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What is success and how do you know you have achieved it?

I was having coffee this morning with friend and we were talking about success and how easy it is to fall into the trap of measuring our own success against the performance of others. This quote puts it well I think… “ the reason we feel insecurity is because we compare our ‘behind the scenes’ with everyone else’s highlights reel” Steve Furtick.

These ‘others’ can be people who are successful in a particular field, job or business that we are interested in or learning about. They may be people who have achieved something we want to achieve or we may feel we want to be more like them, but perhaps we don’t quite know why.

So how do we bring it back to what success means for us without comparing ourselves with others?

  1. We need to be clear where we are going – what our goals are broadly in life.  What is it that we want to have done, experienced, felt when we reach say 2017 or 2019? And being broad means including career, community, family, wellbeing and social goals in this vision.
  2. Then we need to work out why we want to reach these goals. It is so important to know our WHY and when we do, how we need to be and how we need think to reach our vision becomes clearer. When we know where we are going and why, it’s easy to work out how to get there.
  3. For a goal or vision that has a long time frame it is so important to celebrate small successes on the way, to stop to smell the roses if you like. Notice when things go well and acknowledge ourselves for them – no matter how small the action or the achievement. One big success is always made up of many small ones.
  4. Also it’s important to recognise that failure and setbacks happen. A big success is also made up of many failures!  We need to create a mindset that welcomes failures and uses them as a way to learn and to grow.
  5. And finally, sometimes we need to change our goals and /or our timeframes as we go along in response to what happens in life, and you know what? That’s ok.

Knowing where we are going, why and the steps we need to take, gives us our measure of our own success against our own criteria – no comparisons necessary.

“Don’t ever compare yourself to others, stay focused on your own journey and leave footprints behind.” ~ Unknown

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