Do you feel successful?
If you don’t, I think I might have figured out why. I had an epiphany the other day, a complete and total Ah HA moment.
Here’s a little backstory if you don’t read my blog regularly, which I hope you start to do (fingers crossed) then you know that I struggle BIG TIME with my calling to be a writer. It’s unbelievably hard not knowing if you’re making an impact on anyone. Not to mention it’s emotionally draining, putting all your deep-seated worries and insecurities out there for all the world to read.
There is always this voice telling me, “You’re not good enough! You have nothing to say and no one will care.” I think most people have self-doubt, but as a Christian I believe I have a little help from the Enemy shouting in my ear in order to keep me from God’s calling on my life.
Christian or not, I think everyone struggles to feel successful. There are four key reasons why and how you can defeat them and start feeling successful right now.
1. Success Is Relative – It’s our human nature to define ourselves in terms of others. We know who we are by comparing ourselves to others and seeing our differences (both positive and negative). Though the negative ones are a lot easier to remember. We tend to look at others in our chosen profession that have achieved more than us and it makes us feel like we will never catch up.
The truth is comparing ourselves to others ensures we never feel successful. We have to measure our goals and progress to our past instead of someone else’s present. We aren’t actually in the same race. We think we are, but as we desperately try to achieve what runner number 1 has, they are busy chasing their own dreams and striving further and further from their past mistakes and learning to run faster because of them.
We have to keep the eye on our prize because even though it might look like the same trophy to be won at the end, it’s not. You know how they put blinders on horses during races? We need to do the same. Now leave the comparing in the dust.
2. We Forget To Celebrate Our Small Wins – My Ah Ha moment that I mentioned earlier was this one – If we stop celebrating our small wins, eventually all we see is failure. It’s because we’ve trained our eyes on the big victories, but honestly there are soooooo many more small ones that we ignore.
This month I had 2,000 more page views than last month, made my first affiliate sale (woo hoo!) and sold 4 copies of my eBook “So, You’re Broke?: 18 Drama-Free Steps To A Richer Life” through an e-mail blast to my subscribers. These things might not seem like great accomplishments to some.
Heck, most of the time they don’t feel huge to me. Why? Because I’m looking at other bloggers and seeing their larger successes. But again, it’s all relative. So the saying goes, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”
When you start to only see your failures, you’ve stopped celebrating your small wins. Celebrate each step closer to the finish line. Write them down and track them month to month so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Does anybody gets to their goal in one step? HECK NO! You reach your goal in a thousand steps and it’s easy to forget you’re moving forward if you can’t see where you started.
3. We Forget To Say Thank You – Every so often I stop what I’m doing and thank my readers on Facebook or my subscribers. Why? Because they helped me achieve some pretty awesome goals, and they are the cheerleaders that have given me cups of refreshing water during this race. Without them I’d be crumpled in a heap on the side of the track.
I’ll never forget an e-mail from a subscriber in which she said she was praying for my success and that I would eventually make money from my blog. This reader I had never met in real life was praying for me! That’s some pretty powerful stuff. Which brings me to…
We didn’t achieve anything in a vacuum. Look around, there are tons of people in your life that are cheering you on. There are people who made your first sale possible or encouraged you to finally write that book or whatever it is that you dared to dream. They were on the sidelines handing you cups of water.
Can you see their faces now? If you can’t, then you can picture mine. There’s nothing I love more than encouraging others, so drink up my friend, then keep pushing forward. You got this!
4. Put Your Pride On Pause – My biggest struggle is with my own pride. Do you struggle too? I always want more from myself at every step. I think I should be doing more, achieving more. One day I’m going to look up and wonder where miles upon miles of my journey went. I’ll have missed the whole thing. The whole sweaty, messy adventure, all because my pride was getting in the way.
My pride tells me that I write for me. I write for my own success. Sure, I hope to eventually make a part-time or full-time income from blogging because there is nothing I love more, BUT I have to give credit where credit is due.
God made me a writer. Even though I tried to exchange this gift for a different one a million times. Even though I cried, begged and acted like a spoiled child when another goal slipped through my fingers. He was still patient with me. He was still loving me through it. Because He didn’t give me this gift for me or my success.
It’s His gift to you. I just happen to be the one handing it over. No success will ever be enough if I don’t ackowledge that it all belongs to Him.
I have seen Him do some pretty incredible things through me that I know I couldn’t do alone like write a blog post that was shared 61,000 times (which brought no traffic to my own blog or money by the way) or finish a book I started two years before. I know He’s doing a great work in you too. It’s our pride that tells us if we finish or fall, make a little money or a lot, we are doing it alone.
I believe that there is success in just being happy right where God placed me on my path. The most successful I can be is by being completely myself.
That’s all you can do as well. Keep running, check that your on the path, say thank you to each and every person cheering you on, and celebrate all your little wins. You don’t want to focus so hard on the finish line that you miss the entire point of your life.
Leave your wins (big or small) in the comments so I can cheer you on. Please spread the encouragement and share this post!
You might also like “3 Blogging Mistakes That Will Kill Your Blog & How To Avoid Them”, “5 Reasons To Embrace Failure Like The Friend She Really Is,” and “Why Does God Let Us Make Mistakes?”