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Secret Sessions With Tracy
What defines success? At what point is it 'safe' to feel successful? How did you know personally what point you were allowed to be confident in your successes?
For most of my career, the only direction I focused on was up. For years, I had my eye on a specific job in the NYC Public Schools and then one day, I was hired for it. I was officially successful- yay me!
For the first year, I was happy and in constant flow with my work, but once I hit a series of milestones, slowly my level of satisfaction changed and I was confused. The only way I'd known how to make change to date and to achieve success was to look and aspire up, but I knew beyond a doubt that I did not want my boss's job. It took me 18 months before I realized that I could define success in other ways and that feeling confident and safe in that definition was only a choice I could make.
One of the books I often refer to clients and give away for contests is Do More Great Work by Michael Bungay Stanier
and in one of his exercises, he asks you to go back and define your best moments in work. When I did the exercises, I learned a lot about what makes me thrive and one is scale, meaning I am feeling successful and confident when I am making a big impact. There is no doubt this is heavily influenced by my early career experiences, but no matter what changes I make in my life and business to live minimally, this need is undeniable for my satisfaction. What I also learned in my entrepreneurial journey is that you can achieve scale on your own terms, not just climbing the ladder to greater heights but moving sideways, diagonal and every other which way.
Personal success is a completely manipulable concept, utterly defined by you. Choose yours and embrace it.
Have you read this book before? What does success mean to you? Where do you struggle with defining success in your own terms? What are some of your best moments in work?