In todays social media dominated world we are constantly shown images of what traditional success is. We see celebrities, the rich, influencers and our peers living a life that we become envious of. They seem to have it all, money, a beautiful house, a happy family and amazing holidays. Is this what the world deems to be ‘Success’?
I can’t be the only one who gets a little hung up on the word ‘Success’ my whole life I have striven to be what I deem ‘Successful’ yet I have no idea what it means or if I will ever truly believe I have reached the ‘Success’ point.
When I first met my now husband I earnt more money than him, it was never an issue between us and it didn’t last long, because of the way the world works and the poor paying industry I worked so hard in, he soon over took me in the earnings front. Together we were a pretty comfortable couple buying a house, owning cars, eating out and going on amazing holidays. However in my eyes I wasn’t the best I could be, I didn’t have a baby and I felt I was always chasing a pay rise to justify the hard work I put in and to be seen as an equal to my husband.
When I left my career job, it was a joint decision we made in order to start a family, IVF was the road ahead of us and after speaking to friends who had been through the process, the avoidance of stress and being able to go to the clinic at a days notice was key, which wasn’t practical for the job I worked in. On leaving my job I more than halved my salary, but I was content in the decision I made knowing this was part of a long term journey.
Two years later, I have a beautiful daughter, two businesses, a house and a loving husband. So why don’t I feel ‘Successful’? I have everything I have ever wanted. Yes money is tight, I work very hard in for my businesses but they are growing and so my take home isn’t a lot, but I am master of my own destiny, I don’t answer to anyone apart from myself and if I want to I can take a day off as my time is mine. Not to quote Take That but ‘I am living someone else’s dream!’
I quite often use these blogs as a sort of therapy, typing all my thoughts and sharing them with the world. So here is why I don’t feel successful… Firstly Social Media and Secondly because I inherently always want more! Lets take Social Media first… my businesses run on Social Media, they rely on the virtual word of mouth. I can’t escape it and I am naturally nosey so I am not sure I would want to. Everyday I am bombarded with perfect photos of home interiors, immaculately dressed women, wearing clothes I can only dream of affording and exciting travel locations that I add on to my mental bucket list. I know these shots are staged, that the perfect world of Instagram is far different to what actually is happening behind the scenes, but every time part of me falls for the sell those little squares show me. It’s addictive, soul destroying torture. The modern woman is told she can have it all, work, a child, to be body positive, an immaculate house and be fighting for equality, its exhausting! How do you financially compete with men, whilst wanting to spend time with your child, I can never compete with the 3 days I work with my husbands 5 days, I am sorry RVK loves and Mrs Hinch I can’t keep my house immaculate, cook fresh meals everyday and still mange to look gorgeous!
My second point… I am naturally ambitious, I have always wanted to be the best version of myself, I have always worked very hard and I have always wanted to live in a certain lifestyle. I remember my parents worrying about money as a child and I never wanted that for my adult life, I have always wanted more. I have goals I set myself, some realistic, some not so, in order to count myself successful will I need to hit those goals? Even the un -achievable ones? I believe my imposter syndrome and the feelings that I am never good enough plays heavily on the way I feel about success, other people have it and I am always striving for it, but never reaching it.
The very notion of ‘Success’ is a ridiculous one as it means something different to everyone you talk to. You can be rich and famous yet terribly unhappy, that isn’t success. Yet you can be happy and content making the most of everyday but work in a low paid job and rent your house, is that success? You can have a huge house and lots of money but be incredibly lonely, that can’t be success. Would I want to share my life with the world and be a slave to my phone in order to have a luxurious well photographed holiday, is that success? Maybe its my mentality that needs adjusting, success isn’t something you strive for it’s something you live within. Is the real success being happy and content with the life you are living? Are the really successful people just Mr and Mrs average? After all the normal, average person is most of the population and the ones that make the cogs of the wheel go round. Maybe real success is just learning to be content? To stop striving so hard and start enjoying?
Photos by: Nikkis Moments