We must be careful letting our successes define our value as a person. If a project goes bad or you get passed over for a promotion, these things shouldn’t cause your value as a person to tank. They should be opportunities to grow and improve, or perhaps an indication it’s time to learn a new skill. When things in life go smoothly, it’s easy to feel on top of the world. It’s when the road turns bumpy, we need to look deep into ourselves.
So, if work isn’t going great, what do you do?
You’ve got to dig deep and remind yourself what else is of value in your life. Maybe it’s family. Maybe it’s your charitable work. Maybe it’s the fact you dog loves you. It’s up to you what makes the list. We’ve got to move past relying on praise and accolades to feed our self-worth. These things are seasonal and can come and go just like money. It’s up to us to find a definition of success that has deeper meaning.
True success has little to do with your salary and everything to do with your true value as a person. Is work a source of stress? Did a project fail? It’s time to turn your sight elsewhere. What activity brings you joy? If you are struggling with feelings of value, focus on what you enjoy doing when you aren’t at work. By directing your focus on another area of importance, you’ll soon learn that your value as a person involves many variables.
One of the hardest steps is learning to let go of something that no longer brings you joy (and isn’t that a true measure of success?). It’s ok to step back for a while or even brush up your resume and see if there are other opportunities that speak to who you are now.
Find your sense of gratitude again. Find small things in each day that you are grateful for. Find people you enjoy being around – the kind who build you up, not those who tear you down or celebrate your failure. You’ll find that what you celebrate expands and begins to fill up your life.
Don’t overthink the future. That doesn’t mean don’t plan. What I mean is we all face trials in our life. If you are in that stage now, know that it’s not a forever thing. By worrying less about the problem and instead looking for pockets of good, you’ll start looking forward to what’s around the corner instead of fearing what it might hold.
Remember, your career isn’t who you are- it’s what you do. Find your value in things that matter. By doing so, you’ve defined success based on lasting values, not fleeting moments or setbacks.