What actually is success?

What do you deem as success? It can be a pretty loaded word! And when do you stop and evaluate what true success actually looks like for you in your life? Not someone else's view of success, your own success which completely resonates with you?


We live in a culture where quite often, the job you hold, the house you own, the area you live in, the size of your assets, and how much you achieve in a day are indicators of your success in life. And money is often one of the key symbols that is viewed as you moving up the ranking of success.

But is this actually what success is? 

Is this what you want success to look like in your life?

Only a short five years ago, I believed that I was successful. At that time, others would tell me how well I had done and how amazed they were with what I packed into my life, and say comments like "I simply don't know how you do it”. I thought that was a great indicator of my having created a successful life... especially if others had validated it.

My achievements were:

  • Being a full-time single mum.
  • Earning double the average salary.
  • A corporate career with three promotions in the first five years of motherhood.
  • Taking on my mortgage alone in a beautiful and affluent area.
  • Saving money monthly.
  • 95% of my time outside of work being spent with my darling daughter, making up for the four days I worked when I wasn't with her.
  • Keeping super fit whilst my daughter slept.
  • Always keeping in touch and making time for my close friends.
  • Keeping my house looking like a palace.

The truth was that I was keeping all of the plates spinning, I was striving daily, and people said I was successful. The reality was that I found my job frustrating at times because some elements were not in line with my values and I was overworked. My natural talent with people had to be sometimes suppressed and confined.

I felt successful because of what society deemed as successful and because my life looked pretty, shiny and accomplished. Deep down, I was continually stressed. Even when I believed I wasn't stressed, it was because it was a lower degree of stress. I was so accustomed to stress being prevalent in my life that I believed it was normal and how life was in order to be successful, especially as a single mum.

I was scared to look at what I truly believed was successful for me. Elements trickled in with my parenting role being central, yet I lived a lot of my life and created success to please others and society.

Thank goodness I woke up and didn't end up living my whole life deeply embedded in this belief of what success looked like and what you must sacrifice to get it. Through my constant self-development journey, my deep passion for helping others and my qualification in transformational coaching, plus a lot of self-reflection and revaluation, what success looks like success is now defined by me.

My life is far more successful on a deeper, enriched level. Successful facets of my life and my life as a whole I now define, and the biggest win is the happiness and fulfilment attached to it. 


  • Success is different for every single one of us. 
  • Curiously question; is success attached to happiness? 
  • Is your life successful without happiness and fulfilment?
  • What fills you up deep in your soul? Is that attached to success?

Success: The accomplishment of an aim or purpose

There is no definition of the actual aim or purpose - you get to decide what your aim or purpose is. How amazing is that?

Why would you live by someone else's rules on success? Are you more worried about what others think or what rings true and feels honestly successful to you?

Let's say you decide to start running. What makes you a successful runner? Is it running a marathon? Is it being able to complete a 5k run twice a week? Is it being able to pop on your trainers and run when you fancy and when you fully get enjoyment from it? If you disconnect from conformity and take ownership of what is success for you in any facet of your life, you are stepping into your own dream and reality of success.

How do you find out what success looks like for you?

Time to dive deep and peel back and investigate what your beliefs are and if you want to keep them in your life. 

What are your core values? List your top 10 and then whittle it down to five. Is your life aligned with your core values? Is what you deem a success an inheritance, or is it your truth around success? What would a truly successful fulfilled life look like? Visualise your life in 10 years' time, what would make it successful?

Success in any area of your life or your entire life is deemed by you. What a beautiful learning that is! You can release the shackles of conformity and old belief if you are willing to put in the work and reframe your own success journey.

Is it time to reevaluate and set your own success levels? Only you can decide, and if it is, good luck on the wonderful journey, whether you go it alone or with a coach who wholeheartedly gets you!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14
Written by Natalie Todd, Confidence, Life & Leadership Coach
Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14

Natalie Todd is a warm and passionate Transformational Life Coach who adores using her experience and skills to help others move forward positively in life. Natalie's work around questioning elements of an individual's life and working collaboratively into a place of optimistic change is instrumental in the success she has with her clients.

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