Finding Our Own Versions of Success: Block Out the Noise and Live Your Best Life

Samuel Zeller

Is it just me, or does everything seem brighter and more positive now that warm weather and sunlight is upon us? I definitely feel much more inspired and optimistic…and I love it! Recently, I’ve been pondering how I truly define success for myself, and how much of that has been influenced by external sources such as family, friends, and more. As I was pondering, I realized the answer is:

Way too much.

I suppose it’s natural: when we’re young, we look to the adults in our life to guide our paths. As we mature, we start to look at what our peers are doing and how they are being praised – or not – for their actions and choices. Add this with the cultural expectation (in America, at least) of going straight to college after high school and then working in an 8-5 office job indefinitely, all the while saving up to hopefully retire some 40 years later – at which point, you’re then “allowed” to take full advantage of what life has to offer.

Call me crazy, but that’s not the kind of life that I envision for myself! Maybe my mindset is a product of my personality, or maybe it’s a product of my generation; but either way, I think that life needs to be enjoyed and lived as fully as possible.

As we grow up, it seems that we’re shown more examples of the bad things that can happen when you break status quo; when, in fact, there are so many great things that can arise when you step outside of your comfort zone, go against the current, and strive for your own version of happiness and fulfillment.

During my personal and professional journey this past year, I can’t even begin to tell you how many badass girl-bosses there were that inspired me to create my own success in the first place; nor can I properly emphasize just how pivotal these role models were to keep me going, even when I had a lot of self-doubt.

As I continue with this path of discovery and learning, the self-doubts are absolutely still there. And, I think they’ll be sticking around for quite some time. But, that’s okay! And if you’ve been having similar struggles, you should know that it’s okay for you to feel that way too. The self-doubt is going to rear its head every now and then as we continue to grow as people who don’t fit into the usual mold or expected life-path(s), and as we try to reconcile our true passions with those that are expected from our parents and peers. However: if you can get to a mental place where you know who you are and what you’re doing – and you’re happy with the life that you’re cultivating for yourself – then those who love you will be there to support you in the end.

I think that the act of taking chances in life (and business) is kind of like riding a bike: sure, as you get started, you’re going to fall. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall quite a bit. But, each time you fall, you get back up on the bike and learn a little bit more about how do better the next time. And soon enough, you can’t even imagine your life without that bike and the ability to ride it.

At the end of the day (and as I’ve said before on W&W): it’s your life to live, as big or as small as you want to. So why not learn to embrace all of the uncertainty and fear, and use them as motivation to just go for what you want? The worst you can do is fail – and then, you’ll have another chance to succeed.

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