How to Define Your Version of Success

How we define success can either positively or negatively impact our happiness, depending on the source of influence. So often in life, we get distracted by other people’s/society’s version of success. Feelings of inadequacy and failure are common when success is influenced by subconscious programming from external sources. These subconscious ideas of success from media, our friends or our own family are seeded so deep we swear it was our own idea. If you’ve ever felt a small level of growing dissatisfaction in your life, consider this:

The success you’re chasing might not actually be your own.

The key to reprogramming your definition of success is to shift the source of influence from external to internal. There are two steps to define your OWN version of success that will lead to more fulfillment in your life. Ask yourself the questions below:

Removing what is not your version of success

1. What is motivating me to reach success currently? – Take a hard look at what is driving you. Is it influenced by external pressures to keep up with the Joneses, or seeking approval from family/friends? Is it ego? Is it money?
2. Is my current definition of success the same as people around me? – Success is a very personal goal, and if it’s pretty much the same as those around you, perhaps you’re getting swept up in their version of success and not yours.
3. If nobody was watching/validating my success, would I still be doing what I’m doing now? – A lot of what we do is a direct reaction to how we want others to perceive us. Do you strive for success for yourself or to gain recognition/money/power? If the answer to this question is “no, I would not still be doing what I’m doing now”, go back to question #1 above.

By becoming more aware of external influences that shape your current success trajectory, you can start to remove those that don’t serve your life goals. Shed the noise that’s distracting you from achieving your success.

Identify what success actually means to you

1. Who do I aspire to be like? – Think about the people you admire, what qualities do they have? Are people you aspire to be like successful in particular ways that may not necessarily match with what you see in the media as “successful”?
2. What values and principles matter to me? – Is it quality time with family? Finding a work/life balance? Working in an authentic way that brings you joy? Making an impact on society?
3. If you could start over, what does true happiness look like in your life?  – After clearing what isn’t your version of success, visualize what happiness looks and feels like to you. How do you feel when you think about achieving happiness? What are the things you’re doing? Who is in your life? How are you impacting others? Find the link between your passions, your core values, and how you impact the people you care about in your life = success.

Defining your own version of success gives you a new north star to guide you on your path. You’re no longer distracted or caught up by what other people are doing. Success is not a comparison game, and it’s something that is achieved internally.

If you spend your whole life trying to chase other people’s version of success, you’ll only end up dissatisfied or inadequate.I’ve felt this exact way,after all the promotions, the money, the title, and everything on paper…it was a lonely and hollow “success”. I hope that by sharing the lessons I’ve learned about chasing external versions of success will help you to redefine your own version to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Sending love and light,
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How to define success_from desk to deck

5 thoughts on “How to Define Your Version of Success

  1. I loved this. I will certainly use those questions on myself and when talking to colleagues, thank you

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the blog post, Matt! Appreciate your feedback. Constant questioning of our version of success is necessary as it can certainly evolve over time.

      Like

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