We need to let go of the traditional idea of success.

We’re all so quick to let go of the things we’ve outgrown - or think we should have outgrown! Sayonara awkward bowl cut, ciao belly button ring, bye bye Felicia frienemie. 

However there’s one thing we trying to keep trying to hold on to that doesn’t quite fit, it’s our idea of success. 

The traditional idea of success is the one we’ve grown up with. For many of us it’s the career ladder, the idea that you wriggle your way into your planned industry then start climbing upwards through roles. The idea that to become the a successful human being you have to stick out the 9 – 5 - which in my experience is more accurately 8 – 8 - and follow the same path that others have done.

Now I’m not saying this isn’t success. It can be if it’s what you want and what gets you as pumped up as Arnie on arms day. I’m saying that we need to start allowing ourselves to define our own success, whether that is this traditional route or something completely different that boggles your brain just to think about. Have you considered that maybe success isn’t even career related at all?

When you google success there’s about 2,150,000,000 results. These results are all varying levels of ‘The top 5 things successful businessmen do’ or ‘16 things your successful friends have given up’ or even ‘6 reasons you’re not successful.’ But they all seem to be focused on the traditional success, or the extreme success cases like Oprah and ol’ Steve.

Just writing those out activates my sass-mode. For one thing, who gets to says what ‘success’ is and why the f*#k is it only successful ‘businessmen’ in that list. 

The way we work is changing. There are more people going out on their own than ever before, companies are starting to see the benefits of “balance”, there’s ways to work remotely from anywhere you want to. So why in this new career landscape are we still stuck with this old idea of success?

It seems like we need a bit of a mental shift. We need to give ourselves the space to define our own version of success, and you know what, that might not even be related to career at all!

Personally my idea of success was always the career path. I fought my way into a competitive industry and planned to step up and up until I was Creative Director at an advertising agency. That served me well, until one day it didn’t anymore.

Now my idea of success is to be able to do work I love at the level I love while still living beachside rather than in a city, to have the freedom to keep my mental health as a priority and the flexibility to spend time outdoors with my Babes.

For Alarice her idea of success was the corporate ladder. It was only once she realised that her priority was actually travelling with her son that her idea of success shifted to fit that. In that case success for her became being able to create an income that supported her and Eli from anywhere in the world.

That mindset shift was not an overnight thing. It’s a hard thing to do realising that maybe what you’ve always defined as success isn’t serving you. But defining your own success, that is bloody rewarding. It means that your focus is on your priorities, rather than the ones you’ve been given. It means that your success isn’t defined by your career, it’s defined by what you want out of life - and doesn’t that instantly feel much more fitting?

Stop squeezing into the three-sizes too small success dress Babes. You’ve outgrown it.

Working remotely part of your new idea of success? We’ve got a guide to help you do that, stepped out to make it easy peasy. Check it out here. 

Megan RaynorComment