Does success matter much to you? If so, how does it look or feel like? Will you know if and when you achieve it?
For me, success used to mean climbing up the academic ladder. Then that ladder wobbled and I decided I wanted to be a best-selling author (I know, I know, even owning that feels a bit edgy). Having said that, what does it even mean to be a best-selling author? I have no idea. Perhaps it’s something that can sustain me financially? How much is it then? (I can hear crickets in response….)
In my experience, success was an idea that ‘when I have/do/know x, y and z’, I’ll finally be happy and feel better about myself. But guess what, that idea is a sure way to fail, because success is an ever-moving target.
Because most of the time success is externally determined.
– Professors at University are successful (compared to lecturers).
– Best-selling authors made it (compared to aspiring authors).
– Those who are rich are at the top of their game (compared to those who are just starting up).
Not only society dictates the rules on what being successful means, but it involves comparison. And by God there’s always someone who has more, does more and knows more….
By this point, you may disown the whole concept of ‘success’. Who cares what others think. Fair enough. But if somewhere in the back of your mind you do want to be successful at what you do, then a lack of clarity about what it feels or looks like will hold you back. Because if you don’t know what it means to you, how would you even recognise it?
Why do you then hold back from getting clear on what ‘success’ means to you?
Is it about committing to something and fear that you may get disappointed if you don’t ‘make it’? Is it fear to name what you want? Or perhaps it’s sitting with the discomfort of not knowing the answer. Because ultimately the only person who can define ‘success’ for you is… you.
Success can be sustainable only when it’s determined from within.
P.S. Enjoyed this post? Join me here to learn how I help writers to be successful at what they do.
P.P.S. No post from me next week. My kid is off school, so we’ll be catching up on play time.