t fully committed, we cannot fully live our dreams. Outstanding people never do anything halfway, and neither should we.




6. Failure

Outstanding people welcome and respect the concept and experience of failure. Nothing takes them further in their own learning, and nor does anything teach them or redirect their efforts more fully or quickly than failure. Genius will not; talent will not; but hard work and a willingness to learn are the qualities that take outstanding people wherever they want to go. If we want to be outstanding, we must learn not to stand in fear of our failures; rather, we must learn to build upon them. 


We must view our failures as stepping stones to our own success and greatness. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. We must never give up. We must learn to start from where we are, with the resources we have, and to do what we can from this place.



7. Support

Outstanding people embrace the idea that succeeding is never a one-man job. Outstanding people have a team of confidants and supports who travel with them along their journey through life. These supports are an integral part of them being as outstanding as they are. Outstanding people aren’t just outstanding, they have lost hope, they have lost direction, and they have been broken and put back together time and again. It has been their supports who have helped them navigate through their tougher times.


To be outstanding, we must gather our supports. We must listen to them, love them and appreciate them. We all need support and understanding to ward off the ugly predators of anxiety, fear, depression and frustration.



8. Optimism

Outstanding people embrace the undeniable value of being positive. Optimism gives them the faith they need to achieve all their aims. They know that absolutely nothing they set out to accomplish can be accomplished without hope and confidence. For this reason, outstanding people make sure to smile a lot, to focus on the bright side and to positively acknowledge those who support them. If we want to be outstanding, we must be positive. We must love what we do enough that we allow that love to spill over onto everyone around us.


Few things in this world are more powerful than giving another person a positive push. Optimism is the culture we want to create, so that the purpose we're pursuing has a greater chance at longevity. If someone puts us down or criticizes us, we need to keep believing in ourselves and turn that negative into something positive. We were born to win, but to be a winner, we must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.







This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editors

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