By Linda DeLuca, Executive Coach
If you research the definition of success you will most likely find results related to achieving wealth, position, or honors. You and I both know intellectually that success is not only about achieving fame or fortune. However our day to day behaviors show the opposite of our intellectual awareness. We make decisions and take actions driven by what others have defined as successful: money and fame.
Try this experiment. Review the three profiles below and select the successful individual.
- Brian enjoys woodwork and creates one of a kind pieces for clients in his city. He, his wife and two children live in a small 2 bedroom home on a large lot with room to store and work in his detached garage. The family has only one vehicle: an 18 year old pick-up. Brian struggles with the ups and downs of his business earnings, but provides the essentials for his family. He works from home where he can spend time with his kids and even participate in their home schooling lessons on occasion. They take camping vacations when they can and try to visit a new location each time.
- Sarah is a senior executive responsible for community and public relations. Her responsibilities take her around the world to exotic locations. She travels about 2 weeks out of each month. While traveling she makes time to find unique local art to bring back home and display in her suburban home. She loves to design enjoyable dinner parties for friends and colleagues. Her income has allowed her and her husband to buy a second home on the lake where they vacation with her twin girls when they are on break from college.
- Rachel and her husband Rick both work for a consulting firm which allows them to experience a variety of projects types. Each has earned a Ph.D and together have published several award winning papers. They are often interviewed for their expertise and have appeared on regional and national news.
Which individual is successful and a good example of Fearless Success? Is it Sarah who has a well paying job, travels, has acquired a second home and collectables from around the world? Or maybe Rachel and Rick for their public recognition and awards?
It’s actually a trick question. Though we intellectually know that success isn’t only about fame and fortune, we still compare ourselves to others on these terms.
Fearless Leaders Define Success Differently
It’s time to be fearless and define success on your own terms. If you don’t have your own clear definition of success, you’ll end up playing by someone else’s rules. Playing by others’ rules will lead to resentment, regret, and an unfulfilling career.
What does it look like to play by someone else’s rules? One example is climbing the career ladder of success. From our early careers we are guided by a career path and the next rung on the ladder. Mindlessly we climb to the next rung and the next only to find we are on the wrong ladder. Or worse the ladder is against the wrong wall altogether.
What does it take to fearlessly define success? Take a look at your career to this point. Do you consider yourself successful? What factors do you consider most important in the broader sense of success? Answering these questions will help you define Fearless Success.
Success is personal. The fearless leader defines success as the accomplishment of one’s goals. But be careful and confirm the goals you take on are truly your own. Recognize that your perception of success is often linked to your stage of life, and therefore, is not static. Even within your given stage of life, how you measure success can be quite different from how someone else measures success.Be careful to make sure that the goals you take on are truly your own. Success is personal and it is not static. Click To Tweet
As you create your unique definition of success be aware – who’s voice are you listening to? Are you busy chasing someone else’s definition or are you chasing your own?
The Fearless Success Challenge
Examine the decisions and choices you make for one day. Are these decisions guided by achieving success on your terms or on those of others? Are you being fearless and making choices based on your own definition of success? If you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, you are on the path to achieve Fearless Success!
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
– Booker T. Washington