This week I invite you to think about how you’re measuring yourself: what is your definition of success and how is it affecting you?
As driven creatives, we have a lot to compare ourselves to in terms of how we feel about our work in the world, and how we feel about ourselves. It’s so easy to look at what other people are doing and get very distracted from our own work. With a single glance at social media, we suddenly start believing we’re not far enough along, our work isn’t good enough, nobody cares, we’re wasting our time, we should be more successful, what we do doesn’t matter, and so on.
The scary part about this is that we start thinking that we’re just being real with ourselves. We think that it’s necessary to not sugar-coat reality when we see others who are already living their dreams.
And it’s true (as I was saying in last week’s post), that it is so important to get real, face reality, and admit the stuff we need to change. So yes, it’s very important to admit the things we could be better at, and that we have the power to change our habits if we wish.
BUT. Getting real also means realizing that how we think and feel about ourselves, directly affects our work in the world. From our attitude, to our creative output, to our entire experience of life.
Getting real is also being honest about HOW you’re measuring your level of success — which is really such an individual thing to be defined — and how it is affecting your work.
When you’re judging yourself with a socially defined idea of success, and you don’t feel you measure up, you are using a very unreliable tool to measure with.
Society is obsessed about the End Product. We love “overnight success” stories, rags-to-riches tales, and looking at lifestyles of the rich and the famous. We’d rather look at the beautiful houses and luxuries of successful people, than pictures of them when they were living in a tiny apartment with 5 roommates and struggling through the first two decades. We’d rather admire them as who they are now, rather than who they started off as and all the different personal-growth stages they had to evolve through to realize their current level of achievement.
All the hard-work, the long hours, the let downs and self-doubt, the public transportation, the multiple day jobs, the dissatisfaction and patience and putting in the work even when you feel like crap — that’s not highlighted because that’s not very “sexy”.
But I think it’s sexy.
There’s something very appealing about someone who is working towards what they believe in, no matter what it is… and being faced with set-backs and difficulties, and they’re still hustling and dreaming and doing the work through whatever chaos life throws at them.
So let’s create a new perspective.
When you measure and define your success as: how true you’re being to yourself, how hard you’re working, and if you’re bringing your best possible self to the world; then that creates a much different vibe than if you’re looking for all the external validations as measure of your worth.
We can see ourselves as rags that aren’t making the riches. Or. We can see ourselves in the middle of our rags-to-riches journey. We’re just in that middle stage, and we’re grinding and growing and hustling and learning.
And that should be our measure of success. Because we’re doing it. We’re working on making it happen.
Our goal should be going to bed each night and being able to say, “I DID it today. I worked on my dreams and I’m bringing myself on this journey no matter what. I’m DOING it.”
And that is what everyday success looks like. When you know you’re living your truth and doing what you, personally, know you gotta do.
So it’s about paying attention to where we’re putting our focus, and allowing ourselves to define success as a measure of our daily hustle, rather than that glamorized end-product.