Succeed: By Your Definition [Part 1]

Consider: Are you successful? 


Success means something different for everyone. Have you clarified with yourself what success means to you? Defining success is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. 


Dr. Brene Brown says, “There is a default definition [of success] that is: money, materialism, accomplishment, and achievement. So if you don’t come up with your own subversive definition, there is a default.”


Let’s do a short exercise. Set a timer for 2 minutes to get quiet and real with yourself – in a place with absolutely no distractions. Ask yourself what success, at its core, really is to you. 


Challenge what your definition of success is. Make sure it is not what someone told you it was. Sometimes it’s easy to adopt other people’s definitions of success. Peel away the subliminal messages you received throughout life about what success is, about what you “should” be achieving by a specific age or part of your career. 


After that, jot down a few words that come to mind. These don’t have to be quantifiable goals (while those are important). Explore what overarching images and feelings come to mind when you consider success for you. This can ensure you are aiming for what you truly want for your life. Success is not about how many people like your work. Do you like your work? 


Take a break from reading, go start a 2-minute timer, and see what comes up!


Success is as diverse as people are. 


Were you surprised at what came up for you? It may be beneficial for you to take an offsite (time away from your regular spaces), more than just 2 minutes, to deeply consider your definition of success. Success is as diverse as people are. There’s no one singular definition. 


These questions can help be a guide to find your definition of success for your life:


  1. What do I want to accomplish in order to feel a sense of purpose?
  2. What 5 things do I value most in my work? (Stability, Vision, Recognition, etc)
  3. How does my definition of success matter more than default versions of success?


When you clarify what success means to you, decision making becomes easier. You know what to leave out, and what is essential.


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