How to Measure Success in a World Addicted to Comparison
What does success look like to you?
Some might say it’s a certain income, status, or authority. If you cringe to that, then you might agree these are not true measures of success. They might be valuable milestones but not a true measure of success.
A common misconception is that we need to attain something outside ourselves to feel successful. Often referred to in psychology as the conditioned self. The conditioned self is the “critical self” often shaped by the environment we grew up in to measure progress or worth. If we aren’t conscious of this phenomena, the values of the environment will inadvertently become our own. Remember the cringe earlier?
Psychology might call that cringe a response to an internal conflict. You can value something without it defining you. It isn’t that you don’t want that income or that title, it’s that it’s not a measure of your value or success. It is a milestone you can choose to make a goal or leave for another [without losing your self-worth over it]. If we aren’t conscious to examine the things we value for their alignment with our true self, we might walk around cringing more often than desired.
A starting point to a successful path might be beginning to think about things like:
- What are my top 3 values?
- What am I grateful for?
- How do I define my own success?
A starting point to an authentic self is through a value system that honors the work within. When the work within is attended to, it transcends to an oasis of excellence to the outer environment.
We lose the opportunity of possibility when we compare ourselves. That “you” you’re trying to mold into something else is the only unique thing you obtain. You lose it when you compare yourself. We are all made up of six element of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus, about .85% is composed of potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium.
I say this to remind you that, the only uniqueness you have is the energy you bring into the room, the kindness you extend in an interaction, and the gratitude you express when someone or the universe gives you something no matter how small or big. The energy you put forth with your perception and attitude is the only thing that makes you truly unique.
The hard work you hear about — the “hustle.” It’s simply untrue. Don’t get me wrong, you earn everything you have, and I mean everything! The point stands that no matter how much you knock on the wrong door, creative you get with your rhythm, the wrong door is not going to open.
Perhaps it isn’t your door. We don’t need to work harder to be successful. We need to align our values with our work to be successful.
The inconsistency you experience in your life is an expression of integrity calling you forth.
I’ll leave you with some questions to invite the authentic self to come forward.
How to Measure Success
#1. Define Success/who am I?
You cannot define success without knowing who you are first. The way you see yourself is determinative. Lean heavily into life. Observe yourself. “when do you feel most expanded? And fulfilled?” Quiet the judgment and lean into the imaginative.
The elements you write here will tie in with your core value system later. Your sense of identity directs you in every situation, it supports your confidence when you have to stand up to your boss, establishes your sense of security when you have doubts.
Your identity enables you to process your emotions during tense conversations. While your identity is formed at an early age, it is always evolving.
It is never too late to get to processing your sense of self. As you imagine your best self here, you begin to understand and visualize the successful self you are calling on. You are essentially calling on your future self to come to the present.
#2. Review Your List
Choose no more than 3 items (you can add more later) that inspire you to feel your best — the items you see in your mind clearly are your goals. Invest in your goals/values in every way! For example, if one of your core values is community, reflect on how you’ve contributed to your community lately in regards to time, income, and support. You’ll find your congruence or lack thereof here.
#3. Reflect on mental blocks
Reflect on blocks that are keeping you from achieving or enjoying your success. Barriers are not things like income or people. They aren’t things outside yourself. Mental blocks are inherently internal and withhold us from our true potential. Vulnerability comes up when mental blocks are exposed as the mindset related issues they are. Be compassionate with yourself. These are often effects of the conditioned self. It isn’t your true self. Nevertheless if you deny them, they persist.
Tune in to identify your mental blocks and work with your coach to resolve them. Furthermore, one barrier could be blocking multiple defined successes.
#4. Make a Plan
Research indicates, we are 42% more likely to improve our goals if we write them down. Write each defined success item at the top of a new page. Write out the steps you need to complete to get you to that defined success. In some cases, you may write “get my mind right” as the one and only barrier. Keep it simple and don’t over think the steps. If you don’t know, tune into your wisdom, ask, look it up!
#5. Take Action
All progress is valuable no matter how small. Cut down on judgment and increase gratitude- reflect on your progress. We understand that visualization of outcome is within itself a step towards the goal. Visualize your success.
Action is a result of motivation, not vise versa. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be a step forward. You will notice as you take steps, your progress accelerates. Your confidence will increase consequently increasing your productivity!
Remember, the only person you need to compare yourself to is who you were a moment ago.
Success is being able to go to sleep every night with your soul at peace.