“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucious
Do you feel like you’ll never make it? Perhaps you think you aren’t getting anywhere close to where you want to be in your life?
It’s hard to keep going, when you see little to no progress. And, with the end of the year approaching, this could be scratching its way into your mind a bit fiercer than usual. But, you keep on…pushing, striving and struggling.
…or do you?
What if your definition of success is what’s holding you back?
It’s easy to compare yourselves to others, when you’re inundated with pictures and how-to guides by people you deem as successful, whether in your mind or because the world bases it on their follower count. Perhaps you followed all the steps, outlined all your goals, but fell short. Maybe it seems that everywhere you look, social media is showing highlights of the amazing lives people lead…and you feel like you’re left out in the brisk winter, barely keeping warm, instead of on that Caribbean holiday, enjoying the fruits of your labor.
It’s hard to see other people’s success and not compare ourselves to the height of their level.
But, what is the accuracy of those words? Is success really where they are or where you believe them to be?
Use caution here, as you assess the answer, and do not allow yourself to fall victim to a fallacy you may believe. What you visualize their life as, may not be accurate (…and the same may be true for yours). What you are shown, may not be the truth they hold for themselves. Do not let other’s paths and their journey’s, affect your own. Each of us are unique, with unique gifts to offer. The snippet of that successful person’s post on their timeline may not show their obstacles, their struggles or their gut-wrenching tears at 1 a.m. Though, perhaps they documented the struggles of their journey somewhere. But, maybe not.
The key is: You weren’t designed to compare yourself to someone else, because you aren’t them. You weren’t designed to tread on the path they are, because your path is different.
Do not let the highlights from someone’s life, who you feel has “Made It,” compare to your own success or your own journey.
Because, my beautiful friend, that is exactly what it is – your journey.
Where are you currently on your own – uniquely, specifically yours – path? Think of where you were yesterday, before revisiting where you were last week. Now, last month. And, do the exercise again for a decade ago. What do you see? Growth. Your growth. Success. Your success. A journey. Your journey.
The progress that someone else is showing you is to prove that you can do it and showcasing their path is likely meant to provide you with encouragement…even if it took them twenty years to get there. Successful people have one thing in common and they often share it.
They tell you to not stop. They tell you to keep going.
Progress is progress, no matter how slowly or quickly it comes. Success is determined based on your guidelines of it.
So…do not stop. Keep going.
And, allow those words to mold discipline, courage and faith in your heart. It’s up to you to determine how to overcome, whether it’s any confidence issues you may struggle with or lack of funding or personal drive.
Though, maybe we should take a closer look at what can sidetrack us from success…
Perhaps you woke up in the morning to a few inches of snow on the ground and you want to roll over and snuggle beneath the blanket. The warm, fleece cocoon already wrapped to your body is enticing. But, the alarm is sounding and you know there are tasks to accomplish and errands to work through.
Have you been there? The cusp of either being flippantly OK with the easy choice or digging in your heels and having another go? This is where discipline and drive greet you to come out and play, solidifying a foundation for your success.
If you want to roll over & go back to bed, have you thought about the deeper why behind the action? I bet it’s a little bit different than the initial thought of a few extra minutes to snooze. The next time it happens and you stare at the illuminated numbers on your alarm, ask yourself a question. Are you cultivating a life you love? If the answer is no, then push yourself to get up. Later on, you’ll thank yourself for not taking a lazy way off your pathway to success.
Maybe you have a struggle with success that doesn’t involve discipline. There’s another treacherous condition that wields it’s ugly head. It’s called burn out.
Do you feel worn thin? Maybe not good? Are you having trouble focusing and doing? It may be a combination of things, from excitement for Christmas and some extra time off, to wanting to create a cozy atmosphere at the house, or feeling like all you do is work in some fashion. If you don’t pay attention to what pushing toward the prize of success can do to you, burn out can sneak up. Relief can come down to needing time for yourself and having fun. So, spent the weekend relaxing, doing odds & ends of things you want to do, and pick up your phone only to post a “good morning” on Instagram and make sure nothing catastrophic happened in the news world overnight. It’s important to be able to identify emotions within yourself, especially these. And, I encourage you to dig deep to truly distinguish what your emotions are and determine where they come from.
If you’re feeling burnt out, take a break, do some sort of self-care for yourself…then keep on going. By being in tune with yourself, you’ll develop & increase your stamina toward your successful prize. But, the key is knowing yourself well & recognizing when you may need a break before it snowballs.
Lastly, we come to the most dangerous of all success killers…a hard stop. Quitting.
Do you really want to quit what you’ve been working so hard to achieve? Remember, you are unique and on your own special path. This is a good spot to think about what made you take the leap in the beginning of your journey. What drove you to want to succeed? Are you in the exact same spot as when you began? (Truthfully, I doubt anyone reading this is, because you wouldn’t be reading it, if you were. It doesn’t work like that. Like begets like. And just by reading this, you want the prize. You want your own version of success.) What sort of progress have you made? Was it measurable? A better question is…did you measure appropriately? Because if not, we’re back to the comparison game, which isn’t something you’re a part of. Right?
If you want to quit, remember why you started. And, you’ll gain fortitude & discipline. A lot of times, you’re almost there.
Take a few moments & contemplate. If any of these ring true… Find a quiet place for a time of reflection & recentering. Remember that your progress isn’t, and cannot be, the same pace as someone else’s. And truthfully, I think you’ll see that you’re exactly where you need to be…whether it’s to make a change, a slight tweak or straightening your crown to keep going.
Because that’s what you’ll do. You’ll keep going.
What steps have you already accomplished? Where have you killed it this year? What needs done to make you feel successful for the future?
What is your definition of success?
Now, breathe. Take a moment to get yourself together and pace yourself differently this time. Remember what we talked about. After all, it’s your pace for your own journey.
You got this. Keep going.
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(This article was originally posted here on 17 Dec 2019.)