Special characteristics that set achievers apart


How can I be an achiever? What is it that achievers do differently? Why do some people gain more success than others? Are you looking for answers to these questions? For answers, study the characteristics of achievers and compare it with your attitude towards your life and career.

In my interactions with people, over the course of my life, I found that most people fall under two distinguished categories. I met some remarkable people, with extraordinary traits and some others, who were, ordinary, everyday people. It was the extraordinary among the lot who left a lasting impression on me. All of them had a certain presence, an air of confidence and an aura, which was hard to miss.

All of them were (and still are) exceptional individuals with inimitable qualities and characteristics that made them stand out. When I look back, I realise, that they shared these special characteristics or traits that made them achievers. Some were naturally gifted, and their 'extraordinariness' came naturally to them, while some others had to work/struggle to become great people.



So, what are these qualities that I noticed in these achievers?

  • Commanding – They have a strong, forceful personality and wield power without intimidation. They are influential, with leadership qualities. They recognise their self-worth and command respect, without asking. They are fearless and abound with confidence. In contrast, I find that ordinary people are reticent and generally apprehensive and unsure of themselves. They are neither forceful nor display confidence. They lack the energy to do things and do not believe in their abilities. They easily hand over the reins to someone who they think is superior to them
  • Accomplishers – People who have left an impression on me have all been live wires. They possess the ability to conceive and implement things. They use their talent, to forge ahead. They take risks because they have faith in their abilities. Phrases such as 'not possible' 'I cannot do it', are alien to them. They give every thing they embark on their hundred per cent and finish what they set out to do. Ordinary people, on the other hand, admit defeat, even before trying or are easy to give up
  • Proactive – I see them as a positive influence in my life, for they are always overflowing with positivity. They are also upbeat, taking the initiative to do things. They celebrate their successes but also own up to failure. To them failure is not a reason to feel down and out, instead, they take failure as a motivation and strive to do better in future. They learn from their mistakes. Ordinary people play the victim card, they look for reasons to blame their failures on
  • Trailblazers – They make their own rules, question things that they see as impediments. They etch their own paths and work their way up the ladder of life, be it for the professional or the personal front. They don't walk the path well-trodden. Ordinary folks avoid risks, they walk on paths made by others
  • Zealous – And lastly, all these people have been passionate about everything they did. Their enthusiasm is contagious; it gets rubbed off on people around them. They love their jobs and have enjoyable careers. Their passion extends to everything they do. Ordinary people think of their job as a grind

My analysis is based on years of being around people, studying them, making mental notes on characteristics. You'll be intrigued to know that psychology describes achievers, almost the same way, as I perceive them.

Which category do you think you fit into? Do you display characteristics that make you an achiever?

Are you brimming with self-confidence?


Achievers have strong personalities and this stems from an intrinsic self-belief. They are not shy of using this power, as an influence. They rely on the strength of their abilities and bank on its positive effect.

Non-achievers, on the other hand, do not exhibit the same levels of confidence. They are easy to give-up and allow others, with the right attitude, to move in and shine.

Do you strategize and use the right manoeuvres?


According to studies achievers have smart work plans. They have definite goals and plans in order to succeed on the job and in life. They are proficient at planning and using approaches that can boost their performance and chances of success. They do not believe in sticking to the 'tried-and-tested' modules if they see no results. They are quick to adopt and adapt new practices to meet their goals.

Non-achievers avoid risks and continue down the beaten path, despite it not leading them anywhere. They do not design their life; they take things as they come.

"I can do it" – does that describe your attitude?


Are "let's get it done", "Yes, I can do it", and similar phrases part of your vocabulary? Do they give you an adrenalin rush? Achievers are daredevils of sorts, who do not stop at anything. They are not easily defeated, nor are they easily convinced that something cannot be accomplished. These people typically think of things and implement them. They do not let whatever is happening in the background deter them, for they are go-getters with an aim to accomplish what needs to be done.

Non-achievers will find ways to wriggle out of tight situations. They aim for mere survival. They feel alienated and do not attempt to overcome situations. They blame their lacklustre performance on circumstances.

Peppy and spirited – is that you?


Successful people emit positive vibes. They are active and enthusiastic participants. They have a natural passion for doing things. They do not hesitate to take charge and aim to give a direction to their lives. They do not let their successes go to their head and take failures in their stride. To them failures are not setbacks, they are lessons, from which they learn.

Non-achievers cannot stop taking pride in their achievements and will bask in past laurels. When it comes to failure, they always have something or someone to blame. They do not analyse and correct their mistakes neither do they strive to excel.

Do you make music and dance along


Another extraordinary characteristic of achievers is that they are trendsetters. They bring their own music, band and all. They are most likely to look at customs and practices with derision. They believe in out-of-the-box thinking and come up with novel ideas and solutions to every stumbling block. They do not play it safe but take those calculated risks.

Non-achievers lack ideas and believe in following trends. They choose security and safety over fulfilment, in their personal and professional lives. They will not go that extra mile or try something out of the ordinary to reach a goal.

Do you go by the rulebook?


I don't mean ethical rules, but procedures. Do you circumvent laid down traditions to get things done? Achievers do not hesitate to try new concepts. They do not necessarily follow the same path as their predecessors. They are highly driven and their sole interest is in making things work for them. This might mean making compromises, but then, they are generally careful to not cross lines that could land them in trouble.

Non-achievers will not take chances. They are content with what they can do, within their means. They follow procedures to the letter, even if it gets them nowhere.

Do you dream big?


"They dreamed of being successful", is something that is often said of achievers. There is also this theory that when you begin dreaming, things begin to happen. Achievers dream of their success, before they taste it. It is what eggs them on. They want so badly to live their dreams that they remain focused and always conscious of their goals. They consider dreams to be a vital part of their achievement. It is these visions, of a future, which are a source of encouragement to them. They know where they want to be and what they want to achieve.

Non-achievers believe in one day at a time. At the end of the day, they are content with the way everything turns out. They do not imagine themselves anywhere else other than where they are. With no dreams, they have no goals to fulfil.

Is your work your passion?


There is a vast difference in working for the money and in working because you love what you do. Achievers love what they do. There are passionate about their work. Money is welcome, but it is secondary. When passion meets work, the combination can be gratifying, in every which way. Those who turn into professional success stories are always in love with what they do. They do not let work become a routine; they ensure that the passion is kept alive. It makes them perform better.

Non-achievers are content that the job pays their bills. They look at their jobs as drudgery that needs to be done, in order to survive. There is no motivational force for them to go to work each day other than the pay-cheque at the month's end.

Do you look for job security or something else?


Achievers choose career growth over job security. They do not hesitate in switching jobs and take those that offer better prospects and more freedom at the workplace. It is an extension to following their passion. They will give up a job that offers no growth, no matter how well-paying or stress-free it is. They go in search of fulfilment and always choose it over job-security.

Non-achievers are thankful that they have a job that pays. They revel in the security it offers and will stick with it until it's time to retire. They hate exploring other options; to them, the security the job offers is worth everything.



Final word


Ultimately, you can be what you choose to be. Everyone leads their life based on their beliefs. It is just that achievers do not hesitate to take strategic and calculated risks – for them, their dreams and goals are of utmost importance. They believe in being in control of their lives and do not let fate lead them. They follow their passion, instead of going through the motions. They do not whine and complain at what life serves them, they take on challenges and hit targets.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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