How do you know when you are successful? A success? A true success? A good success? A success in life?
I was recently at a Boss Breakfast Meeting which was comprised of several of us that had been in business for quite some time, and several who were just starting out or reinventing themselves. My advice to them was to DEFINE SUCCESS for them – now, at the beginning of the process. Otherwise, how do you know when you hit it? Nobody gives you an “A” when you are a success. And to be REAL, it does not matter if SOMEONE ELSE thinks you are a success, it really only matters if YOU think you are a success, (and maybe your family/hubby/children).
This SUCCESS notion is something I have been challenged with for my whole life. At least in school I got the “A’s”, so that gave me some reward. However, when I got to be a Grown Up, WOW! I pay my bills on time = success. I am still in practice 25 years later = success, I own some stuff = Success…. right? But deep down, because I have never had a huge practice helping 100s of people every day, collecting oodles of money, like some of my male counterparts, I have never felt like a success. I wear so many hats, and I never feel like I have all of them under control (Control Freak?! Maaaaayyybe): wife, mom, boss, doctor, accountant, marketer, trainer, work out bee, investor, bill payer, project manager, class room parent, grocery shopper, head laundry folder… for sure, at any given time, one of the roles will make me feel Off Kilter -like I am careening towards God knows What! A state of being/feeling that is So NOT HELPFUL! And SO HIDING MY LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL!!
My coach routinely prods me to step back and acknowledge the different hats and give myself credit for how well I do. And my staff regularly sings my praises and builds me up as well, as do some of my closer friends. But I think it is high time I DRANK THE KOOL AID and said I AM SUCCESSFUL. Statement. Because like I said earlier, it really doesn’t matter if OTHER people think we are successful, only the inside story matters.
And what is to stop me from stating: I AM SUCCESSFUL? Well, um, me. (Is it possible to type the “me”, smaller 🙂 How can I say “I AM SOMETHING” when I don’t know what that something is??
So, I think now, at 50 years old, maybe I should come up with a working definition of My Success. To those of you out there who KNOW you are Successful – I would appreciate hearing how you KNOW that. How did you arrive at that conclusion and how do you continue to BE successful in your own mind? For those of you out there who may be feeling Less Than Successful, I would like to hear how you plan on reframing yourself to embrace where you are successful and where you can parlay that success into more success in other areas of your life.
Until we meet again: Be Well Adjusted!