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How to Define Success on Your Own Terms

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success.com

How to Define Success on Your Own Terms
A wise person once said, "Nothing has meaning except the meaning we give it." Pretty simple, yet profound. Fortunately, this idea can be applied to virtually any hypothetical imaginable. Acts or omissions. Unsolicited advice. Unanticipated outcomes. Even how we define success.

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Intimate Relationships

You and your partner are best able to define what you think a successful relationship looks like.

When assessing your relationship, instead of comparing it to other couples, ask: “How do w...

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Parenting

Instead of criticizing yourself (or your children) for not being perfect, give yourself credit for being the best parent you can be. Enjoy your children for who they are.

If there are ar...

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Professional Achievements

You’ve worked hard to get where you are. Instead of comparing yourself to your friends and colleagues, appreciate the extent of what you have already achieved.

Then, challenge yourself i...

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Material Possessions

If you view material possessions as the overwhelming proof that someone is successful—maybe you’ve got it wrong.

The most successful people see acquiring material possessions as benefits of t...

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Happiness

Happiness is a subjective concept. What makes one person happy may not satisfy the next. 

When determining whether you are “successful,” ask yourself whether you are happy.

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“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

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A personal Philosophy

We all need personal philosophy in life or we risk wandering and responding to random stimuli and information with little or no impact on our long-term goals.

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

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Fear of success

It's a very real but often misunderstood struggle. The key thing to realize is that, in most cases, the fear is about the consequences of success, not the success itself. 

This fear like...

What fear of success looks like

  • Fear of success usually doesn’t mean a literal fear of success. People fear the results and consequences of making lots of money, for example, not the money itself.
  • Fear of success is often learned at a young age.
  • Fear of success is maintained (and made worse) by avoidance.
  • Fear of success is painful. It brings a lot of anxiety.
  • Most people who are afraid of success are embarrassed by their fear.

Work through your fear of success

  • Validate your fear of success by understanding its origins.
  • Track your avoidance strategies related to fear of success.
  • Face your fears of success (the smart way).
  • Get professional help from a cognitive behavioral therapist.