Once, I read that Beyoncé used to run a mile on a treadmill whilst singing continuously. As someone who feels breathless when merely casting a glance in the general direction of gym apparatus, I find that impressive. But perhaps that doesn’t surprise you – she is the Queen B, after all.
Because some people just have it all, don’t they? Nothing, it seems, is beyond their reach. They see it, they want it, they get it – and they do with a winning smile and the kind of ease that renders us indignant, wondering where exactly it all went wrong for us normal-folk.
But here’s the catch: Beyoncé wasn’t born famous. She might be a superstar – an icon, even – but the truth is, she’s a mere mortal, with 24 hours in a day to play with, just like the rest of us.
What does this mean? It means that achieving excellence isn’t about having more luck than blood coursing through your veins. It means that perhaps the sought-after charmed life isn’t as mysterious as we think. In other words, being your best self isn’t a matter of good fortune, but a formula. Let’s see if we can break it down.
Be Ambitious. Beyoncé didn’t get to where she is today by accident. She’s grafted, setting ambitious goals and using a combination of hard work, strong willpower and sheer determination to make herself one of the world’s greatest performers. While I personally believe that my own singing powers are best kept within the four walls of my shower, Beyoncé’s unwavering dedication has helped me to realise that no matter who you are, there is always room for improvement. She’s taught me not to let doubts or fear of failure hold me back. There are always more things to learn, research and analyse. Pushing yourself to progress within your chosen discipline is the key to gaining authentic self-belief.
Stay motivated. “As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.” – Beyoncé: The Billboard Music Awards Q&A.
It’s one thing to climb to the peak of your ability and show the world that you are the best at what you do. It’s another to maintain the ability to deliver quality work with passion, consistency and vigour. Beyoncé has never allowed her accomplishments to make her complacent. She keeps pushing, continuing to explore her limits. In doing so, she continues to evolve. While this has certainly stood her in good stead from a financial perspective, it is unlikely that money is Beyoncé’s sole motivator. Knowing how to spot opportunities for development over the course of your career – then seizing them – will not only bring personal fulfilment, but also help you gain wisdom through the learning process.
A healthy work/life balance. Despite being a global superstar with a ferocious work ethic, Beyoncé still finds time for her family and friends. She may adopt her sassy persona on stage, but when she’s home she is a mother, daughter, sister and a wife. I believe that no matter what line of work you’re in, having a boundary between work life and home life is imperative. It keeps you grounded, it keeps you healthy, and it keeps you happy. If the demands of Beyoncé’s career allow her to maintain a healthy work/life balance, then yours should too!
Understand the value of a strong team. This is perhaps the most important feature of the superstar formula. Beyoncé has been able to achieve all that she has because she has a strong team behind her. She trusts the people around her – and they return that trust. If you believe that Beyoncé could have achieved all that she has without her strong support network, think again! Teamwork is an incredibly powerful tool that should be utilised at every opportunity.
Cultivate your alter-ego. Until fairly recently, Beyoncé’s used her on-stage persona, Sasha Fierce, to enable her to overcome her nerves and own the limelight. While this self-assured, sassy and feisty alter-ego gave Beyoncé the assurance she needed to have her ‘UH OH-ing’ her way into millions of hearts and minds, we no longer hear too much about Sasha. Beyoncé has evidently become more comfortable with who she is both on and off stage over a period of time – but having that persona in the earlier stages of her career clearly helped her to overcome her initial discomfort. Whether you’ve got a big presentation coming up or you’re expected to speak in that dreaded quarterly board meeting, creating and cultivating your own alter-ego might not be a bad idea to help you face your fears and give you the confidence boost you need.
Beyoncé is a global superstar and whether you love her or hate her, you can’t deny that her resolve, strength of character and work ethic are admirable. Fear not – I don’t intend to crack out a microphone in my local gym any time soon. I simply wanted to share a few admirable traits of Beyoncé which I’ve taken into account to help me achieve my personal goals. Can you make the formula work for you?
Credit: Thea Fraser [Edited by Clare Toner]