Success, it seems to have become a universal word for someone who has ‘made it in life’. Regardless of their reality, we build a picture from external factors and use this to define someone as successful. Sometimes we use this image we have created to compare our own lives and disregard the fact that our path will be different to theirs. Let’s take a look at why it is so important to define success on your own terms.
Social media influence on perceptions of success & happiness
When used in a positive way, I think social media is a powerful tool. However, it can have a negative impact on our mental health on a subconscious level. If you aren’t careful this can really take a toll on your well-being. Now, this didn’t just start with social media, this concept has been around for a long time – if you have ever heard someone use the phrase ‘keeping up with the joneses’ you will know what i’m talking about.
We must take a moment to remember that what we see about someone else’s life isn’t the full picture. Everybody has their own struggles. Just because someone has more things, more money – whatever it is – this does not mean they are happy and it also means that having these things won’t make you happy either.
Shiny object syndrome
It’s so easy to get caught in this mindset of ‘oh if i just had this, then I will be happy’. By doing this you are creating a pattern for your brain to seek out the next best thing. No matter how many things you attain, there will always be something else – a new product, a new car, a new house.
So how do you break the cycle?
Define success on your own terms
When was the last time that you sat down and thought about your life? Where you are now? what your goals are for the future? If you already have an idea, how much of this has been curated by external influences. Have you decided what YOU want and what will make YOU happy. What’s the point in chasing something that isn’t going to add any value to your life?
Practicising daily gratitude
Take a moment each day to think about what you are grateful for. It can be something really small, or something you are proud of etc. The more you recognise the positive things in your life right now, the more you will be happy in the present moment. In doing so, you will be less likely to be comparing yourself to others, you will be confident in your own path and make decisions that will best suit what you want out of life.
There is no one-for-all timeline, we all have the freedom to choose different paths. We shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves or feel down because someone else is in a different situation to us. We all have to start somewhere, what’s most important is that you are happy and you make decisions for you!
One of my favourite quotes is in my post: Trust the timing of your life