What is success? What defines you as a successful person or as a less-than-successful person?
A popular topic in my office is figuring out the struggle of "reaching success", whatever that may mean. It may be feeling better about ones sense of self, defining a career path, being a more loving mom to your child/ren, or finding and nurturing relationships. Others may be working toward a professional or personal internal goal that would make them feel better about themselves.
I've been asked, more than a handful of times, how I define success. Anyone who has met me knows that I'm all about movement and progress but not at the price of your sanity. I lean into the definition in a gentle yet curious fashion. Your success is a completely different reality and has such different flavor than the person right in front, behind or beside you on the train of life.
I do believe that all adults can build a beautiful life of successful dreams, playing them out into reality by setting small attainable goals over time. You may say, "That sounds glorious Esther, but for people like me, who struggle so much, is that even possible? I'm such a mess!". To you I say a resounding "Yes, YES it is! You don't need to have already been "successful" or have all your ducks lined up to taste success in your life. Let's help you become someone who CAN start feeling successful, one small step at a time.
Now, Let's get curious about what success means.
Success does not mean the poster image of what success might mean to society for you at your age. I do not expect you to be in that perfect relationships, be that perfect child, create that perfect home or have the perfect job. I also do not expect of you to have a perfectly defined sense of self. No, no no I am not the perfectionistic monster of critical town and I'd hope you aren't that to yourself either.
I'd like to invite you understand success differently.
Success means creating a change from what was there before. A small change or a big change. Shift = moving upward.
In order to be successful you will first need to:
DEFINE who you are.
Take a a few adjectives that come up when you think of the simplest way to describe yourself, your personality, who you are. (don't sweat it too much, no overthinking!)
What are your most important goals and values?
The reason I ask that is because we all have very very different ideas about what life should or shouldnt be and I want you to get crystal clear on what you define as important.
If you want to have a certain job or would like to improve a specific trait, that may be your goalYou may want to be calmer, happier, learn to run a marathon, lose 10lbs or start dating again. You may want to be more present and loving with your family, partner or kids or you may want to get clear about one thing you do each day to make a small difference (giving charity, helping out at a local organization, smiling at your partner when they walk in the door, compliment your kids more often...).
Now I'd like to share FIVE HONEST TRUTHS ABOUT SUCCESS:
- It takes HARD WORK!
- Mistakes are part of the learning process.
- You WILL NEED help.
- Persistence and consistence will need to be your buddies by your side, the whole time!
- Motivation is key. Replenish your motivation on a daily or even hourly basis.
One of the hardest things about goals is that its hard to know if you're doing it "right" or "wrong" and that nagging doubt can keep you in a dizzying spin, stealing any energy from where you need to be headed. Here are some points I've researched that successful people have shared about what has helped them reach their exciting and life changing goals!
15 things successful people do right.
- They create and pursue wise goals
- The focus on being productive, and don't just fill their time with being "busy"
- They avoid complications and keep goals simple and reachable
- The take pauses to stop and track progress, to assess if they're going the right way.
- They learn from mistakes and don't allow it to get them down
- They focus on the positive and maintain an upbeat outlook
- The get clear on what they want, make decisions and take aligned actionable steps
- They are smart about WHO they choose to spend time with
- The focus on the small moments and keep going
- The avoid perfectionistic outlooks and appreciate the imperfect, yet solid growth
- Balance and Self care are of highest importance, keeping them energized and focused
- The challenge their level of comfort with every phase, just a little bit, stretching their skills
- The separate SELF from the GOAL. They know they are valuable regardless of the project
- They know things ebb and flow and ride waves with ease
- They hold onto the knowledge that success takes time to build, it's not overnight endeavor
Put in your fair share of effort, taste the sweetness of some movement and then keep going.
Cheers to onward and upward, one tiny step at a time!