many accomplishments contained inside.
I may be a misfit & oddly comfortable in my swiftly-wrinkling skin, yet even I hesitated before hitting PUBLISH on a post bearing today’s title.
Success is such an odd word.
One woman’s definition (money, fancy home, fast cars, unlimited high quality jerky) may look entirely unlike another (time to pursue passions, enough money to cover basic bills, a loving partner).
I’d imagine there are as many definitions for the word success as there are people using it.
On top of that, if you’re anything like I am, your definition is fluid, too.
My current definition reads like this: The achievement of something planned and worked toward.
The key, for me, is in the effort.
last place? success!
A success which “fell in my lap” would feel hollow as it’s the committing to and working toward which makes success feel gratifying for me.
No matter the achievement.
Last week, apropos of nothing, I received a flurry of emails from peers who are feeling frustrated with the State of Blogging.
The messages varied, but the overarching question (and use of the S-word) was consistent:
I’ve blogged for years and it seems to be getting harder. How can I become a successful, full-time blogger?
To their collective chagrin I tossed the question right back to them.
- I challenged each one to clearly define how success would look/feel like for them.
- I suggested they list (for themselves) all the times they can remember when they’ve achieved their definition of success.
Believing you are successful and will continue to be successful is crucial.
I wasn’t interested in debating whether blogging is “over” or not–I wanted to focus on how they could attract more of the specific kind of success they wanted into their lives.
walked instead of running a half? SUCCESS.
All of my emailers responded they couldn’t quite define what success looked like for them—they just knew they weren’t there.
And they were no longer sure they could “make it.”
This uncertainty resonated with me.
My solution was to create a success box.
It was an idea born when I dated the now-Husband.
Each time he’d compliment me (“I loved your Experience Life Magazine article.”) I’d joke I was “putting the words in my pocket.”
I’d tell him, in jest, I was saving his niceties to reread when I felt like crap (technical term) about my freelance career.
Life grew more hectic.
We married. We moved. I opened my training studio.
mid-90’s pics– we love ye.
I quickly saw it wasn’t enough to metaphorically hold on to compliments.
I desired tangible reminders of past success for moments when I felt utterly unsuccessful.
I began saving everything on my smart-phone.
- Kind words emailed from a client? Save.
- Praise from editors about articles I submitted? SAVE.
- Voice mails from friends & family telling me I rocked? Save Save Save.
The best predictor of future success is past success.
If I felt uncertain about an assignment or challenge all I needed to do to ‘predict my success’ was return to my electronically-stored items.
Life grew more hectic.
We moved again. Our two became THREE (5 when you counted canines).
Smart-phone saving no longer met my needs. I craved something tangible.
I longed for successes I could *touch* as I worked to reminded myself:
I’ve succeeded before. I *can* do it again.
I printed & printed & cut & trimmed.
Happy when there are grey skies? Success!
I took all my now-tangible compliments and created the success box at the top of the post.
And I visited/went through it pretty damn regularly.
I still do.
Sometimes I add printed-niceties to its contents, but mostly I visit to remind myself—on days when nothing feels “successful”—I’ve succeeded before and I will again.
The secret of my success can be found in my past.
It all comes from reflecting, remembering & reminding myself I’ve succeeded before and I’ve got this.
- How do you define success?
- How do you encourage yourself when doubt rears its ugly head?