Redefining Success: What Does Success Mean to You?

By Barbara @ Follow Your Own Rhythm

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We grow up with a certain idea of what it means to be successful…as well as what it means to be happy, wealthy, cool, smart, etc.

We learn these ideas pretty early on, from our culture, parents, teachers, and environment, and then we live out the rest of our lives from this indoctrinated paradigm.

In our current society, we are made to believe that success is solely outwardly based … That it’s measured by external factors such as how well we do in school, how well we perform at our job, what we do for a living, how much money we make, how famous we are, how big and nice our house is, how many things we own, how many talents we have, how good we look and how fancy our clothes are, and overall, how picture perfect our life is.

In today’s world, this is how success is measured.

So no wonder so many of us feel “behind” in life and feel like we’re failures and “haven’t amounted to anything.”

“We haven’t checked any of the success boxes,” therefore in the eyes of the world, we are not successful.

And unfortunately, it’s not just the world that sees us this way, WE see ourselves this way too. It’s such a shame.

This paradigm can really take a toll on us and create deep anxiety and extremely low self-worth….all because we have the wrong idea about success.

So what do we do?

We take our power back!

First, we have to realize that the beliefs we have about what it means to be successful are false and are based on what we have been programmed to believe.

Second, we have to change our paradigm and look at success from a whole new perspective.

We have to REDEFINE what success means. We have to rewrite the definition. We have to identify what success means to US and us only.

So take a moment and think about what your definition of success is.

Ignore your current idea of success and start with a blank slate.

What does it mean to be successful?

What does a successful person do and how does a successful person feel?

Is success really about achievements, accomplishments, education and knowledge?

Is it about status, wealth, and fame?

Is it about possessions and accolades?

Is it about the type of job you have or the kind of car you drive?

Or is success deeper than that?

Is success about how happy you are?

Is it about how conscious you’re able to remain during times of chaos?

Is it about being able to master your thoughts and emotions?

Is it about how much you’re able to enjoy the present moment?

Is it about the quality of your relationships?

Is it about how capable you are of connecting with yourself on a deeper, more spiritual level?

Is it about how content and fulfilled you are? Or how aligned you are with your life purpose?

To me, making a lot of money means nothing if you aren’t happy and at peace.

Having a prestigious job means nothing if you don’t enjoy the work.

Looking physically beautiful means nothing if you don’t love yourself unconditionally.

Having lots of friends means nothing if you’re not able to connect with them.

And owning a lot of nice things means nothing if you don’t know how to value and appreciate them.

Success is about how you feel and not what you do, who you know, or what you have. It’s about your energy. Your outlook on life. And your ability to live a life true to yourself.

Of course worldly achievements are a part of being successful, but they’re not the WHOLE puzzle; they’re just pieces…pieces that we put way too much attention on and then end up in disappointment when we can’t achieve them.

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So why not shift our focus?

If we had to measure our level of success, why not look at it from a different angle? Instead of asking ourselves….

“What have I achieved in life? What kind of degrees and certificates do I have? How much money do I make? What do I do for a living? What kind of car do I drive? Am I successful in the eyes of the world?”

….why not ask ourselves:

“How fulfilling is my marriage? How meaningful are my relationships? How happy am I? How much have I grown as a person? How many challenges have I faced? How many fears have I overcome? How many people have I helped? What kind of a person am I? ”

I believe that the answers to the second set of questions reflect your level of success A LOT more than the first ones.

But you’re free to choose for yourself. That’s the whole point. You don’t have to believe anything other than what you CHOOSE to believe. You are free to think for yourself and to decide what you want success to mean to you.


Ready to redefine what success means to you?

Download my free guided worksheet! Comes with a visualization and space to reflect on what success means to you.

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All in all, DISREGARD how other people define success and focus on what you feel is successful.  Focus on what feels good to you. 

You don’t have to have the perfect job, a college degree, and 20 talents in order for you to feel and be successful in life.  

Just focus on finding joy in whatever you do, and you are well on your way to being successful! 

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS? Tell me in the comments below!

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