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5 Things that May Change Your Definition of Success and Improve Your Self Worth

What defines your self-worth?

I recently discovered that mine was wrapped up in a notion of what I can achieve in one day, one week, or one month. Well, let me tell you the realization of the error of my ways and how I found this thinking to be flawed.

I was driving down the road one day, stressed out, depressed, and straining for some glimpse of hope-some way to make sense out of it all. I admit, I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life. I flipped on the radio and randomly searched through the stations hoping to find a tune to bring my spirits back up. The station stopped on a sermon, it was Sunday. Like a flash of miraculous insight, the speaker exclaimed at that perfect moment-“You are too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!” “Amen”, I said, as tears rolled down my cheeks. “Truth”, I thought. Why do we torture ourselves so?

When feeling good about oneself is so closely tied to ones achievements, you inevitably set yourself up for disappointment. This is because when you go through a lull of “results”, it’s like the bottom drops out and the more you struggle to “get back on top” the more stressed and messy things become.

How do you reframe your definition of success and self-worth? Well, what will you be proud of at the end of this life? I assure you, you won’t be thinking “wow, I wish I would have worked harder, pushed harder, made more money etc…”

We’ll all be thinking about the relationships we built, the time we spent with friends and family, the people’s lives that touched us, the children born, and the exciting adventures that we went on together.

In fact, Ms. Bronnie Ware, a woman who worked for years with the dying, wrote a list of the top 5 regrets people say aloud on their deathbed

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Who says we always have to struggle to be the best, to knock it out of the park, to be the top dog? Pooh pooh on this philosophy! Yes, we should strive to do our best but, to have our emotions tied to it as a way to identify who we are, whether we’re worthy or not, whether we are good or not, whether we’re making enough of a difference or not, is just exhausting.

The fact of the matter is that we are ALL innately GOOD. Some will contribute in a big, public way and will get recognition for it-fine. But some will make small differences behind the scenes, intimately, one-on-one and create ripples that will last lifetimes.

So, who is to say which is more successful?

My new definition of success:

It's about living a balanced life, following my passion, and being grateful for the opportunity to do what I love.

What’s yours?

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