How to Be Successful on Your Own Terms

Defining success in our own terms forces us to look inward. To explore our values, what is fulfilling, and what will leave us with no regrets.

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Success. We all want to experience it. However, sometimes we go through a transition, and it isn’t clear what success looks like in that space. How do we begin? How do we know when we’ve arrived? Other times we get off course and it leaves us wanting. It is possible for us to experience success that brings joy and fulfillment. Here are 3 tips to help us get re-centered and identify how to be successful on our own terms.


1. Define Success for You

Everyone’s definition of success is as unique as he/she is. What drives one person to achieve will be different for another.

When I started my blogging journey, I wanted to continue engaging my mind, connect with others, and have a positive impact through my writing. Success for me in this space is writing a blog post each month that positively impacts others.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

For a career-minded person, success could be getting the next promotion. For a caregiver of an aging parent, it could be a decision to place the parent’s needs before his/her own. For someone battling cancer, it could be living with hope moment by moment. For a recovering alcoholic, it could be going one more day without a drink. For a businessman nearing retirement, it could be leaving a legacy for his family and society.

Each experience of success is meaningful regardless of how grand or small. It is important to honor those journeys and what they give to us and to others.

Spend some time to define what success means to you.

Defining success in our own terms forces us to look inward. To explore our values, what is fulfilling, and what will leave us with no regrets.

In The Next Level by Laurence Udell, a businessman observed a fisherman and perceived him as lacking ambition. The fisherman replied, “You may not think I am ambitious, but I live an honest life, and I am proud of that. I have created more than my father, and my sons will create more than me.” Although perceived as unsuccessful, the fisherman is living his success story without regrets.

Defining success needs to be personal and yours. No one will be able to walk your success journey better than you will!

To help you define success, envision looking back on your life and identify what made you the proudest.

Once you find your path, stick to it with laser focus. Revisit your definition and priorities when you begin to waiver.


2. Honor Your Journey

We come into this world with different levels of intellect and talents. Over time, we have different experiences, life stages, and struggles.

Wouldn’t we also expect our success journeys to be different, too? Yet we compare ours to others and wish we had their level of success instead. Especially when we compare our beginning with their well-worn paths.

We are unaware of what it took for them to succeed, and we compare our struggles with their achievements.

Photo By topshots from AdobeStock

Comparison can be positive if it motivates us to reach our fullest potential. If we aren’t careful though, comparison can also diminish our focus, progress, and fulfillment and lead to jealousy.

When we are jealous, we are not embracing our own identities and the value we bring to the world. Jealousy becomes an obstacle to reaching our destinies.

As a new blogger, a whole new world of fellow bloggers opened up to me. They seemed to know how to engage and provide value to their followers. And they had an abundance of followers, too!

I compare my beginning with their well-worn path and find myself wanting. Sometimes, I get discouraged, which opens the floodgates for negative self-talk. I ask myself, “How can I compete?” Can anyone relate?

The good news is there is a solution.

To overcome jealousy, celebrate with others when they succeed. Celebrating others’ success affirms there is enough of it to go around. Instead of seeing their gains as your losses, view their successes as gains for you, too, as you get to share in their joy. You can rest in the assurance that you are still on your own path, one that is ideally suited for you.

When we celebrate with others in their success, we walk in the freedom of who we are, and that is powerful!


3. Celebrate Your Milestones

In addition to celebrating others’ success, it is vital that we celebrate our own. Working toward a goal can be challenging at times. Our achievements deserve celebrating.

I would like to say I am good at this, but it is an area of struggle. I get so focused on overcoming obstacles that I don’t celebrate what I’ve overcome. Can anyone else relate?

I recently shared with my accountability partner a winning experience I had with a colleague. My blogging journey helped him step out to find a new job that aligned with his passion. After hearing this, my accountability partner encouraged me to celebrate.

Her words stopped me in my tracks.

I responded to her blankly, “I don’t usually celebrate my wins.” I sat with my words for a while and thought about how much I value efficiency over celebrating. I tend to gloss them over and move onto the next obstacle to overcome. Yet I remind myself once again that I am worth the time and energy it takes to celebrate. You are worth it, too!

Photo By Pixabay

I committed to my accountability partner that I would celebrate before I met with her again. I love having her in my life! She provides space where intentions can become a reality, and impending due dates always keep me on track!

My celebration consisted of purchasing something small. I also spent time reliving the joy I experienced with my colleague. I know my celebratory purchase won’t last. Yet the memory with my colleague is timeless.

It is also important to celebrate both large and small milestones. They don’t have to break the bank. Some celebrations are even free! Below is a list of ideas to get your creativity flowing.


Celebration ideas:

  •  Going on a fun outing with your friends or significant other

  •  Getting some alone time

  •  Having a party

  •  Buying something that brings you joy

  •  Going on a staycation or vacation

  •  Going on a walk while listening to your favorite music

The ideas are endless, and you are worth celebrating!

Spending time to define what success means to us, honoring our success journies, and celebrating our milestones can set us on a path toward success. A path that brings us joy and fulfillment, creating a life with no regrets.

Let’s start a conversation! Like, share, or post a comment below!



This is an updated edition of a post originally published on

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About the Author

Sharon believes it is never too late to start something new. She loves leaving a meaningful impact on others by helping them identify their strengths and discover their purpose. Writing is one of the ways she connects with others.