Defining Success

I’ve discovered, with help from Michelle Lee, The Coachapist, that I make a lot of rules for myself that prevent me from having fun and being successful. I’ve focused on the importance of fun before but haven’t talked much about how spending time defining success is a valuable activity.

In my case, I’m beginning to think success looks like freedom from (at least some of) these rules. Imagine what I could achieve if I had less contraints! And by the way, these pesky rules aren’t just for me but everyone around me. What do I gain from that? I’m not a hella angry person but I have caught myself getting angry when other people who don’t have my rules are being or seeming successful. Hey Jealousy! (How’s that for authenticity?)

Good news: I’m a results-oriented problem solver. And a change agent. So I move to finding the solution by asking:

What can I do to loosen up on the rule-setting and get rid of the anger?

The answer is changing my rules. Not holding myself accountable to rules that don’t serve me. Releasing others from the obligation to follow my rules.

So step 1: Rule identification. What are these silly rules, anyway?

Step 2: Writing the reverse of those rules. Say the equally true but opposite thing.

Step 3: Realize that rules don’t make me safe, they keep me small. And playing small is so.not.successful.

Ok, but what does success look like for ME?

Answer: Expanding capabilities and getting broader experiences while delivering value to clients. Mutual growth.

But doesn’t that run counter to what a lot of people expect from consultants? Consultants are already at the top of their game. They’ve “arrived,” and are completely knowledgable–plug-and-play, not trial and error!

Sounds like a rule, doesn’t it? That’s probably why it’s been hard for me to call myself a consultant. My way of doing it isn’t matching up to my limited definition of success with respect to doing it.

Sigh! Return to step 2. Rinse and repeat.

Define Success for You!
Define Success for You!

Let me hear from you: Have you defined success for YOU authentically? Have you figured out what might be in your way?


1 thought on “Defining Success”

  1. Hi Tracy! Great article! I love that you made the distinction about consultants “having already arrived.” There is no such thing. Knowing that, then none of us are set for arrival…ever! Because once we reach one level, we are off seeking the next. I see many people get stuck in that rule.

    Good for you for becoming aware of it and being willing to let it go. Blessings,

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