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Defining Your Own Success

Defining Your Own Success | Keating & Co.Good afternoon and happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.  I don’t know about you, but I feel that the weekend went by a bit too quickly around here.  But today I’d like to talk about a topic that that I’ve had on my mind for a while now.  Today I’d like to talk about success.  I figured a Monday would be the perfect day of the week to discuss this topic, so here it is!

So what exactly is success?  Is it making a million dollars every year?  Is it obtaining every degree imaginable?  Is it maintaining and graduating with a 4.0 GPA?  Is it achieving every single goal you set for yourself?  What is success?

According to the dictionary, there are multiple definitions of success:

success (n): 1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals. 2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

Success is different for everyone.  Growing up, my mom always made me feel that being successful meant you made a lot of money.  Preferably in a big career like being a lawyer or a doctor or something along those lines.  She made me believe that money = success.  Of course, I would love to be making a lot of money and definitely plan to so that Zack and I can give ourselves and our children a great life.  But I definitely don’t feel that this is the only way to be successful nor do I believe that you have to have one of those careers in order to achieve financial success and freedom.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to base your own success off of everyone else’s definition of success.  Especially when it’s your parents or other family members.  You love them and value their acceptance and opinion, but this can actually lead you to feel so much less successful and more stressed out because you’re trying to fit everyone else’s definition.  You’re trying to be perfect for everyone which just isn’t doable.  Success is different for everyone.

The next time you have some free time, sit down and really think about what your version of success is.  Clear you mind so that you can forgot about what your parents say or your friends or society or whatever it may be.  Focus on what you define as a success.  How do you determine if someone is successful or not?  Think about the last time you felt successful.  What were you doing in that moment?  Create your own definition and then create a plan of action!  What can you do to achieve your goals and become successful?  What can you do today or next week or this month or this year?  Create both short term and long term goals.  Lastly, you have the hardest part: sticking with it.  Don’t let anyone else around you tell you you’re a failure simply because you’re not following their path of success.  Don’t let someone else question your mindset or your choices just because they’re not the same as theirs. Do not let others influence you.

To me, being successful is loving who you are as a person, accomplishing your individual goals, and being overall happy with your life and the choices you make.  Again, this can be different for everyone.  It could be one of your life goals to become an astronaut.  Mine isn’t so I wouldn’t feel very successful by becoming an astronaut.  I do, however, want to obtain my master’s degree, pay off all credit card debt, have a career that I absolutely love (preferably as the CEO of my own company) and have my own family and being able to give our children a good life.  If I have all of those things, then I would feel successful.  And again, this is not the same for everyone!

I’ve struggled a lot over the years with accepting myself and and feeling successful.  Unfortunately, I find myself playing the comparison game quite often and it’s gotten to a point where it’s exhausting and stressful.  I compare myself to everyone.  I compare myself to other bloggers and small business owners simply because I’m not on their level yet.  This sometimes makes me feel like a failure, but I’m learning to not compare my beginning to someone else’s middle.  It’s a work in progress.  I’ll get there at some point.  I also compare myself to everyone else in my graduating class who are obtaining their master’s degrees this year.  Ideally, I should have graduated with my bachelor’s degree back in 2014 and my master’s degree this year.  Due to life events, this didn’t work out the way I had anticipated and it can be frustrating to feel like I’m so far behind everyone else.  I even compare myself to family members, but we won’t go into that one.  Overall, it’s just exhausting to play the comparison game, and honestly, it’s a waste of my time and yours.

The moment I stopped living for everyone else and started living for myself, it became so much easier to rid my mind of negativity and only focus on what wanted out of life.  Here I am at 23 (about to be 24) years old, and I do consider myself to be successful.  First, I have my education.  I have an AS in Business Administration and I will finally obtain my BA in Communications and Public Relations in May (my master’s will be complete in October 2017).  I will even be graduating with a 4.0 GPA (hopefully) and as a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, VP of Communications Club, and as a Peer Leader for our online department.  This will definitely be one of the most emotional accomplishments of my life simply because I had to work my ass off in order to achieve it.  Since graduating high school in 2010, I’ve always worked 2+ jobs on top of going to school, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been through an abusive relationship, a couple breakups, a million moves, a long distance marriage/deployment.  I even got kicked out of school at one point.  And now I’m just two months away from that bachelor’s degree.  I’ve truly earned it and couldn’t be more proud.

In addition to school, I’m officially self-employed and doing something I absolutely love.  I am one step closer to achieving that CEO position that I’m aiming for.  I have paid off a car and five credit cards in the last three years, allowing myself to have more financial freedom to live my life stress-free and to do the things that I want to do.  I have the best husband I could possibly ask for along with amazing and supportive friends and family.  And most importantly, I love myself.  I finally love and accept myself the way I am.

I finally feel comfortable in my own skin and I am so proud of how much I’ve grown and who I am as a person.  I’m a good person, I’m a good wife, daughter, sister, friend, student.  I’m typically good at my job (sorry to those of you who are still waiting on emails from me.  I swear, I’m responding to them today!).  I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished and look forward to watching myself take over the blog and PR worlds and move ahead in my career.  I may not have a six figure income, my beautiful home or a baby quite yet, but in my eyes, I am a success.

How do you define success?  Do you consider yourself to be successful?


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