I've been lied to pretty much my whole life
I was told that i had to get a job
I had to earn a wage by trading my time for money
I had to get a mortgage
And I had to be married and have 2.4 children
To be considered a success
And for 15 years I had a pretty good go at it!
I looked pretty "successful" from the outside
I had the nice bag, the red soled shoes, the high flying corporate career which took me all over the world, a ring on my finger, I was studying at University and I was a landlady
I had all of these fancy titles after my name, I had all of these roles in life and I felt that this all gave me a purpose
Status is something we all want right?
The problem is "success" can be two faced. It can be your best friend one minute and the next it can slap you across the face the next
My success had driven away my friendships as I became unreliable.
I was never around to support my friends when they needed it and I found myself being a part time crappy weekend friend
My success had taken the ring off my finger. I'd got engaged to the love of my life to only feel that because neither of us had sorted our wedding out then that must have been a sign for us not to get married rather than realising we were both too bloody busy!
But the most important thing my success took away from me was my health
An almighty burnout which lasted 8 months was the result of my "success"
And to find out that my success had most probably also taken away my fertility
My health was a mess.....
I had burnout, adrenal fatigue, skin problems, stress, depression and I had gained weight
As if that wasn't bad enough, my "success" set me on a spiral of making bad choices over the next 5 years
An abusive relationship quickly followed my burnout
This lie that had been told to me by well meaning adults, by careers advisers, by politicians and by teachers that "Success" meant a certain thing meant that I chased everything
I spent 15 years chasing the career, the family, the education, the titles and the dream that I could have it all
Well I couldn't have it all!
And being trapped in bed for 8 months has now given me a new purpose....
To tell the truth and openly talk about what success did to me
To realise I am human
That I have limits
And that I could quit this crazy gravy train at any time I chose!
The sad thing is my story is not unique.....
Some of this may be resonating with you
And that if you live your life like this you may end up the same way I did - or you may already have
What the fcuk is success anyway!?
So, I've redefined what success is to me......
It's being happy - EVERY SINGLE DAY - not ALL day every day, but at least some of it
It's being surrounded by loving supportive people through your highs AND your lows
It's the number of people I help take control of their overwhelmed lives
Most importantly it's loving myself RIGHT NOW, IN THIS VERY MOMENT
It's not me chasing that size zero
It's not me 10 years ago minus the wrinkles
And it's not me comparing myself to someone else
It's loving ME RIGHT NOW = that is success to me
Take a good look at who you spend most of your time with
They say you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with
Are these people negative, do they suck the life out of a room or are cynical?
Or are they loving and supportive? Do they find a way to turn something into a negative? Do they listen and try and help?
I'm not saying that as soon as a friend or a family member has a hard time in life then I'm off!
Far from it.....but are these people fundamentally encouraging you forwards or holding you back?
If the people around you aren't there in your worst times then they sure don't deserve to be there at your best times
Notice who it is who you want in your life and where possible make these people more at the forefront of your life
For those who you can't say a permanent goodbye to then make them less important in your life. See them less and don't listen when they tell you that you can't
People who drain you, who are mood hoovers, gossip or tell you "you can't" then remove them from your life
My life is FULL of amazing, inspiring people
My Facebook feed is full of optimism and positivity
My "success" now looks a lot different
I don't follow what 95% of the population do
I now lead the way on the path less trodden and I have set up some signposts that you can follow
So yes I was lied too but most of these people were lied to too
It took me half my life to figure this out, but I have another half a life to live a different way now.
Now that you know how to question what success means to you, you have the chance to
re-define it for your life.
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