“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” ~ Anne Sweeney
We’re surrounded by societal stereotypes that tell us how success should look. We’re often exposed to “one-size-fits-all” ideas of what it means to be successful in every area of our lives. Success can’t possibly look the same for everyone because we all have different backgrounds, skills, experiences, talents, circumstances, levels of exposure, intrinsic drives, goals, etcetera. Because of this, everyone should have different ideas of what success means to them.
A stereotypical idea of success can lead to living a “cookie-cutter” life because it leads to the pressure to conform. Conformity leaves little room to cultivate your own version of success so it deprives you of a life well-lived.
Your own definition
Creating your own definition of success is not always easy. If your definition is unconventional, then you’re likely to experience push-back from others who find it foreign. You may get responses that you’re not used to and you may find yourself questioning whether your version of success is valid. You can decide if you want to hold onto your idea of success or abandon it.
If you’re questioning your current ideas around success, then you’ll likely want to move to the next step which is defining what success means to you. Take this step by using these questions for each area of your life.
What does it mean to be successful in this area of my life?
- Who am I supposed to be?
- What am I supposed to be doing?
Why do I have this idea of success for this area of my life?
- Where did I get this idea?
- Is it my own idea or is it someone else’s?
- How long have I held onto this idea?
- How do I feel about this idea?
- Do I want to continue to hold onto this idea?
How do I re-define success for myself in this area of my life?
- Who do I want to be?
- What do I want to do?
What are the next steps that I can take to move towards my version of success?
To define what success means for you is to decide to live boldly. Conformity may mean comfort but it’s also a missed opportunity to build a life that you’re proud to live.
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