It wasn’t that long ago when I had this opinion that success was about how well I was doing in my career in PR and how much money I was earning.
I was measuring my success on how I was moving up the career ladder and how in turn my salary was increasing.
I also looked at success in terms of material things such as owning a house, owning a smart car, having the latest phone, how many big exotic holidays I could afford etc etc.
And I’d measure this against those around me – my peers, colleagues, friends and parents.
I knew I was doing OK. I was working hard, “progressing”, and spending my money on the right things. Despite this, honestly, I wasn’t actually feeling that successful.
Why was that?
Focusing on career status, money and material things as a gauge of success allowed my inner critic to interject a lot.
In my ear my inner critics would say “But there’s more you need to achieve before you can call yourself successful…..”, “there’s the next job up you need to achieve”, “there’s the higher salary you need to earn” or “you need to get the bigger house” and so on.
As much as my inner critic was trying hard, I just couldn’t get excited about the idea of striving for that management role, for managing more people or seeking that next pay rise. These things weren’t lighting me up inside.
It occurred to me that is was because they weren’t the successes that would come if I was living the life I soulfully desired…..
Trust your inner messages
I’d known for a long time I wanted to work for myself. I’d known that I wanted to deliver something to the world that I had fully invested in and created by myself. And that would also allow me to help others by exploring my natural talents and tell my story.
I also wanted to have a lifestyle that was flexible, fun and varied and that allowed freedom and choice on my terms.
It was an epically tough battle to give myself permission to jump into the unknown and find a way to achieve the life I described above.
One of my first decisions was to start a distance learning PT course that I could do while still working full time. Once I had the qualification under my belt I knew I had to leave my full-time job.
I had a few people say “why don’t you just do this part-time while you build up your experience and business”. But I know myself well and I had to show up fully if I was going to do this properly.
I had to trust my instinct and myself.
And over the course of this transition from full time in PR to self-employed coaching, I also made the decision to sell the house I’d owned for six years. The house I’d so desperately wanted to own previously, the one to tick of one of those measurements of success I was so hung up on.
As soon as I could see I was moving forward, working on what I really wanted for myself, honouring my values and allowing them to be there in all their glory, the sense of self-achievement and success was expanding like a hot air balloon getting ready for flight.
And I can’t tell you what a sense of relief I felt as I changed things, small things, one thing at a time, which released me from what actually now feels like a straight jacket of a previous life. And I do think that Theodore Roosevelt was so right when he said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
On this ongoing journey to create the lifestyle I really want for myself, that allows me to be my authentic self, these are what brings me joy.
Leave me a comment below with what’s come up for you from this post, I love to hear from you.
I help clients connect with their true desires and understand how success is stronger when it’s related back to joy and purpose.
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P.P.S I’m opening the doors to my group coaching programme in June – Fly The Nest for Fledgling Entrepreneurs. If you know someone who is just starting a business, or who really wants to, and is struggling with clarity, momentum or confidence then this might just be what they need. Here’s the link for more information.