Tuesday, 4 March 2014

redefining success

I have been sitting on this post for several weeks now. Jotting down my thoughts and spending some time letting my own self judgement swirl around in my mind, letting my opinions form, then change, then reconsidering my previous assumptions.

So here I am. Ready to talk about the definitions of 'success' and 'failure'.

I have posted about feeling like a failure in the past. But today I ponder failure of a more general kind. 

Life failure.

What does it actually mean to fail? In exams, it’s black and white

and easy to understand.

But in life ... it’s ambiguous because success is 

often about meeting a set of criteria created by a person or a 

group of people whose opinions differ from your own.


If the opposite of failure is success, then what exactly does that mean?

If you ask society to determine if you're successful it is easy - 

On paper, I was 'successful' in my early 20's.

Uni Degree  ✔️

Job  ✔️

Husband  ✔️

House  ✔️

Dog  ✔️

Tick; Tick; Tick.

But back then, I was (unknowingly) living a life with blinkers on, like a Clydesdale horse - focused on the path ahead, blindly heading from 'here' to 'there'. 

Yes, I was ticking the boxes and yes, I was feeling satisfied that I was succeeding. But in hindsight, these goals were self imposed priorities that were previously determined by societal expectations and I didn't really stop to wonder if I was on the right path for me.

You know why?

Because I was 100% focused on being who I 'should' be.


Those who know me in 'real life' know I have been challenging this concept for months. 
If you know me really well.. you know I have been quietly struggling with this concept for YEARS!

But I have come to a life changing realisation that is - 

Failure is what happens when you feel disconnected from who 

you really are.

This means (in a very harsh and judgmental way) that I had failed more than a marriage by the ripe age of 25.


[Edit: After a conversation with my sister about this very topic, I have acknowledged that I know I haven't failed at life, but I was definitely doing all the things I was 'supposed' to do rather than figuring out who I am and what I want. As a 'wife' I made sacrifices because that's what I thought marriage and compromise was all about. Happily, I now know that if/when I ever choose to become a 'wife' again, I will not lose myself in the process. HIGH FIVE!]
Sidenote - I think I have come up with a new blog topic - "Thing that my marriage and subsequent breakdown taught me".. 
But I'll leave that for another day!

So now I am focused on a brand new kind of success.

I am throwing out the rigid and inflexible concept of the word and embracing a new theory.

Success is love.

Self love first and foremost.

Love yourself. Love what you are doing. Love where you are. Love where you have been.

And if you don't - then make a change.

Because your life should not be spend striving for someone else's ideal of success.

~ ~ ~

I'm not done with this topic. I still have a long way to go.

It's not easy to challenge society. And it sure as hell isn't easy to challenge yourself.

I am currently fighting my own internal dialect Every. Damn. Day.


1 comment:

  1. Great post, Andie! This is something I have been thinking about sooooo intensely lately. Self discovery is equally brutal and beautiful (brutiful perhaps?). Best of luck on your awesome new path!


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