Three reasons to define your version of success…
One of the foundational things I do with clients is to define your version of success. It can be a workshop, a coaching session or a chat over a coffee (well, actually tea for me please) but it generally, without fail features. I feel incredibly passionately about taking the time and consideration to define your version of success. I harp on so much about it in fact, I thought – there’s a blog post in that! So here are three reasons to define your version of success:
The reasons why…
- It removes (or at least reduces comparison). When you know what’s important to you, that’s what you can work towards. Maybe you’re thinking you need four holidays a year, a daily exercise regime lasting an hour, from scratch home cooked meals 6 days out of 7 and to crack through a new book every week – and all because you’ve seen a friend / neighbour / stranger on social media living that life. If I asked you to shut that noise out and concentrate on what you’re striving for, what’s important to you or bluntly what is your version of success. what would you say? Would any of that even feature? When I returned to work after I had my eldest daughter, I thought the corporate definition of success of a achieving a certain job grade, a particular salary and benefits package and a company blackberry (yes, I did say that and I hang my head in shame) were what success was. The reality was something very different. Success for me was actually feel calm, having a morning routine that worked for all of us, getting to bed before 10pm, supporting my team and having time for myself as well as quality time with my family. It was misaligned in many ways with the environment I was in. The two definitions can of course co-exist. I didn’t suddenly jack my job in and sail off into the self-employed sunset. I did however adjust how I was working, how contactable I was and my bedtime!
- You can get really clear on your goals. When you know WHAT you’re working towards, you can figure out HOW you get there. Figuring out your road map is important because it needs boundaries, plan B, questions you need answering and plans C – Z. If you’re not living and working in a way that is aligned to your definition of success, how do you think you might feel? Pretty blinking naff I reckon. The question of ‘what am I doing this for’ will be likely to feature a fair amount.
- You can set boundaries. Oh I do love a boundary. They will shoot off from your definition of success and help protect your path to getting there. They feed into SO many parts of our lives, and at the core it’s all about what you’re working towards. It’s much easier to define and set boundaries when you know your definition of success. For example, part of my definition of success is to have quality 1:1 time with my daughters, husband AND myself. So my boundaries are going to look a little something like:
- Protected time for me. This might be reading my book, exercising, a walk or a solo bath.
- A night out / in with my husband (that doesn’t get over written). It doesn’t need to be fancy, and rarely is but it won’t include work!
- An activity with each of the girls separately during the month. Again nothing too big, a babychino / park trip / watching something together.
Everybody has a different definition of success – yours is the only one that matters to you. Want to earn six figures? Go for it. Want to love your job more of the time? Scope out what actually needs to happen. Got a particular working pattern that you want? Today is the day to ask. Maybe success looks like getting through the week and shouting five times instead of your usual 15. I’m not judging.
Success doesn’t mean riding high, working to the point of burnout and achieving lofty heights at any cost. It’s bigger that that and carries a level of nuance that I think many of us overlook. We do need to define what it means to us because it’s going to help with things like comparison, self-esteem and hopefully some belief in yourself.
So if nothing else today, take a big deep breath and scribble down a few things about what success means to you and reflect on what the next steps are. You can do it.
I’m off to have a look over my own!