Episode 034 Defining Success on Your Terms
Woah Family!! I have been through it this week! Being in such a difficult place has let me on a mental and emotional rollercoaster.
You know when you get back from a contract or a vacation and your NYC life is ready and waiting for you at the state line? Welp, that's where I am at right now! Currently, I am balancing six opportunities/responsibilities and I feel like I am back in the fast lane of my life.
This week was not only busy but also a week of reflection. I kept asking myself: Do I really want to be this busy? Can I live the life I want and be this busy? Being 34 years old, is this what I want to be doing?
I am really digging deep within myself and the choices I am making; and still searching for the answers.
See, growing up and imagining what my life would look like, I always pictured something very different. I don't think I could have even imagined the life I am leading now. Some of the life I am so grateful for, and other parts I see room for improvement. I am on a quest to define success on my own terms and that's where today's lesson comes from.
With all of the social media outlets in the world, we are constantly getting bombarded with stories of other people's lives. Some of your friends from high school are married with kids, your friends from conservatory are booking lead roles on network TV, or an Instagram friend just bought a beach house. No matter what, our eyes are always feasting on someone else's life.
The more and more we feast, the more inadequate we feel, and the more confusing our personal goals are.
So how can you define success on your own terms?
Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this one, but hear me out. Looking at your life and taking a moment to be truly grateful for your opportunities already puts your mindset into success mode. If you live in NYC paying that hefty rent bill every month is already a huge success. What you probably don't even realize is that you have accomplished more and succeeded in places that you don't even recognize.
Success can show up in any part of your life. Success isn't just wrapped around money or career.
Two years ago I was working on filling out The Daily Greatness Journal. If you haven't heard about it I recommend you absolutely look it up. This journal aligns you with gratitude and goal setting on a daily basis to help you achieve the life you want.
Before you can even start your 365-day journey, they have you fill out several journal prompts. I remember them asking me to list every single accomplishment starting back from my first memory. It was something I had never done before and really loved doing. I felt very impressed and inspired listing pages of accomplishments that I have done my whole life.
If you have time, try this exercise. No goal or win is too small. Write them all down and really take a look at all that you have done and created to live your magical life.
Know that no matter how you are feeling at this moment about where you should be at this point in your life, you have already accomplished so much and there are so many opportunities coming your way.
2. Peek behind the curtain
Defining success really asks you to let go of comparisons and to let go of any shoulds. Remember that you have the exact life you need right now. It may not be the one you want, but it's all you got for now.
When we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of comparison we are really putting someone else on a pedestal and lowering our experiences. We are all going through something. Just because the Instagram photo is amazing, doesn't mean their whole life is perfect and your's is a mess.
HA! Can we talk about the Instagram post from Bow Wow that's trending? For those of you who aren't aware, Bow Wow, the rapper posted a photo of himself on a plane claiming that he was on his own private jet. The person next to him saw his phone and put him on blast! Now that right there is proof that you can't compare your real life story with someone else's Instagram story.
I get really stuck in my shoulds. I set these strong goals and scenarios for myself and when I don't see them exactly as I planned out I get really defeated. I always thought that my now my in my life I would be a homeowner. I've wanted my own space for as long as I can remember and yet, I am not a homeowner, nor is it an upcoming opportunity. When I think about this I often backtrack through my life and analyze the choices I have made. I go through both big and small choices to see when I made a "wrong" turn. What could I have done differently? Could I have made a stronger choice? Could I have worked harder? No. Maybe? Yes. Who knows? What I can say is here I am, here is my life, and I am grateful for it all. Hell, I may not actually be ready for homeownership. I do know I am successful and I continually show up for my life each and every day.
3. Update what you want
This one can blow your mind. How many of your dreams and goals are completely outdated?
Go back to the vision of your life and see if what you wanted when you were a child still holds true. What about post-college? What about 1 year ago? We, as artists, should constantly be defining success on our own terms. Are creative lives aren't like anyone else's, so our definition of success should reflect the creative way.
Revision your life for what you want now. Of course, you can set goals for 1, 2, 5, 10 years from now. Remember to keep going back to them and updating so that you don't continually work on goals that don't actually satisfy and excite you.
Once you have defined what you actually want to see in your life begin to check in with your whys.
Do you want a house to prove to your family that you can be a successful actor after all OR do you want a house so that you can live in your own creative space and make room for your partner and family? The first reason comes from a place of comparison and revenge, while the second options comes from a place of love and abundance.
In episode 032 How to achieve anything, I talk about how the universe listens to goals are aligned from a place of love and connections. Dig into your whys a little deeper to really get to the truth of what you want.
Success can look like so many things:
- Reoccurring broadway contracts, while living in NYC for your lifetime
- Regional gigs while writing new shows and balancing your NYC life
- Touring all day every day
- Local theater while having a thriving stable career.
It's all success! Define it on your own terms, and don't let anyone take it away from you.