Being your own measure of success

The term ‘success’ is a loaded one. Whether it’s tied to our careers or our personal lives, the idea of being successful comes with a lot of pressure. There is an underlying assumption that success needs to look a certain way.

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This could involve having a certain amount of money, a certain lifestyle, a certain job position or even a certain relationship status. Combine this with our tendency to compete and compare, and it’s no surprise a lot of us feel like we’re ‘failing’ in certain areas of our life.

We want to unpick this myth and show you how you can be your own measure of success. Let’s start with a quick look at the dictionary definition of success:

The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’

Sounds pretty simple right? Nothing in there about money, wealth, career or relationships. Simply an accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Now we’ve got that ironed out, let’s look at a few ways you can create your own measure of success.

Define what success means to you

Now you know the dictionary definition, it’s time to make your own definition. Sit down with a pen and paper and journal your thoughts on the idea of success. Consider your core values and what your purpose is. If you find this a struggle, you may benefit from working with a coach who can offer support on this.

Once you’ve written down your purpose and core values, write up what it means for you to be successful in this. Does it mean having flexible working? More time with your family? Enough money to be comfortable? Helping others? Making a difference? Write all of it down and then try to capture it in one sentence.

Cut out the comparison

These days, it is incredibly easy to compare ourselves to others. With people sharing so much on social media, it’s only natural to hold up your life alongside theirs. But, this doesn’t do anyone any good.

We’re all on our own journeys, they’ll all look different and go in different directions. We’re all moving at different paces too.

Instead of competing and comparing, try to encourage a sense of community.

Next time you see someone you admire and feel that pang of comparison, try supporting or even befriending them instead.

Celebrate every win

Sometimes we get so preoccupied with the end goal, it’s easy to miss the small wins along the way. Once you have your definition of success nailed down, celebrate every step that gets you there.

Make a big deal about it, show it off, treat yourself if possible. This will help to increase confidence and keep your self-doubt quiet.

Learn from your losses

Success is never a picture of perfection. There are countless tales from successful public figures about their failures and losses. These feel awful when they happen but, the truth is, they’re opportunities to learn.

Try to get curious when something doesn’t go to plan. Is there a different approach you could take next time? Was timing an issue? What have you learnt from this?  

Pull back for perspective

Regardless of what you decide success means to you, it’s important not to become consumed by it. If you’re struggling with feelings of frustration or failure, take some time to pull back and gain a little perspective.

Spend time with people you love, do something just for the fun of doing it, have a self-care day. Get out of your own head for a little while, maybe take a social media break and come back to your goals feeling refreshed and invigorated.

If you’re finding all of this difficult and think you would benefit from a little guidance, a life coach could be the perfect support for you. They can help you define what success means to you break down your goal to create an action plan that feels doable and exciting.  

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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Senior Writer for Life Coach Directory and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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