I’ve been thinking about success and failure a lot lately.
How do we define success? A new promotion? A fat paycheck? A work/life balance that leaves you satisfied with how you’re spending your time?
How do we define failure? Not reaching milestones at the same time/age as everyone else? Being fired from your job (whether or not you even like said job)? Working 80 hours a week and still being unable to pay your bills?
Success and failure mean different things to different people. I’m currently reading “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You” and when I read the statement above it made me think. What we think as failure or success may look very different to someone else. We may think we’re not achieving enough or that we haven’t come far enough or that we need to do more before we can consider ourselves successful. But don’t you think there’s someone looking at you right now saying, “Man, has he got it together,” or “I wish I were as successful as her.”
What you see is very different than what others see. And we have a tendency to be overly critical of ourselves.
Turns out we’re doing about average. And that person you admire and think is doing so well is probably also doing about average (or, at the very least, may have a different definition of success than you do). We can’t be superstars of every facet of our lives, but we can improve every day. As Joyce Meyers is fond of saying, “I may not be where I need to be, but I’m not where I was either.”
As long as there is progress what is there to complain about? Every failure comes with a lesson and another chance to try again. And every success has another summit to climb once you achieve it.
So, if you’re like me, stop beating yourself up. Congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come and look forward to where you have to go. Then go out there and achieve it!