What do you think of when you picture yourself being successful?
Some people envision material things such as a big house, nice car, nice clothes. Others envision a spouse and children. Then there’s some that envision being famous, or a person of status and power.
There’s so many different definitions of what people think is success but what really matters is what YOUR vision of success is. I think one of the worst things you could do is to allow someone else’s vision of success dictate your own. That you’re not successful if you don’t have a spouse by a certain age, or if you’re not the manager at the company, or if you don’t have a certain amount of money in your bank account.
Facebook can be the worst enabler in you engrossing yourself in other people’s definition of success. You see all these photos and statuses of people you know reaching goals in their life and it can be so easy to compare yourself feeling that you’re not successful unless you reach the milestone they reached. In fact you can get so caught up in their progress of their goal that you fail to remember that your lane is completely different from theirs. It’s dangerous to get caught up in what someone else has defined as success for them thinking that it should be your own. Their journey was different from yours from the beginning. Your success is bound to be different from theirs.
So define what your success is. For me, I based it on a quote from the lovely Maya Angelou. I found this quote in high school and have sworn by it ever since as being my favorite.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
When I break down her quote, it’s really about embracing yourself and reaching your goal of doing what you love as a career or livelihood. It’s not telling you that your success is defined by anyone else or what your culture or society has told you is successful. What I love even more is that she emphasizes first how important it is to like yourself.
So many people fail at this no matter the amount of money they have. From what I’ve discovered in research and studies is how important it is to fully embrace and love yourself if you ever want to get anywhere in life. Getting a good understanding of who you are, the characteristics that defines your personality and your natural talents will do wonders in helping you make a leap forward to being successful. I would even go as far as it being dangerous to rely on other people’s opinions or the amount of money you have to determine how much you like yourself. You have to like and embrace yourself no matter how much is in your bank account or how many people that desire to be around you.
Maya wants you to like who you are as a person, like the career that you choose, and like your journey, your strengths/skills and individuality that contributes to what you do as your carer. I personally think that is the best thing anyone can do if they truly want to be happy.
So take a moment to apply this to yourself. Analyze this. Let’s do it together.
It took me a while but I’ve come to embrace certain aspects of me that makes me who I am. I’m an introvert which I had to accept and understand that nothing is wrong with me by being an introvert. I use to think something was wrong because I wasn’t like everybody else (so it seemed). Or I got tired so easily being around a lot of people for extended amount of time. Or how painful small talk felt to me. Or how too much noise would be overwhelming to me and I would feel the need to escape in search of silence. Accepting that was game changer for me. I have a sarcastic sense of humor. I have a big heart that can be taken advantage of just because I hate thinking negatively or assuming negative intentions. I’m ambitious as I am always setting goals to reach. I have problems with anxiety sometimes allowing my fears to cripple me. I have a strong fascination with books as I love to study any and everything. I can go on and on but the point is that I acknowledge that all of these things makes me who I am. This is who Rachel is and no one can be me better than me.
So who are you? What makes you YOU? What makes you different from others? Now do you accept that that’s you? Are you secure in who you are?
Like what you do
My chosen career field is within training and development, specifically e-learning design and instructional design for adult learners. I use my creative talents to tie in with instructional design principles to create e-learning courses. I also design classroom training as well. This is PERFECT for me. I can seriously 100% say that I love what I do. I love the ah-ha moments that participants feel when they go through a class and they finally get the concept that you’re teaching. I like thinking from their perspective of how they can grasp a new concept. And most of all, I like that I have so many things that I can improve on design wise to make my e-learning courses even better. I simply love what I do. I loved it now and loved it as I was making baby steps to get to this point working from the bottom up.
So what is it that you want to do as a career? What about this career that stands out to you? What does this career allow you to do that you enjoy? If you’re not at your career goal yet, what is it about that career that you’re reaching for that excites you? Do you feel confident in your career choice?
Liking how you do it
To me this is acceptance of your process and how you exhibit your skills. I made mistakes along the road to this point, but I learned so many valuable lessons from those mistakes. Sure, I reached my goals differently from others but that’s okay. I didn’t get the job that I got straight out of college like some of my classmates did but there’s also people I know that’s still not in their desired career. Plus it would be ridiculous for me to get caught up in that perspective of comparisons in the first place because the lane that I’m traveling down is completely different from theirs. So I won’t judge my process and rather embrace that it’s a process that I can and will succeed in. I accept my lane. I accept the skillset that I have of design. There’s so much for me to learn and grow in when it comes to design, but I like where I am now and excited about how those skills will mature over time as I gain more experience. I like putting my own twist in our my courses communicate the information. I like how I display the information. I embrace my journey, and I embrace my growth.
Do you accept the lane you’re in or are you too busy looking at others? Are you giving yourself grace for the mistakes you’ve made and steady pushing yourself forward? Do you like what makes you an individual, your own style and spin on things? Are you nurturing and growing your skills and talents giving it your own special touch?
Bottom line: I just want you to be great and be successful. Not as everyone else may define it but by how you define it. And take it even a step further than just liking it. Aim for more. Love yourself, love what you do, and love how you do it. Know what your success looks like and achieve it because success is more about your perception than what others judge you as.