Defining Success….What Does It Mean to You?

I recently heard from a colleague that was feeling “down” to use her word, after being recently terminated from her job. Later that day, I talked to a friend that was feeling a sense of low self-esteem.  Those two situations got me thinking about success, failure, and mindset.

Your mindset is critical for you to become the best Self-Empowered YOU possible.  It is important to have a clear definition of what success means to you. Most people want to be successful without knowing exactly what that means. When pushed to define success, often we provide vague responses. Defining success depends on many factors such as your age, development stage in life, and your family background. Success defined by a young woman in her 20’s is different than a woman in her 40’s, or 60’s.

Family background is one of the most important influences on how women define individual success. Our family values, traditions, religious orientations, and family dynamics serve as the backdrop against which success is often measured.

“Success” in one family can have a different meaning than in another, it can even be viewed as failure in another person’s home environment. Most of us rarely ever realize the unconscious conditioning which influences the way we respond to challenges in life, the risks we take, and the goals we set for ourselves. Oftentimes, once we experience a significant emotional event, the influences suddenly become a part of our self-awareness.

To be a self-empowered woman requires an awareness of self and the situations that trigger negative chatter and self-talk we experience. It requires a mindset shift in our belief systems.

Years ago, when I decided to leave a position in Corporate America to start my business, I remember a family member encouraging me to stay because she felt it was foolish to leave a good paying job in the San Francisco financial district. This relative was well meaning, but, the problem with this line of thought creates a cycle of beliefs that oftentimes gets passed down from one generation to the next without any awareness of if it’ll serve us well later on in life.

Think about the limiting and dis-empowering beliefs you’ve had to wrestle with in your adult life as the result of messages you have received about what you can or can’t accomplish. Messages about what you can’t do once you turn a certain age, past school experiences that cast doubt on your abilities to achieve success, (ie. that teacher or counselor that told you, “you’re not college material”), or messages about what women can’t do.  What about messages you received about leaving your job, going back to school for a higher level degree, and starting your woman-owned business.

Have you been pushed into taking a certain career path succumbing to family, societal, or peer pressure? A woman I interviewed that is in her 90’s told me, years ago when she attended a vocational high school, girls were enrolled in cooking, sewing, and nutrition classes while boys attended auto repair and construction programs. What messages do you think she received?

Here is a suggestion…. When you feel you are not successful, TAP-IN to the following more self-empowering beliefs and replace the negative self-talk with the following 5 mind-shifting beliefs and watch what happens:

1. My Success is DEFINED Only by ME.

2. Success is My PERCEPTION about where I am, where I want to go, and the progress I am making. My Perception can be changed.

3. Success is a PROCESS. It is my continued efforts of defining and redefining who I am, the things I learn, the challenges I overcome, and the personal goals I achieve.

4.  Success is determined by the PROGRESS I make, my mastery increases as I maintain momentum.

5: Achieving Success is something I can LEARN. I can learn the skills and behaviors it takes to be successful at accomplishing my goals, then…. apply what I learn, and build my confidence along the way.

In the process of self-empowerment and realizing our dreams, it is critical to specifically define success for ourselves and not leave it up to others.

Questions: (You are encouraged to share your thoughts with our group members.)

  • How do you think your life would be different if you adopted these beliefs?
  • What beliefs do you have about success that serve you well?
  • What tips or comments do you have to offer that relate to this topic?

Stay Safe, Healthy, and TAPPED-IN,

Dr. Myra

P.S. Join me in my next 7 Part Virtual TAP-IN Women’s Self-Empowerment Mastermind Program (Contact me for details if you are interested in attending)