As we sat down to write this article, we initially chatted about sharing a variety of ideas that are likely very familiar to you already. You know, things like: defining success is different for each person; that some define it as a balance between life and work (a.k.a. spending more time with family and friends); and that yet others define it around some professional achievement, or some juxtaposition of money, fame, power, influence, material goods, etc.
Then we got clear that the message we really want to get across is that real success begins with knowing who you are, what your strengths are and what you really want out of life; in short, what makes you happy. Most of us have pursued success, at lease at some point in our life, based on a pre-determined definition of success. We never stop to ask – and answer – the question, “What does success mean to me?” The last two words in that sentence are critical.
You see, over the years, we’ve noticed that there are few things that tend to stump people when it comes to answering this question. As you define what success means to you, keep these in mind. You can absolutely break through the barriers that can keep you from reaching your full potential.
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Defining Success
I. Know What Motivates You: Many of us go through life without ever knowing what really motivates us. This is an integral part of defining success because it strikes at the heart of aligning our passion and our purpose.
Take a moment to complete the following seven motivators. Some would say they are the “real” reasons why we do what we do. They include: (i) social motivation; (ii) recognition motivation; (iii) money motivation; (iv) influence motivation; (v) achievement motivation; (vi) power motivation; and (vii) purpose motivation.
If you don’t know which of these principles motivate you, it’s like driving without a map. Yes, you’ll get there...but will it be where you want to go?
II. You CAN Have It All: Many of us buy into the limiting notion that we can’t have it all. In truth, you absolutely can – if you first clarify the "ALL" as what you really want.
In our experience as coaches, one of the reasons people think they can’t have it all is because they are pursuing goals that are not in alignment with their authentic self.
III. What Scares You? Author Judy Blume said, “Each of us must confront our own fears, come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.”
You see, the reason most of us have such a hard time defining “successful” on our own terms is that we’re afraid.
“Afraid of what?” you may be thinking. What we hear most often include: what others may think; how it will impact our families; that we’ll lose “x;” that we won’t gain “y” and so on. Instead of confronting our fears, we keep living up to someone else's definition of success. How many people do you know who stay in a job they hate – that pays a lot of money – because everyone would think they're “crazy” to leave it?
Success Defined: Conclusion
The bottom line...success is as individual as each human being. Once you grasp this fact and do the work of finding out what it really means to and for you, then you’ll have taken the most important step to achieving it.
Celebrating Your Unique Genius,
Lori and Shari
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE.