Ask others what success means and you’re likely to hear a variation of these answers:
- Fancy car or two – Mercedes, BMW, Lexus
- Nice house – Big, with a swimming pool, in a gated community
- Respectable corporate job – something worthy of bragging about
- Attractive spouse
Those things are fine if they’re of your own choosing. But, if you take the time to think about it, your definition of success might be: Single, traveling the world, running my own business from a laptop, having adventures each day, and wearing flipflops at least eight hours each day. A person with this definition of success would be miserable in the first scenario.
You might find yourself accomplishing something that doesn’t appeal to you in the end.
Avoid disappointment by creating your own definition of success!
Ask yourself these questions:
1. What legacy do I want to leave for my children and the world? At the end of your life, what do you want to look back upon, Is it wealth and a vast business empire, Do you want to leave a string of good works, Do you want to look back on a life full of adventures,
* How will you have wanted to spend your time,
* What financial resources do you want to leave behind,
* What do you want to be known for,
2. What are my values? A lifetime spent living your values will be fulfilling. Most people have a vague notion of what’s important to them, but few take the time to think about it carefully. Pull out a piece of paper and make a list of your values.
3. What do I want to do? Make a list of all the things you want to see and do. Everything from skydiving to walking on the Great Wall of China. Write it down.
4. What type of life do I want to experience? You might desire a conventional marriage and six children with a white picket fence in the suburbs. Or you might like to live in a Manhattan condo by yourself and take full-advantage of the nightlife for the first 20 years of adulthood.
5. What it will take for me to feel successful? Imagine various scenarios and determine what would make you feel successful. Is it living in a cabin in the woods with few responsibilities, Or living in a 15,000-square foot penthouse, Imagine various careers and lifestyles. Which one feels like success to you,
6. What if no one else would ever know? The idea of owning a Ferrari might feel like success, but what if no one else would ever know you owned it, Would you still feel successful, An ideal version of success wouldn’t involve the opinions of others.
* Search for a version of success that’s meaningful to you, even if others are unaware of your possessions and accomplishments.
There is no universal definition of success. It’s important not to fall into the trap of trying to impress your friends and family. Develop a version of success that is meaningful for you, regardless of society’s values. You might find that your version of success is much more enjoyable and easier to attain.
How do you define success? Your own definition will require you to like what you do and how you do it. Will you like the person you’ve become?
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.