Have you noticed that there are more women working outside the home today than at any other time in history? Some might say it is the high cost of living that drives them from their homes, but I believe it goes much deeper than that. I think women have an innate desire to live a life well lived. They want to be more, see more, and receive more in more meaningful ways. They are seeking success, but how is success measured? How do you know when you ARE successful?
The way we see ourselves has so much power over our lives. For decades now psychologists have unsuccessfully attempted to elevate a person's self-esteem by lowering the bar of success and leveling the playing field. All this did was punish those who had the drive to challenge themselves to excel. Those who were less motivated received equal compensation for not doing the work and they came to expect more for doing less. The acceptance of less than excellent work became the norm and we are continuing to lower the standards even more in an effort to flatten the curve for what defines success. What we end up with is more mediocrity, poor quality production, and less excellence. Unfortunately, when we don't get what we think we deserve, we can become angry, frustrated, and feel helpless. Feeling this way for any length of time can lead to feelings of hopelessness, depression, and even suicidal ideation.
The way we see ourselves can be changed. When we define our lives through the lens of other's perspectives we need their validation in order to feel accomplished. It's what drives the "look at me" generation who grew up telegraphing all of their life in social media. We measure our success by other people's "likes" and emojis define our feelings even if they lie. When you know yourself you have the beginning of success already in your hands. When you believe in yourself, you are unstoppable. When you challenge yourself, you find you are much more able than you ever thought you could be. And when you love yourself, you have love to give to others. Don't let other people, a job, or your children tell you who you are. Be who you were designed to be and live a life filled with successful moments. Even if the success is only putting the dishes in the dishwasher, or wiping jelly from your child's face; embrace those moments of success. At the end of the day, when you lay your head down on your pillow recall the little successes of the day and sleep a deep and restful sleep so you can rise and shine and do it again tomorrow. Let the little moments of joy be the measure for your success and you'll feel successful every day of your life.