Changing the Definition of Success

Ever have one of those days where you second guess everything?  From the way you wore your hair, to how you measure up as a parent?  I have.  All. The. Time.  There are days where my brain is riddled with “How did I get here?” and “This wasn’t the way I planned or envisioned my life to be” or even worse “Am I successful?”  If you were to evaluate your life and rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you fall in terms of your own success?
I was surfing Facebook when I came across this video – You’re More Successful Than You Realize – by A Plus, a social news organization founded by Ashton Kutcher.  They interviewed several subjects, some male, some female, and asked how they would rate their personal success on a scale of 1 to 10.  Then asked significant others, family members, kids, friends how they would rate the same subjects, on the same success scale.
I watched this video with tears in my eyes, it really hit home.  It made me think – what would I rate myself as opposed to what my loved ones would rate me?  I identified most with the woman who gave herself a 4.4 rating.  I often find myself wondering if I am doing the best job I can for my daughter, feeling guilty that I can’t bring her to school because “Mommy has to go to work” and trying my best to balance my home/work/social life.  Sometimes I feel like I am just not good enough, that I am a failure, and it’s a horrible feeling.   Just this past summer, I was wracked with guilt because I really didn’t take Julianna anywhere fun – we couldn’t go on a vacation because I just couldn’t afford it, and could not take the time away from work.  Does that make me unsuccessful?  No, and I had to remind myself of that.  Julianna went to an amazing summer camp, where she made friends, learned new skills, and went on awesome trips every week!  She had a great summer, regardless of whether or not I personally took her places.  The little things that I did for her this summer, that I thought were totally insignificant, were received with huge hugs and “You’re the best mom ever!”  I never felt more successful.
As a mom, we always seem to compare ourselves to other moms, ultimately diminishing our confidence or what we see as successful.  Just because we couldn’t afford a summer vacation, or that new game system, or even a day trip or two, does not mean that we are a failure.  Sometimes we just have to take a step back and observe life – the small signs that we may not pay the most attention to are the screaming signs of success.  
So now I ask you, how would you rate yourselves?  I’m giving myself a 10 🙂
XOXO Joanne OXOX

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