How do you measure success? I’ve been asking myself this question lately because quite frankly, my own definition of success has become conflicted and heightened by the flood of social media. Is it defined by money? How many countries you’ve traveled to? Who you’re friends with? How many kids you have on your hip? What fashion shows you’re sitting at? Or that you found love? Today we’re exposed to everyone’s ideals of success making it that much harder to have clarity on your own.
I’m downright critical of myself (aren’t we all?) in too many ways. Instead of being in a state of gratitude for what I’ve accomplished, I tend to flood my thoughts with the things I should be doing or lofty goals ensuing a diminished sense of confidence. The best part? I do it without even meaning to.
The constant drag I was feeling was starting to weigh me down on a regular basis and hinder my drive. So I tried to consciously stop myself every time my mind, you know, went there. I’d be lying if it didn’t spiral out of control every time I opened Instagram. Not in a dramatic weeping on the floor way, but a silent in my head way. Success is suddenly on a whole new level as we become privy to everyone else’s. Which makes me wonder, do we expect too much of ourselves these days?
While there are so many great things to be gained from social media—discovering someone inspiring or finding a new brand you love—there’s also a sickness to it. It’s called comparison. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a blogger, a nurse, a mom or a grandmother who just downloaded the app yesterday, your mind can run with it even before you realize it, making you feel instantly distracted and somehow adopting other people’s goals. It’s become the kryptonite to my creativity, so here’s what I’ve done to reverse the affect.
For starters, I’ve set limits on when and how long I spend on Instagram. Experiencing life without my phone in my hand or even better in a drawer, in another room is like checking back into “the present”. I made a list of all the things I’m proud of, personally and professionally, and put it in a place that I can see so I’m reminded on a daily basis. Physically, getting a good work-out or sweat in on a regular basis clears my head in the best way—buh bye stress toxins. Lastly, before I dose off at night I write down the thing I was most proud of accomplishing that day—sometimes it’s as simple as being on time while other days it’s locking down a new partnership. Or it can be a wake up call to do something I’ve been shying away from. It’s pretty fulfilling to look back at the end of the week and know where I stand without all the noise.
How do you define success at the end of the day?