If you are determined and enthusiastic about life in general, chances are that you will feel like you’re a failure every now and then. After all, lofty goals lead to those moments when you don’t feel like you’re living up to your own expectations. Unfortunately, our society enforces these feelings of inadequacy. While most people won’t openly admit it, for some reason, we typically equate our success with how much “stuff” we have accumulated. However, “stuff” doesn’t define success- check out Presence, Power, and Profit to find out more.
It’s heartbreaking that we fall prey to this line of thinking because, deep down- we definitely know better. One study revealed that around 90 percent of Americans believe that happiness is a much better indicator of success that prestige, power, or possessions. When we look a little closer, we find that just under 70 percent believe success is defined as having good relationships with our loved ones- and 60 percent said success is loving what you do. Only around 20 percent defined success according to monetary wealth.
However, it’s one thing to say this- but it’s something else entirely to put it into action. The truth is that true success has to do with who you have become and how far you have come to get to where you are. If you worry that you’re not as successful as you “should” be, then you’re not using the right criteria to evaluate yourself. Sometimes, you just need to change your perspective.
Following are a few indicators of success- keep these in mind to avoid going astray and getting down on yourself.
You are NOT the center of the universe – What is success to you?
Everyone knows at least one “successful” person that acts like the entire world revolves around them. After all, it’s their world, they just let us live here- right? In order to be truly successful, you must be able to feel empathetic and realize that other people are just as important as we are. If it weren’t for those around us, we wouldn’t be where we are.
You maintain positivity
Optimism and hope are critical for a happy life. If you are always thinking about everything that goes wrong, you end up becoming resentful and bitter. When this happens, you will fail- regardless of what you may have achieved. True success means that you can always look on the bright side and believe that you have what it takes to turn even the worst situations around for the better.
You accept that failure doesn’t last forever
You understand that the only ones that never fail are the ones that never try anything at all- and just because you fail at one thing does not make you a failure. Instead, you look at a failure as a chance to learn something and keep moving. One thing to remember is that you’re never going to be truly successful unless you learn to embrace failure. The mistakes that you are making are paving the way to success by showing you when you’re headed in the wrong direction. Usually, the biggest breakthroughs will come when you are at your wits end. This frustration will cause you to reframe your thoughts and look outside the box to see the solution that you didn’t see before.
You always keep things in perspective
Sometimes, bad things are going to happen to you- that’s just the nature of life. However, the truth is that for most of us, our worst day may seem like a beach vacation to someone that has real problems such as not being able to buy food to feed their children or trying to survive a war. When you stop and put things in perspective, suddenly, locking your keys in your car really isn’t all that terrible.
You’re not afraid to ask for help
When you are struggling- and you refuse to ask for help- it indicates that you are emotionally immature. When you ask for help, it proves that you don’t feel like you have to prove that you’re perfect. This reveals that you’re not afraid of others learning about your weaknesses and you understand/accept that there’s no way to succeed when you’re all alone.
You accept that life is not a see-saw
Just because your co-worker gets that big promotion at work does not mean that you are going to suffer an equal loss. You just didn’t get the win that time. One of the major signs that you are successful is that you can celebrate the achievements of others with sincerity.
You are no longer wrapped up in what other people think of you.
When you feel like you’ve got something to prove, you’re constantly worried about what other people think of you. On the other hand, when you don’t worry about that anymore, you know that you’ve “made it.” When you learn to understand and accept that the opinions of others are just that- opinions- they don’t affect your reality or change who/what you are- you know that you are truly successful.
So, what does success look like to you? Remember that there’s no reason to feel like a failure just because you don’t feel like you “have it all.” True success comes from inside of you and has nothing to do with your external circumstances. Check out Presence, Power, and Profit to find out more about what success means.