Forget Everything You’ve Been Told About Success, And Do This Instead

We all want success in our lives and careers. We also look for it in books and blogs and you maybe, like so many others, have watched TED talks. You watch them, thinking you might get the key to success in the field you are interested in. There is nothing wrong with that, really. But let’s be real — there’s no one book, blog, or even TED talk that has the secret recipe to be successful. Yes, those might be some great resources, but they’re not going to give you all the answers to success.

Forget everything they’ve told you about success, and do this instead.

You should create your own version of success. Use your past experiences from your personal or professional life to help you. Reflect on where you’ve been and how far you’ve come so far. Consider what’s most important in your life to you. Don’t assume that achievements to you have to be the same as to everyone else. Sometimes, a seemingly small win can have a huge impact on your life.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask for help on your way to success. There is no one road to success and it’s not all smooth sailing. Ask people you know that are in the field you’re interested in. Teamwork makes the dream work, after all.

There’s no shame in getting support or direction from others along your journey.

Moreover, don’t get intimidated by the uber-successful folks you see on TV. This can be discouraging, and really it has a lot to do with our perception of perfection. We picture celebs like Oprah or Lizzo and see all that they have and think it is easy. When in reality, yes, they have this now, but they had to work extremely hard for years and years. They had to get rejected and go through hardships just like the rest of us. I am sure they had to carve their own version of what success looks like for them and it just so happened to work out for them on a large scale.

Success is not a zero-sum game — just because someone else is crushing it doesn’t mean you can’t too.

If anything, allow their stories to inspire you. Hey, they did it, so you can too! Still, we might need to be a little more realistic. Don’t look for the quick fix that will have all the answers and get you where you want to be in one day. It’s a process – it has setbacks, and every high achiever has experienced them. Don’t feel discouraged if it feels messy — that is perfectly fine.

Finally, don’t measure achievement in dollar signs.

How we look at success and what it means to us determines how much we achieve in our desired field. Let me give you an example: I’m a writer, and I love writing and the doors it has opened for me. Early in my career, I was writing for a couple of publications, unpaid. I wrote because I loved it, not because I wanted to get paid. If the right publication comes along and fits my writing style and just so happens to pay, then great. To me, achieving goals in my field wasn’t about a paycheck. Don’t let money or status distract you as you develop yourself.

We often feel a lot of pressure to reach certain milestones at specific stages in life, but that can make us feel like we’re failing. The truth is, there’s no one definition of success in life — there are as many definitions as there are people on Earth. Ultimately, it’s about actually being happy, fulfilled and carving out your own version of what it means to be successful

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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