“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.” – Kahlil Gibran
How often do you say ‚I can’t’, it’s too difficult’ or ‚I’m not good enough’ ? Probably more often than you actually want? But with these thoughts we are basically limiting ourselves. This is a widespread phenomenon especially across young women. When it comes to success, many of us tend to think of the external. Often we believe other people’s ideas of what it means to be successful more than our own. We might keep checking things off our life lists in a desperate effort to get the “success” but still feel dissatisfied. The way society defines success is often unobtainable. Selling yourself short in this way is a great recipe for unhappiness. This is why it’s so important to define your goals by your own standards rather than someone else’s. Easier said than done, because how often do you want to please others?
SUCCESS, IDENTITY, AND SELF WORTH
We are raised with the belief that our identity and self worth are tied to material wealth and a checklist of things we need to have or be by a certain age. But your self worth is not equal to your accomplishments – and no one’s identity should be tied to a checklist. There are unfortunate inequalities in the world, so that no one is better or worse than anyone else. I believe that one of the first steps to fulfilment is taking this understanding and treating yourself and others with kindness and respect. When you start living more mindful you will be able to tune in with yourself and eventually find out what is really important for you.
YOUR PATH IS YOUR OWN
When it comes to defining success, we all tend to compare and measure everyone else’s progress compared to our own. But what are we even comparing? If you really visualize how much effort goes into that kind of comparison, you might be able to see how sick it really is. Everyone’s story is different – everyone’s story unique. Your path, and the obstacles and successes you will experience, are yours to face – embrace them and move in your own pace.
Other people’s lives only appear to be perfect when you compare your messy truth to their carefully-curated snapshots (Hello Social Media!!!). Ultimately you will feel happy and successful to your own measure.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.“– Steve Furtick
COMPARISON IS A LOSING GAME
We all struggle with comparison. This is particularly relevant if you’re not content with where you are in your journey right now. I often found myself feeling inadequate around others who seemed to be more outgoing, successful, and fearless me. Now I realize that we are all built differently, with our own gifts and unique perspectives. No one is better or worse than anyone else – we’re all just different. I also recognize that my little victories are always worth celebrating, even if they mean nothing to anyone else. (If you’re going through this right now, maybe that’s even a little mantra you can say to yourself from time to time.)
“No one is you and that is your power.” – Dave Grohl
The more you embrace who you are, the more it will make sense – and the more joy and liberation you will experience in life. Maybe for you, particularly if you’re battling mental or physical health issues at the moment, success is making it out of bed in the morning. Maybe it’s conquering your anxiety and taking one step in the direction of your dreams: sending that job application, opening a savings account, or whatever goal it is you’re trying to achieve.
Being aware of what others are doing can be useful at times; having a healthy curiosity keeps you inspired and on your toes, and can help build a sense of community. But there’s a fine line between healthy inspiration and hurtful comparison! So do what you can do, for you.
Remember that your value does not lie in the opinions of others. And remember that those you admire are also fighting their own battles – and some of them might even be wishing they could be more like you.
DEFINING SUCCESS ON YOUR OWN TERMS
Success is (largely) subjective. This isn’t an entirely new notion, but the millennial generation has widely embraced the concept of defining success on your own terms, especially relative to previous generations. We are increasingly prioritizing flexibility and freedom. On the other hand, particularly with the rise of Social Media, social pressure is sky high – and no one is entirely immune to the comparison trap. Remember that you can define success on your own terms. Life satisfaction as a measure of success is on the forefront of a lot of these discussions. Success does not have to look like what we’ve been told. There are many people who may be look successful, but lack happiness, joy, and love for them. So liberate yourself and define success on your own terms.
“My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.” – Anais Nin
There is real value in spending some time away from others, both physically and online, to do some soul searching and discover your interests. Build your own vision for your life, and follow your own path. You can never, ever please everyone. You are the only person you has to wake up with yourself every day. If you rate yourself as successful and feel satisfaction on the job and in your personal life, then you’ll attract more of the opportunities and relationships that are meaningful to you. This is a lifelong journey, and it’s not a short-term sprint.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. when I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. they told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
Have you defined success on your own terms? I’m curious what you think about comparison and success?!
dress – Gamiss* (full outfit coming tomorrow :))