How Do You Measure Success?

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?

Photography by Jacqueline Pilar.

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  1. I absolutely love this! I have been reading your blog off and on for years now (but haven’t commented) and have to say, I have often fallen into the trap of comparing myself to you – your style, the business that you have created since you started, your beautiful family, your beauty, on and on – and doing that always ends up robbing me of my own joy, aspirations and creativity. At the risk of sounding crazy, I just wanted to share that and thank you for your honesty and for writing about this, especially as someone who effectively uses social media as the tool for your business. This is something I have been struggling with as well, and went so far as to do a complete Instagram detox (no Insta for a month), and it was utterly life changing! Now I just limit my use of it, and have noticed many positive changes. It feels so good to be able to come to a beautifully curated and created business page such as yours and feel proud of you and supportive of you as a woman and business owner and boss lady, without feeling like I am somehow less than. I will try on some of the techniques you listed in your post as well as they just sound healthy and really helpful for focusing on gratitude and your own bubble of creativity and life force.

    1. Thank you so much for your honesty! I’ve had this conversation so many times with friends and other bloggers, it’s so tough to *not* get discouraged by someone else’s seemingly “perfect” life or career via social media. Setting boundaries and talking about it more seems to be really something we all need! Sounds like you have found a good middle ground, I may need your tips, ha. Thank you for the comment and continuing to follow me! Such a good point to celebrate everyone’s success, whatever the scale may be. I’m pretty convinced if you’re happy and healthy that’s the greatest success you could achieve. xx!

  2. Love love love this post. I am going to use some of your tips. Love the idea of regulating social media time. Been in a work rut lately and have been super hard on myself as well so this post came across my screen on the perfect day. Well written xx

  3. I’ve just wanted to echo the sentiment in the comments above. I feel this is a conversation we all need to be having so thanks for using your platform! One tool I found helpful a few years ago that I have returned to time and again is writing a set of intentions for what I want my life to look like in 5 years. Then when I’m feeling confused about what to do or wondering whether I’m measuring up I can go back to my own intentions rather than trying to compare to others’ paths.

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