When it comes to success, our eyes often lead us astray. And if you’re ambitious, you tend to feel like a failure from time to time. Especially when you start comparing yourself with friends or family; feeling like you got left behind.
Social media has influenced us in believing that success is measured by materialistic things. We see that the most successful people are those with the most friends, the expensive cars, and gigantic houses. And regardless of your achievements, there is always someone with more or better.
It’s because of this that I believed for so long I was a failure. But I now know that real success is about who you are and how far you’ve come; your personal growth.
If you think you’re not as successful as you should be (like I did), you may be measuring yourself against the wrong criteria. Here are 11 signs that you’re already successful and you just don’t know it:
#1 YOU’RE NO LONGER CONTROLLED BY YOUR INCOME
Earning a good living and being responsible with your money is always a good idea. But if you make money your life’s purpose, you’re missing out on experiences that money can’t buy. It all comes down to balance.
#2 YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE
We’ve all met that “successful” person who acts like they’re the centre of the universe. But true success is when you realise that other people’s feelings and dreams are just as important as yours, and knowing we can’t succeed without each other.
#3 YOU STRIVE TO IMPROVE
Successful people know there’s always room for improvement, whereas others fall into the trap of believing they “made it”. The moment you settle, your personal growth becomes stagnant.
#4 YOU KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
Sometimes bad things happen. It’s a part of life, and out of our control. But the truth is, for some of us, our worst day would look like a walk in the park to somebody who has no food or a shelter.
Once we’ve learned the ability to keep our problems – like locking your keys in the car – in perspective, we can consider it as a success.
#5 YOU KNOW FAILURE ISN’T FOREVER
I still try to get everything right the first time round, but to always aim for perfection will only set you up for disappointment. So, knowing that mistakes are a way of learning can open your world to self-improvement. Besides, if you keep your sense of humour intact, mistakes make funny stories to tell in the future.
#6 YOU STAY POSITIVE
Hope is the driving force in life. If you hope for the better, you teach yourself to be positive and to believe in the bigger picture. And as hard as it may be to stay positive during difficult times, it’s worth working for.
When you dwell on the things that go wrong, you become bitter and resentful; obscuring your view of the good in your life. Working hard on seeing the bright side and believing you can make a difference mean real success.
#7 YOU UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRAMA AND EXCITEMENT
Looking back at your life, you will be able to understand the power of choosing your battles. And being able to know the difference between drama and excitement, makes it easier for you to invest your energy and time wisely.
#8 YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK ANYMORE
You know you’ve made it when you understand that other people’s opinions are just that: their opinions. Their opinions don’t and will never define who or what you are.
#9 YOU OFFER MUTUAL RESPECT
Success is a combination of the good and bad life experiences. And it can be difficult when you face it alone. So if you understand the value and importance of treating other people with respect, I have already deemed you as successful.
#10 YOU’RE DRIVEN
If you don’t mind working hard and getting your hands dirty, you are far better off than you think.
#11 YOU ACCEPT WHAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE AND CHANGE WHAT YOU CAN
This was the most difficult lesson to learn (and I’m still learning). Understanding that bad things happen without reason, makes life just a little bit easier. Once you explore your options and change what you can change, you can move on. If you can’t change it, give yourself time to be sad and then let it go.
Success is more than money. It’s about values, personal growth, and true happiness. And taking the responsibility to change the things you don’t like about your life is one of the biggest indicators that you’re already living a successful life.