What Success Means (And How to Get It!)It took me a long time to realize that what success means to me is not what it means to someone else. What success means for society is not necessarily what it means for me.

Success. It seems like it should be so simple…but no. It was not.

Oh. My. God. This has seriously caused me so much grief.

Why? Because my definition was all screwed up. I had impossible definitions of success for myself.

It hit me when someone on my friends list posted, “Your marketing is a direct result of how your accomplishments were celebrated growing up.”

Whoa. Mind-blowing.

How our successes were celebrated in childhood could be a make or break thing! The amount of programming we carry around with us impacts all kinds of things in ways we can’t even imagine!

If how our accomplishments were celebrated in childhood has such a big impact on our effectiveness, it’s going to have a direct impact on our ability to achieve professional success, and probably other kinds of success too.

What Success Means

The first problem is definition. When we think of someone who is successful, often we think of financial success. We think of a fancy car (anyone picturing a Lambo?), trendy and exclusive clothes, yachts, and a beach with white sand and bright blue water.

And that is ONE definition of success, but it’s NOT the only type of success, nor is it the only definition of that type of success.

For example, success can be in any of these areas:

  • relationship
  • career
  • finances
  • health
  • time
  • and many more!

What success looks like in any of these areas will be different for different people. Success in relationship could be having a 40 year marriage, but it could also mean effectively co-parenting despite divorce.

Success in health could mean managing chronic illness to live life on an even keel, or it could mean finishing first in a competitive weight-lifting championship.

See how different these things are? They’re COMPLETELY different. And yet, many of us suffer from feeling like we should hold ourselves to a single definition of success.

That is crazy and frankly, exhausting! It doesn’t make sense to hold everyone to the same definition of success because we are all on different journeys and interested in different things!

What Success Means for YOU

Now that we know success is NOT one-size fits all, what do we do with this? How do you, for example, figure out what success looks like for you?

This is both hard and easy.

Fundamentally the answer to this question is one of desire (this is manifesting 101!) – it’s the same as what you want.

Whatever you want is your definition of success.

I know this seems all well and good, but it’s still pretty vague, and when things are vague, people get confused. It’s easy to say, well, why can’t my idea of success be the Lambo and the white sandy beach?

It still could be.

But that might not actually be what you want.

In fact, you might hate supercars. A lot of people do – they’re super cramped and have really low ground clearance which makes them impractical in a lot of driving situations! It might also make you feel icky (gas guzzling anyone?), or be inaccessible (They don’t work for differently-abled bodies!).

Which brings us back to the heart of success – what you really want.

First, Feel.

girl jumping in air against sunset (pixabay)

More than anything, success is about feeling good. So the question you need to ask yourself is, what does success feel like to you?

For me, success means power. It means some combination of satisfaction or joy, growth, and abundance Every time I’ve felt successful, I’ve experienced some combination of these feelings. And often these feelings are tied to moments of deep purpose.

For example, when I gave birth to my son, I felt very successful. I had a completely natural birth with very, very, minimal intervention (a few stitches). After he was born, the first thing out of my mouth was, “I did it!”

That was a moment of incredible joy and success. It’s something I can remember and lean on during times when I’m feeling unworthy or less than – I can remind myself of my strength and the persistence that went into that birthing.

Gotta Catch Success Feels

Once you figure out how success feels, then the second question is what else gives you those feelings. How, for example, could you feel that way right now? What could you do this very minute to feel those feelings of success?

Oh. That sounds amazing. Sooooo good.

The follow up question to this is, what would your life look like if it was filled with these feelings?

Mmm. Now we’re cooking!

Keep in mind, you can answer these questions for different areas of success – relationship, finance, health, and time. Imagine each of these areas FILLED with joy and abundance (if that’s what success feels like for you!).

This is where you start designing your life. This is where you create your vision for what your life will become.

What could you do right now to feel successful? Click To Tweet

Baby Steps, But Still, Steps.

Now that you have that BIG vision of your successful life, it’s time to give it some teeth, as it were.

It’s not enough to just imagine your dream life. You need to do something about it. This is where habit trackers, bullet journals, and other tricks can be useful.

Some people like intention-setting, other people like goals. However you want to set up your steps for getting to where you want to be is fine, as long as you take consistent action. When you take consistent action, success becomes inevitable.

Yes, you may have setbacks (that’s part of learning) but the truth is, success, especially when you take the time to define it as carefully as we have here, is inevitable.

Let me give you an example. In 2010, I decided I would be a writer. I spent the next five years putting my heart into writing. I wrote and published a LOT of books. Every week I did a ton of blog posts. I was prolific!

And I was successful in my endeavor. I looked back at how many books I’d written and published, and by objective standards, I was absolutely a writer. At that point, I had achieved my intention and it became clear it was time for something else (and here we are!).

When I was focused on being a writer, I did something, at least one thing, everyday that brought me closer to my vision. Now, I do at least one thing that brings me closer to my current vision.

When you take consistent action, success becomes inevitable. #lifestyledesign #intentionsetting Click To Tweet

Here’s to your success!

Now that you know that YOU define your success. You know that you can begin taking small steps by focusing on what success feels like for you and bringing more of that into your life. It’s not rocket science. It’s really pretty simple.

You just need to decide what you want.

Need a little more help? Let me know what kind of success you’d like to achieve below!


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Alexis Donkin

Alexis Donkin is a life coach and intuitive helping creatives build lives based in unconditional love. She is the creator of The Compassion Letter weekly newsletter, and the online course, The Heart Unboxed: How to Love the Unloveable, as well as host of the Intentional Writer Interview Series and author of over 17 books.
What Success Means (And How to Get It)
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