It was a regular Wednesday evening. I was watching TV/checking email on my computer. That’s when I saw it. The email from LinkedIn letting me know that someone in my network was promoted and/or started a new job. I clicked on it, and in a matter of minutes, I was on LinkedIn stalking (hey, at least I’m owning my actions!) people from my MBA class. After about 30 minutes, the negativity started creeping in. Everyone seemed to be advancing in their careers and doing big things. And of course, I was happy for these people, but it made me stop and think about my career progression to date. My success to date. Basically, I felt like my peers were busy climbing the corporate ladder while I wasn’t even sure when my next promotion was coming. Needless to say, it went from a regular Wednesday evening to an emotional one!
That’s how limited my definition of success was at that time. Success equaled an upward progression on the corporate ladder. Promotions. Fancy job titles. Money.
Needless to say, my definition of success has changed dramatically since this time. But until my coaching conversation with Shannon, I didn’t have the perfect words to describe my new way of thinking about success. But I’ve got them now (thanks, Shannon!).
“Success is the expression of your true self.”
Let’s take a second to let this sink in…
This simple phrase really hits home, at least it does for me.
I love how universal this new definition is. There’s not one aspect of life this doesn’t apply to. Success is when you’re able to be yourself. Period
Our job titles/salaries certainly don’t define how successful we are. Not only is this is a very limiting way of thinking about success, but these things can easily be taken away from you at any point. In fact, it seems a little silly that I used to think this way.
On the flip side, there’s no limit to expressing your true self. You’re not dependent on anyone else when doing so. And no one can take you away from you.
When it comes to my career, I honestly don’t have a clue as to what the future holds. I may very likely have a long and fulfilling corporate career. Or I may decide to take a few years off when we have kids. Or I may decide to switch career paths at 40 and do something completely different. Who knows!
But what I do know is this. Regardless of what path(s) I choose, my success will not be defined by the path itself. Instead, it will be defined by how authentic, genuine, true, and Parita I am along the way. And quite honestly, that’s a HUGE relief!
So tell me – what’s your definition of success?