Most of us grow up believing that success is defined by what career path we choose, combined with how much money we earn. I’ve always associated my self-worth in conjunction with high grades or a reputable job. Maybe this is because of how our society views certain positions or maybe it is because of my pride. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a go-getter to the highest level. In high school I worked hard to get top grades. At university I graduated with distinction, meaning I was in the top 20% of that years graduates.
I figured if I just worked hard enough it would eventually pay off and I’d be successful.
Fast forward a couple years after university when I found out I was being let go at the company I worked for. To be honest, it actually came as a sort of blessing in disguise. I realized long before this life-changing moment that I was not in love with my job. The company lacked great leadership and I eventually lacked the enthusiam to work for them. I felt burnt out and the negative work environment only made things worse. I was in the middle of a quarter-life crisis and successful is the last thing I was feeling.
For most people, an experience like being let go at work would tear them apart. Even if it’s due to no fault of their own, which was the case in my situation, being let go can still be a major blow to the good old self-esteem. Your self-worth will most likely take a nosedive into a dark place. However, while it did hurt to hear this news, a part of me was also relieved. A weight was lifted off my shoulders because I was finally following my truth. I was actually more upset that I didn’t initially follow my heart and, instead, allowed someone else to control my fate.
I soon realized that my self-worth isn’t defined by a nice-sounding job but rather it’s defined by my passions. It’s defined by my truth, my values and my life beyond the daily nine-to-five grind. Deep down I know the job was never right for me. And I also know that it did not define me.
But sometimes, you just need to get out of your own rut to truly see the light!
So does success really need to be defined by your career? I don’t think so. Being successful means so much more than having a high paying job at a well-known company. Why would we define our success solely on our career choice? When it really has so much more to do with how full our hearts are, our personal values and how we treat those around us.
If you can relate to any of this, here are five reasons why creating your own definition of success is so important— because, honestly, your personal growth and self-love is totally worth way more than that paycheck or job title.
1. Because money is not everything and it should never define you.
Yes money makes the world go’round but while earning a steady paycheck sure helps life run more smoothly, it’s not the only thing that you should define success with. The real definition of success is doing something you love, cherishing the people around you and surrounding yourself with positivity. It means leaving your comfort zone to overcome your biggest fears and finding a blissful, happy balance.
Not everyone’s definition of success is the same. And that’s totally fine! It might be traveling the world and never settling down. It might be being a stay-at-home mom and doing a fantastic job raising your children. It might be following your dream of starting your own busines.
What’s important is that it fits for you. That you follow your truth and not somebody elses’s. And that you are creating your own definition of success.
2. Because your life does not depend on the love and approval from others.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, where I talk about what it means to live a more authentic life, we need to stop seeking love and approval from others. This includes defining your success by what your boss thinks of you, by whether you receive that promotion or get the corner office on the top floor.
Success is first and foremost about self-love and being proud of who you are! Don’t let someone else control your happiness or self-worth by the numbers on your pay-check.
3. Because your true friends care more about who you are than what you do.
The way you treat your friends has nothing to do with where you work and everything to do with your values. Vice versa, your personality and character will resonate with them more than your job title. Of course the thought or even discussion of your career might come up, but it will never be the deciding factor in whether your friendship is successful or not. People will appreciate you for your kindness and authenticity, not your job status.
Think about it. Your true friends and family don’t care about what kind of job you have or how much you make. All they care about is your happiness.
4. Because jobs are temporary and can change unexpectedly.
If there’s one thing I do know by now is that life is anything but certain. Their will always be unexpected surprises that you have to deal with. We think we have control over our professional life but as I have come to realize, nothing is ever permanent. There are many more important things that make an impact in your life than your career.
My biggest piece of advice is to start a side hustle that you are passionate about. You can read all about why I think you should have a side hustle here!
5. Because your values, your goals and your love for life are the only things that should define you.
Next time you meet someone new, instead of asking them what they do for work, why not ask them what they are passionate about. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to have more conversations about our goals and values instead of how we can climb that corporate ladder and get to the top of someone else’s skyscraper?
Your identity should be defined by what you love, what you dream of, what you value, and who you cherish. You shoud always value happiness more than any job, paycheck, or boss. End of discussion.
Much love and light to you on your journey towards creating your own definition of success.