A few weeks back, I was thinking about why we all are obsessed with being successful and what it actually means and when do you know when you have reached ‘success’?
At the time, I was very stressed. I had a few major changes in my life and it felt like I was going backwards. On top of that, I feel like due to my personal goals, I have made some decisions in my life most people (because of society) wouldn’t make. I was going through it, but it felt that people around me expected me to react a lot worse which as much as everyone was trying to be supportive, made me think, am I not seeing this as big of a failure as I should?
After letting all of this get to me, I really needed some time to figure out why I was letting it affect me now when I felt totally fine before.
I realised, for a lot of my life, I put a lot of focus and energy into ‘becoming successful’ but I realised this looks different for everyone. For some, a setback in their career would send them into a spiral and make them doubt if they will ever become their idea of successful, but to another, it is an opportunity to take another path.
If you asked a room full of people to put their hand up if they wanted to be successful in life, I’m guessing the whole room would put their hands up, but it’s important to remember every single person in that room will look at success differently. To one success would be running a business making millions, to another it would be being able to raise kids to be incredible adults and to someone else, to reach the top of the corporate ladder.
I think I always knew my idea of success was a little different to other people who choose to follow quite similar paths (and there is nothing wrong with that), but this is why when things don’t go to plan in areas I don’t see as my idea of success, I don’t let it bother me. I let it get to me in the end as other people felt it was more of a setback but that it was not something I should absorb as my own idea at all.
After reflecting on my life recently and this year so far, Not only do you not need to be someone’s ideas of success but I also believe you don’t even have to be your own idea of successful. As someone who intertwines a lot of my identity with ‘becoming successful’, if my idea of success is a unique path, then why rush? Why the pressure? Why make this my life goal?
When you are doing this for yourself, you don’t need a timeframe. A timeframe for success is wrapped up with ego and the need to look successful to others. Removing this deep desire to be successful in other people’s eyes and even the pressure I place on myself to succeed, gives me space to find what truly is fulfilling in life.