Do you ever have one of those weeks where everything seems to be trying to tell you a message or reaffirm something that is going on in your life? It might just be that my brain was filtering for them so I noticed them more easily, but last week it seemed like every article I read was applicable to me and what I had going on. I said last week had been a bit challenging for me, and that was due to some changes in my working situation. Although I have been pretty much self employed for a while, I’ve still been working in my old charity job for a few hours a week. I’ve worked there for the last 8 years and last week I put my notice in. Some other things also happened, and I think due to pregnancy hormones I started feeling pretty overwhelmed with what was going on.
Basically, the fact that I am in this alone hit me like a tonne of bricks. I love to work at home and I can be really productive and motivated, but I have to admit I miss having people I can bounce ideas off. A lot of the time I process my thoughts by talking to someone that understands, and I realised that I wouldn’t have that, and haven’t really had that, for a long time.
That kicked off a lot of new thoughts and I started to feel this huge pressure to be ‘successful’. This video from Marie Forleo, point 5 and the very last words of this post from RocknRoll Bride and this lovely post from my friend Christina really hit home for me. In this online world, whether it’s connected to your career, business or your healthy living goals, it’s easy to compare yourself to others, and allow your version of success to start and match theirs.
I can remember when I first started my healthy living journey, all I wanted to do was get down to a size 14. I would have been absolutely over the moon to hit that goal, and for me, that was my version of success. Then I got caught up in reading blogs, comparing myself to others and a size 14 was no longer good enough. To be successful I needed to be smaller. I completely forgot where I wanted to be in the first place and my version of success got lost along the way. A similar thing happened with running. Managing a 10 minute mile stopped being good enough and I pushed myself to get to 8 minute miles, probably pushing myself too much in the process.
In some ways, thats not always a bad thing. There’s a fine line between being inspired by someone or comparing yourself and your achievements to them in a negative way. Sometimes positive comparison can help us reach our potential. ‘If she can do it, then I can too’ is where we want to be. I do think that our dreams should feel a bit scary if they are going to push us further. The issue arises when we don’t check in with ourselves and ask if it’s really what we want deep down. We need to ask ourselves if our dreams are really ours, or are just what we think they should be based on something else.
Being involved in blogging and the online world that can be a tough balance and what I’ve needed to do is re connect with what my version of success means to me. I don’t want to be running a huge business with a massive turnover employing loads of staff and I don’t want to be glued to social media either. I don’t mind putting in some graft (god knows I have over the last couple of years!), but when it’s on something I love to do. I don’t live close to London, so miss out on a lot of opportunities, but are they really things I would want anyway? I’ve found myself starting to turn down a lot of so called ‘opportunities’ because I’ve been honest enough with myself to assess the value in them against my own personal aims.
I have big dreams, but I definitely needed to reevaluate them this week and check in to make sure they are things I actually want. There’s lots of stuff I’d love to achieve business and blog wise, but ultimately all I’ve ever wanted is to be happy. Success and happiness for me is having a family, a solid relationship, a roof over my head (a house rather than a one bed flat would be nice!), a comfortable income, the ability to travel and yes, a way to make a living that I absolutely love which also helps other people in the process. I don’t need to work 60 hours a week, be travelling back and forth to London or make millions of pounds to be successful either and I certainly don’t need to be a size 10!
I’ve also remembered one of my favourite sayings: progress not perfection. When I think about where I started, I’m doing really bloody well in all areas of life.
Going back to the working on my own side of things, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for addressing that one, some of which will need to wait until after the bambino makes an appearance. I was also reminded this week that I do have some very valuable friendships and people that I can turn to when I need that interaction, as well as a supportive online network of people I am only just starting to tap into. After that blip last week I’m now feeling extremely excited for what I have coming up business wise, and more prepared than ever to continue achieving my version of success!
Have you ever chased a dream or version of success and achieved it only to find it didn’t really make you happy or wasn’t right for you? Have you ever felt like you should strive for more when you are happy with what you’ve got? What is your version of success?