What Is Success
How do we define success, and how do we measure it? Owning a fast expensive automobile, having a yacht, owning several vacation homes the measurement of success. Or, is it just having a job and bringing in a steady income. For sure, success is measured in degrees.
1. Definition of Success is Relative
For some people success is doing the job they were hired to do. However when people feel used doing the job they don’t feel successful, they feel manipulated. When people feel manipulated they begin to fear for their well being. They begin to see their self worth as valueless. Liz Ryan, contributor to Forbes magazine writes about fear in the work place. Fear can be a hindrance to success. She writes as long as fear is the central theme of the workplace culture people will only work to produce the numbers for the company”.
They do not consider themselves successful even if the company bosses see the company as successful because of the output of the workers.
2. Fear of Success
Another hindrance to success is fear of success. Several books have been written on this topic. A central theme running through all of these books is the fear of not being able to handle the position that new success puts people in. Sometimes called fear of responsibility, People fear the added burden of responsibility may result in poor job performance. They feel pressured and this results in anxiety. Hidden in the fear of success is really what Laura Finger in her book, ‘The Fear of Success’, calls ‘fear of responsibility’. Some people feel very comfortable given the same tasks day in and day out, but give one more item on their agenda and get nervous. You may be one of those people who fear more responsibility.
3. Undeserved Success
Then there are those who find themselves in a position beyond their level of competency, otherwise known as the Peter Principle. The problem of getting promoted to a position beyond the ability to perform is that it puts you and your supervisor in an awkward situation. Some people may be able to fake it for a while, however at some point the lack of knowledge and skill required to execute the given task will manifest itself. This results in lowered self-esteem and a sense of unworthiness. It also puts the supervisor or boss in the inalienable position to demote or in some cases dismiss these people. One can hardly feel successful being demoted or fired. Realizing your level of competency is a measurement of success in itself.
4. The Right Position at Job
Another measurement of success is how at ease people feel in their position. When people realize they are in “over their heads” they begin to feel anxious, irritable, and short tempered making people around them feel uneasy. Yet as these people grow into their new position, they gain confidence, begin to relax and become more competent.
5. Success in a Way of Thinking
You may consider yourself unsuccessful while a co-worker may feel quite successful doing the same job. Success is a mindset as much as it is an accomplishment of goals. Yes owning a Cadillac by most standards is a sign of success. Even so, owning a Chevrolet for many people is a sign of success. Ask yourself, have I reached my goals? Are there other goals I need to work on? Am I happy where I am? Am I satisfied with what I have? If you feel satisfied with the answer to these questions, you in all probability achieved success.
Just keep in mind success is measured in degrees and each small step reached toward a goal is an accomplishment. Success is a mindset, what you consider a success may be different than what others may consider a success. Lastly, bear in mind that nobody can determine whether you are successful or not. Just because you don’t reach your objective does not mean you are a failure, it may mean you may set your sights too high and may have to readjust your goal.
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