Ask what you should be chasing
Although each of us defines success differently, it’s something we all strive for. For some it’s creating a successful career and making lots of money; for others it’s finding the perfect partner and building a life together. Whether it’s love, money, or power, the questions you need to ask yourself are: “Am I chasing these things because it’s what i was taught to do or society says I should? Or is it something I want to establish for myself? But really, what does success mean to me?”
If you don’t stop to reflect on your personal definition of success, you could waste years in the wrong career, an unhappy relationship and achieving goals that will never truly fulfill you. When our homes, careers and children are what we have made them, we may look back and wonder: Why do I remember spending much more time on work and other responsibilities than on the smaller moments of laughter? Why do the moments of happiness seem so brief? Was I so busy and driven that those precious personal moments feel so out of reach?
It took me a long time to realize that success comes from within, from the way I feel about myself. I feel successful when a friend confides in me and I’m able to give her advice that makes her feel better. I feel successful when I see my kids share and do something polite without me having to remind them. Or when I reach a goal I’ve set for myself, like learning to salsa dance. “You go girl” I can say to myself, and knowing I did something just for me is enough.
As you embark on your journey to success, here are five things you need to stop doing:
Stop making excuses
Like others, I have been overcome by fears, insecurities and anxieties at different points in my life. For example, when I founded Rewire Me, I wondered how I could overcome my fears of the future and tackle the challenges I was facing.
In order to realize my dream of helping others, I had to give myself permission to follow my own path. This takes courage—to go against our fears, or what other might think. We tend to feel more comfortable and secure when we have the approval or consent of others.
Connect to your inner drive and determination. Look for the small steps you can take regularly to grow from where you are to where you want to be. If you’re afraid to change careers, instead of doing nothing, do some research or consult with experts until you have more information and therefore feel more certain of your next steps.
Stop trying to be perfect
If you’re a perfectionist, you often have unrealistic expectations, and by setting your sights too high, you are often setting yourself up for failure. You have a tendency to exaggerate the negative and disregard the positive. This makes it harder to move forward from disappointments and prevents you from reaching your full potential.
Know that you can change. You don’t have to be who you were yesterday. Acknowledge past mistakes, and move forward. Know we are all worthy of success if we are willing to try.
Stop always saying “yes”
The problem with being a people pleaser is that you are putting everyone else’s needs before your own. By always giving to others and never asking for what you want, you will be unhappy and unfulfilled. Saying no does not mean you’re being selfish or rude. It means you know your value, and you respect yourself enough to stand up for your beliefs.
Stop trying to control others’ opinions of you
It’s human nature to want to be liked by others. But it’s inevitable that you will meet someone who dislikes you, often by no fault of your own. It’s hard not to take it personally, but you will drive yourself crazy if you waste your time and energy trying to change their mind. In these cases, it’s best to simply cut your losses and walk away from those negative relationships.
Stop comparing yourself to others
The bottom line is there’s always going to be someone smarter, prettier, thinner, richer—so comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for misery.
As the saying goes, “the grass looks greener on the other side,” but what happens when we get what we want? We’re on to the next thing before we’ve had a moment to enjoy it. We’re on this chase so often it eventually becomes habitual and our lives move so quickly we can’t recall why we’re chasing it to begin with. We become accustomed to comparing ourselves to everyone else so we forget who we are and what our truth is.
Learn to appreciate what you have. Grateful people have higher self-esteem, cope better with difficult situations, are less stressed, and are more satisfied with their relationships overall.