One thing is for certain, everyone wants to be successful. Every single person wants to feel like they have accomplished something significant with their life. We want to feel like we are living with purpose and achieving the things we were designed to do.
Most people do experience many successes in their lives, however, they would tell you they are not successful. If you asked them why they did not feel successful, you would probably not get a very clear answer. Some of that is because we don’t want to be arrogant or assuming. But there are several more reasons why people feel like they are not a success. Here are three common reasons why people feel unsuccessful.
We Have a Limited View of Success
Culture often dictates what we view as success. Much of what culture views as success is centered around money, power and sexuality. If we have achieved what we consider to be a lot of money or a lot of influence or we are noticed for the way we look, we feel like we are successful. The problem is these three areas are so limited. Certainly there is value in having resources, influence and being desired (at least by our spouse), but they are not the only measures of success. Living healthy is success. Having a good marriage is success. Having peace in our life is success. Living out our purpose is success. I have seen people make plenty of money but lose their family only to realize the money was not a good measure of success. Success involves so many things and often power, money and sexuality play only a very small role in it. Broadening our view of success will help us to see the areas where we are successful.
We Have Not Defined Success
Even when we are sure of the areas of life that we consider to be important for our personal success we may not have defined what success looks like in that area. We struggle with two words: “more” and “enough”. If money is our measure of success, what is enough? There seems to be the pull to always want more. If power is our measure of success, what is enough? We have some confidence with how we look, but want to look better. Our marriage or children are never good enough. I am not talking about personal growth or continual improvement. These should always be a part of our lives. What does success actually look like? Have you given yourself a clear definition of what success looks like? Or are you chasing some fuzzy goal that you can never seem to achieve? Do you constantly say “One day I will get there”, only to have no idea where “there” is? Defining success for our lives will relieve some pressure, give us direction and help us know how we are honestly doing.
We Are Measuring By Someone Else
One of our struggles is that we compare our lives to someone else’s and then don’t feel like we have accomplished all that they have. They may or may not be successful, but their definition of success may also be different than yours. One of the magnifiers of this problem in our culture is social media. We view everyone’s highlight reel while living out our entire movie. Based on those comparisons, we think we are not doing as good as they are. Have you ever seen a movie preview and thought that it would be a great movie only to find out when you watched the whole movie that all of the good parts were in the trailer? If you saw everyone else’s entire movie, you would feel better about your own. Live by your own definition of success and don’t allow comparison to trap you.
All of us can be successful. When we have a correct, defined view of success in our lives we will feel better about our own situations. Live out your own life of success, not what someone else has decided success is for you.