When I came across an article on the The Huffington Post about "redefining success," it immediately caught my eye. Like most people, I am trying to live a successful life.
As I continue on that path, I have found the biggest challenge isn't simply working towards achieving success. At times, the bigger challenge can be defining what it actually means to be successful and then staying on the right path towards that goal. Why is this so hard? I don't have the answer to that, but I hope that by sharing my thoughts, I can help guide you towards your own definition of success.
I constantly lose sight of my successes. That's right, not if I am successful or not, but of my successes. I spend too much time and effort worrying about what I should be instead of what I am. I worry about what I have not accomplished and don't focus on what I have. I compare myself to other people and I forget or discredit all of the progress and positive steps I have made in both my career and personal life. Worst of all, I waste energy worrying about what I could have done differently instead of focusing on what lies ahead.
That is, until recently. In the last year or so, I have read a number of personal growth books in hopes of picking up advice that could help me become a more complete person. Every book I read had some helpful points, but one book in particular stood out. It was titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck. Anyone attempting to be a more complete person should pick this book up and read it immediately.
After reading this book and then taking time to reflect on my personal experiences I have a new outlook on what it means to be successful. We all have goals and aspiration, both professionally and personally. I believe being successful isn't necessarily about reaching those goals, it is about how we handle the challenges and experiences we face along the way.
Do we grow and learn from them or do we use defense mechanisms to shy away from intimidating challenges? I never realized how many times in my life I could have handled things in a more productive way. Instead of embracing certain challenges for the lesson they could teach me, I shied away or simply ignored them. Whether it was a fear of failure, intimidation or lack of interest, I was not taking advantage of opportunities presented to me on a daily basis to become a more successful and complete person.
I now try to make a conscious effort to embrace all challenges I face, regardless of how daunting they may be. I remind myself that the only way to grow is to fully experience and live out whatever my day brings me.
Life is full of challenges, but if you approach each event in life with a fear of what the outcome may bring, you will never become a more successful person. Since reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, I try to approach each day with the complete opposite attitude.
To help me do this, I now have a reminder in my phone to ask myself everyday, "What are the opportunities for learning and growing today, for myself and for people around me? When, where and how will I embark on my plan?" I think it's a great question for all us to start our days with. If you are happy with your answers at the end of each day, I assure you that you are going to bed more successful than when you woke up.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.
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