It’s week two of January 2023, which means we’re rolling into that time of year where people who may have made resolutions for the new year start feeling the pressure. We’re back to reality after the holidays and the big things you may have wanted to change may look scarier than they did on January 1st.
Day 11’s Bloganuary prompt was perfection- how do you define success? This is even more perfect for the fact that I have returned to work/reality on Monday January 9th and today is the 17th! Typically, I would say I fell off the wagon and my resolution was too hard so I failed and decide to give up. Or I put pressure on myself to do a resolution perfectly (ex: must answer every prompt) and then feel shame when I can’t complete it as I feel I’m expected to.
This year is different though. This year, after reality shifts post COVID, and coming to terms with my own mental health while supporting the mental health of others, I’ve changed my definition of success. This year, my definition of success aligns with self care and kindness.
I am a perfectionist. I have always been, and am working actively to push through those tendencies. As a kid if I didn’t get 100% on a quiz, I would feel upset and shameful. If I try painting something and it’s not Starry Night quality (literally reaching for the stars), I get frustrated and start over or quit. Because I have finally come to terms with my anxiety and perfectionism, I’ve started lowering my standards to success, to be more attainable and realistic. Every so often I’ll choose to paint a colouring book just to do the act of art which brings me joy, without the pressure to make something incredible. Working with other individuals with anxiety has really helped me redefine success in my own life as I preach doing your best and trying new things.
So I guess, for me, success looks different in every setting and with every activity I do, but to summarize it, it’s doing the best I can and being gentle with myself. At the end of the day, nothing really needs to be perfect in my life because I don’t monetize perfection. If something doesn’t turn out as planned, I’m able to adapt and create a positive experience out of it. From this shift in perspective, I think I actually feel more successful in my life because I feel HAPPY about what I can do!
What’s your definition of success? Has it changed over the years?