Messages and Manifestos
I had a client who was transitioning from her role as a full-time stay-at-home parent to returning as part of the workforce outside the home. In one of our first conversations, it became clear to me that she had an idea of how to define professional success…AND how she fit into that definition, which was not the most favorable portrayal of who she was or what she had to offer. You see, her definition of herself as having been “just a mom” and her definition of what was needed to achieve professional success were not in alignment. By using a very specific, narrowly defined set of criteria, she was unable to se the value she could offer…and the possibilities that might open up for her.
Unfortunately, this is a story that I think is REALLY common among women. We are often taught to define success in such narrow ways that we are left feeling unsuccessful in almost every area, despite our best efforts. And while men are also given certain messages about success, my belief is that women in particular learn from an early age to internalize messages of who they should be and what does or doesn’t make them successful. Because of this, it is SO important that we invest the time to decide how we want to define success for ourselves…and then step into that vision.
The question is…HOW do we do that?! Well, here are a few steps you can take to help you get started:
1. Think about the people you admire most. These can be friends, family members, creatives, public figures, or anyone you think of as a person worth knowing or emulating.
2. Ask yourself, what it is about this person that you admire? Is it their job, relationship, or income…or is it how they show up in the world, how they treat others, the contributions they make, etc.?
3. Next, consider how these measures of success might show up in YOUR life. What would that look like? How does this shift your definition of what success can look like FOR YOU?
Understanding that we don’t have to accept other people’s definitions for our lives can be a game-changer! As you reflect on how you want to think about success going forward, I encourage you to create a success manifesto for yourself. This can be simple, and you may want to write it down someplace where you can refer to it often. Here is mine: Success for me is finding reasons to experience JOY every day😊
And you? How are YOU defining success for yourself? And how might this new perspective change how you show up in the world?