5 Reasons to Define Success For Yourself

In the world we live in today, many of us are consumed by the most easily identifiable idea of success. When we think of success, we think of substantial wealth, a nice home, luxurious material possessions, and unique experiences. We also equate our overall happiness by access to these material things.

This idea of success that’s floated around can be incredibly harmful to our self-esteem. When we evaluate our lives, we don’t focus on what we can stand to gain, but we don’t have. It creates a victim-like mentality and only makes us more impatient.

The dissatisfaction and impatience we experience when we try to chase our goals harm us greatly. Instead of being excited about the prospect of improving our lives, we’re only concerned about why things aren’t taking off the way we expected them to. We scroll through our social feeds and wonder why we’re not as happy as our friends, or not making progress like the people we idolize.

What’s the Solution?

We need to take the concept of success and form an idea for ourselves. Don’t define success by using someone else’s life as an example, making it about a dream possession or an insanely lofty net worth. Instead, think about it as a state of being that would make you feel content.

It’s a process that is a lot easier said than done, but there are many good reasons why you should challenge what success truly means. Let’s dive into a few of them.

1. You’ll Stop Comparing Your Life to Others

Isn’t it mentally exhausting to scrutinize other people’s lives? When we’re constantly competing with one another, it doesn’t give us enough space to acknowledge the value that all of us bring to the world. Today’s culture seems like we can never be happy for the strides that people make in their lives. We only think about ways to be more successful than them.

We’re very quick to want to emulate the results someone attains, but not the hard work it took to get there. If we stopped comparing our lives to others, we would give ourselves the freedom to value our own progress and become excited about our capability to positively change our lives.

Take a moment and think about a time you may have been jealous of someone’s life, or put down someone to make yourself feel less insecure. We all have the impulse to do this, but it never feels good to participate in these thoughts.

If we break the cycle, we can be more supportive of each other to be the best version of ourselves. The success we experience doesn’t have to make other people feel bad. How freeing does that sound?

2. You Don’t Know Everyone’s Story

It’s so easy to take a look at someone’s Instagram page and become envious of someone's percieved success. The problem is we really don’t know everyone’s story. Someone could have all the money and notoriety in the world, but there might be something in their life that they lack that causes them a lot of anguish.

Again, success should come from the feelings you experience when you realized that you worked hard enough to reach something of importance to you. Any of the things earned along the way that look good in a social media post, or impresses your friends during a housewarming party is just optics. Our common belief about success can mislead people into thinking someone has everything when this person could be wanting so much more from life.

We should be relieved that we don’t know the whole story. Maybe if we all acknowledge this, we can be more honest with one another, and define success in a way that helps us feel more purposeful above anything else.

3. You can do Things for the Right Reasons

When you define success for yourself, you may see that it really is a feeling based off what you’ve aspired to achieve. All of a sudden, you make the effort to achieve something because every aspect of it brings you joy. The progress you make, the challenges you face and the milestones that are continually being raised bring purpose to your life.

When you know what your idea of success looks like, you relish every part of trying to make that dream tangible. The goal is not approached with spite or with jealousy, it’s approached with the hope to prove to yourself that you can bring positive change to your life, and perhaps the lives of others.

4. You Only Have to Live Up to Your Expectations

Having a clear idea of what success looks like to us can take all of the pressure off if we establish the right mindset. A good way to establish that mindset is to know our path to any given goal will never be the same as someone else’s. The time it takes, the resources we have and the choices we make transform our story into something completely unique.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be dismayed because you’re currently the same age as Richard Branson was when he bought his first private jet. Your story and his will be almost completely different when everything is said and done. The only standard you need to be living up to is your own. Make sure that your expectations are measured, and that you do something productive towards your idea of success every day.

5. You Become More Focused

When you’re comfortable with your idea of success, you give yourself a better chance to hone in on the goals you’re after. Dedicating the time needed to focus on your vision will only help you see things more clearly, and you’ll be able to make a plan of execution that fits your needs.

A clear and compelling vision of what success looks like to you helps build that understanding and make your goals more essential to your life. When you feel the need to achieve something you’ll find it a lot easier to give it the attention it deserves so you can meet your definition of success.

Final Words 

While you need to define success for yourself, don’t let it swallow you up. The journey can be long and arduous, but the determination you build will define just how successful you are, even if you never hit your grandest idea of what success may look like.

Gladfully accept those little victories along the way and recognize the growth in your character as you become the best version of yourself. Always remember that success is a result of hard work and unrelenting passion to earn what you want most in life.