My grandfather would always ask me what I thought was the definition of success- a very interesting question. For many people of my life coaching clients, they think they will be successful when they make a lot of money, for others, it is how many people they help, or how many people they touch, etc. Your definition is unique to you. Here is a great exercise to start to distinguish your own definition of success: Pretend you are at the end of your days, at your funeral – what do you want people to say about you? Your family, your friends, your co-workers, people in the community, etc. WRITE THIS OUT, it is worth the time and you may be surprised at what you want them to say, and it may not be consistent with the “success” you have been driving at.
Then there is the difference between having success and feeling successful. Which are you going for? Often my life coaching clients have success but they either still don’t feel successful or the feeling of success is fleeting. Perhaps they make a great sale or accomplish some great goal – for some of us we would feel good about it for a short time and then we go right back to chasing feeling successful or great. This is a trap and it takes some intention to get out of it. To feel successful starts with perspective.
A particular person can have 1 million dollars and not feel successful, while another can have $10,000 and feel great. So, the key is to start to train yourself to think of yourself as already successful. Not as a ploy, but to actively look for and acknowledge your successes – you probably already have many more than you think. Find things in your life and work that you are already succeeding at and take a minute to notice this success and feel it. Look for little things – for example you may want to spend more time with your children and then today you did – that is success. Or you may want to improve your systems at work and today you created a new process that improves your operations – then congratulate yourself! Even if you are not at your end goal, you can still celebrate small victories. Start doing this today and you will be on the road to feeling successful!