The Success Perspective

The personal development industry is built on helping people create ‘success’. Whether that be health, wealth or happiness, it’s all about helping you get further ahead by following a set of instructions or a particular method. All totally logical, except it’s a flawed process. Welcome to the success perspective.

The notion that we’re all on a path to creating ‘success’ implies that e’re clear on what success is for us personally, and someone else has the key to unlock our success path for us. In reality this formula doesn’t work. We’re unique and complicated beings as humans, and although many of us feel the pressure to create what would be considered socially acceptable success, we also have our own individual definition of what success is for us.

For some of us, that’s creating the career of our dreams. For others, it’s having meaningful relationships. Maybe success for you is a financial goal, maybe it’s a health goal. Perhaps you want to travel more, or create work-life balance, or both.  The chances are, what you would classify as success isn’t necessarily someone else’s definition.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, it just complicates things for those in the personal development industry, so much so that this individuality factor is often ignored.

Once you’ve defined your success, another spanner may be thrown into the works. Things change. Life isn’t static, and what you’re striving for today may not be as important to you next year, or even next month. So how can a step-by-step formula account for these changes? It can’t.

We see this all the time with our clients. Some have difficulties defining what success is for them – is it work, family, or both? Is it salary or job satisfaction? Is it clear what you’re working towards or are these factors conflicting? We often see clients struggle to make a psychological shift when their success parameters change, particularly new parents returning to work after time off, those taking on a new role at work or people trying to reach new goals or targets.

And here’s what we know about navigating these success waters…there’s a secret ingredient in taking control of your personal success (and it is in your control). Perspective.

The problem with following a set ‘success formula’ is more often than not you’re following steps based on a path you may not have taken, based on someone else’s experience. This is what we’d expect from a healthy mentoring relationship (why not gather advice from someone who’s done the thing you want to do? You’d be mad not to), but this doesn’t help you create a success mindset overall, which relates to all areas of your life.

As your priorities and circumstances in life change (which they do for all of us at one time or another), it’s this success mindset, not a success formula which is going to serve you well. And that starts with gaining a realistic perspective of where you are and what you want to achieve, and you’ll need to be flexible with your perspective to react and adapt as your path changes and develops.

The success perspective mindset

Understand your definition

What’s your definition of success? Are you clear on what you want to achieve, and most importantly why you want to achieve it? So often we forget to adjust our definition of success when our circumstances change.

It’s important to be clear about what your success priorities are – because you can’t achieve everything at once. You may have big overall goals, but you’ll need to take small steps to get to where you want to be.

What would be a successful week for you? A successful month? Year? Get really clear (and honest) on what success will look like for you in the short and long term.

Find your own path

Are you really sure what your success looks like, or are you following someone else’s path? Are you feeling overwhelmed by a societal definition of success and trying to apply that to your own life?

You may want to achieve goals that are the norm generally speaking in your society, but you may not. The key to creating true success really is finding your own path and working towards your own goals – the things that are important to you, personally.

Are you trying to follow a ‘success system’ that’s been defined for you? Or are are you taking control and being empowered to create your own success mindset?

Build resilience

You will come across challenges whatever path you’re on. There’s no way to stop the waves crashing, but you can learn to surf. Building your resilience is reliant on you learning and being being willing to adapt your perspective, and view these obstacles in a new light.

When you come up against challenges that threaten to throw you off-course on your journey, do you view these experiences as something that has to be endured and fought against? Or do you see these experiences as a positive – whatever the outcome you learn something? It’s all a matter of perspective.

Consider this, is there an opportunity for you to view challenges differently in order to create your success?

Flexible thinking

Nothing stays the same in life, things around us are always changing. Whether it be your personal or work life, the chances are you’ll experience some kind of change at some point (and potentially a lot of change fairly frequently). It could be a change in your personal circumstances or relationships, new additions to the family, a death, a new job offer or an unexpected opportunity at work. The list of possibilities that can change the way we live our lives is endless…both positive and negative.

If you’re fixed on what success is for you, does that allow for a sudden change in circumstances? If you can apply an adaptable and flexible mindset, adjusting your priorities and success parameters as you move through life, you’re a lot more likely to achieve success – and most importantly your kind of success.

Flexibility takes practice, do you take time to review how you view situations and how you’re responding to the challenges and opportunities around you? Do you reflect on the best way to navigate your own path, finding ways to move forward that work for you?

You’re in control

You’re in control of your success mindset…and it’s all in the mind. Your mind. Take inspiration, guidance, tips, processes and advice where you need to, but don’t lose sight of creating your own personal success mindset.

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