Measure your successes not based on the expectations of others, but rather on your own individual wins.
Be your own barometer! Strive to impact and impress yourself. Success is updated and consistent action. This is your unique power because only you can direct it and use it!
A new year kicks off a random personal audit in all of us. We review the year left behind and set intentions for the months ahead. This is our own time for refreshing and renewing our goals and expectations. Too often, we measure what recently “worked” by comparison to others in our professional circles or in response to friends or family and what they may have achieved. When we compare and contrast our own successes, we often diminish the reality of just how far we have come in the process of our own evolution.
Where we tend to get stuck in evaluating our successes is when we compare ourselves to what we THINK our peers are doing. First of all, we are not our peers nor are we on their journey. We don’t know what ups and downs they may have encountered. We only know what they may have told us, or what we perceive to be true. Social media plays a big part in jading our perceptions of reality. In so doing, what we see on-line can take us off our own game. We may feel that we are not as perfect or as good as someone else. We may feel that others with the same title had wonderful things happen sooner in their careers, or that as parents our own children are not doing all the things our Facebook friend’s children are. When we compete with the world, we set ourselves up to be disappointed. The trick is to be our own competition.
What do you excel at? Marking our progress with the things we do well is a small step toward accomplishing future goals. I call this excelling forward. For example, I feel very comfortable, exhilarated, and proud of my writing skills. I write well. Last year, I enhanced my newsletters, started my blog, wrote my website, wrote multiple workshops and became a contributor to several on-line newsletters and publications. This year to excel forward, I will continue all of those things that I have been doing well and I will lean into where I can do more in bigger markets. I will start the process of increasing my written visibility with some small actionable steps like growing my network, researching where I want to be published, writing more, and being open to new ideas and technology. My success will be measured ONLY against me. Even if I do not hit the mark with all my goals, I will inevitably be creating and paving other achievements throughout my 2016 journey. This opens the door to even more opportunities.
What does success mean to you? This is a question that I ask almost all of my clients. Not surprisingly, everyone has a slightly different answer. Success is anchored in our own point of view and that point of view may and should shift as we age. For some, success may be measured in dollars, for others in moments. It is highly personal and our relationship to how we gauge success is as well.
We all have the ability to make life happen through choice. Personal choice. The most challenging and engaging part of our successes is manifest in our ability to move ahead and also to have the tenacity to revisit and update what we have already started. Much like a good experiment, goal setting is abstract and fluid, as much about the twists and turns in the journey as about the rewards. Success is measured not only in goals achieved and wants attained, but also in fails learned from and courses augmented. Sometimes the try is the win. When the process becomes the goal, we allow ourselves the flexibility and persistence to not only keep on doing what works, but to experience new goals while reworking old ones as needed. We write our own rules.