"Are you successful?" - what a forward question, am I right? But it's a question that has probably crossed your mind in the past: am I successful?
This whole idea of success can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable when we don't have a clear picture of what it is. Sometimes we may even feel like we are unsuccessful because our lives may not look exactly how we think they should, based on what we see online, on TV, or in magazines.
When we're constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else's lives, we can very easily start to question our own. When we start to question our own, we may struggle to know what we truly want.
"I will be successful when I have more money in the bank."
"I will be successful when I get a promotion."
"I will be successful when I have a bigger house, with more things in it, and a nicer car in the driveway."
First thing's first, there's nothing wrong with having your success be related to material items.
But the problem with using these ambiguous statements as a measure for success is that you may never truly feel successful, because you may not be sure with what success truly looks like to you. No matter how far you get, the fact is that there will always be more money to make, a better job title to get, a nicer home to own, and a fancier car to drive. So even if you "surpass" the people you are comparing yourself with now, there will always be someone else who you can compare yourself to.
Let's talk about highlight reels for a second - whether we may realize it or not, many of us tend to put our best foot forward. Think about when you're scrolling through social media, or run into an old friend on the street: it may seem as though everyone is the happiest they've ever been, the healthiest they've ever been, the most successful they've ever been, and the most fulfilled they've ever been. In fact, this can happen on a more regular basis in our personal lives as well, as we don't always see what's happening behind the scenes of our friends, family members, and coworkers.
It can be so easy to start comparing your life to everyone else in your life - from why your coworker has a nicer car than you, to why your classmate landed their dream job quicker than you. But the problem with comparing your life to someone else, whether online or in person, is that you're only comparing to what they're showing you on the surface. You don't see everything that's lead them to that moment: every decision that they've made, every person who has helped them throughout their lives, or every sacrifice they've taken.
You also aren't able to see what's actually happening. Meaning, sometimes people edit their lives to make it look as if they are more successful than they actually are. More often then not, we don't see the debt or financial struggles of those who appear to have it all together. There's an old quote that goes, "stop trying to keep up with the Jonas' - they're broke".
The fact is that everybody is on their own, unique journey. So no matter what season of life you may be in at the moment, you can't compare where you are with anyone else - you do you, and let them do them.
How To Be Successful
There is no baseline for success: success is a feeling, based on your own set of criteria. However, the biggest way to judge if you are successful or not is by becoming specific on what success looks like to you.
For you, success may very well be attached to monetary gain. You may decide that success looks like having $2 million in the bank, and that's absolutely okay. In fact, it's amazing to have your goals so clearly stated.
But it's also important to realize that success doesn't just have to be about how much money you have or how many things you own. Success to you might be in regards to having a close family, or about having more free time, or about traveling the world. The important piece of the puzzle needs to be you.
Once you've defined what your goals are, you'll be able to work towards them - and when your goals are unique to you, you'll want to work towards them.
Love Yourself First
Life is a journey. There are going to be times in your life when you feel on top of the world and the most successful you've ever been, and there will be times when you feel like things are a little bit harder. No matter where you are in your journey, and regardless of how successful you may have deemed yourself, it is important to always love yourself first.
At the end of the day, you're only going to be as successful as you feel. If you focus on loving yourself and empowering yourself, you're going to feel more successful. If you're constantly telling yourself you're not enough, you'll never feel successful. Love yourself first, and the success will follow.