I always strived to be successful.
Success and working hard were completely entwined.
So that became my coping mechanism.
To reach the heady heights of success, I need to slog my guts out.
And that’s what I did in the corporate world.
For years and years.
Until I reached a director position. A position that I only ever dreamed of. At the age of 27. With the majority of my peers being male and older. I thought it would feel FANTASTIC.
And it did…for a short while.
But then those niggling feelings of things not being right, came back. They came back with a vengeance. They came back so loud that they couldn’t be squashed down into the box that I had been putting them in for the last few years.
And that my friends, is what happens when you are pursuing a road towards success that doesn’t align. To you or to your values.
Because I didn’t value the prestige of the position. The money was good and helped me to buy a house, but it didn’t motivate me. I didn’t need the power a position like that gave me.
Because working towards a version of success that doesn’t align to you has so many negative impacts.
It makes you feel like a failure
It demotivates you
It impacts your sense of self and confidence
And it’s something I’ve experienced myself first hand and also see regularly in my clients.
And that’s when I started to look into success. Lifting up the lid to see what it really means to me and how that compares to how society and the patriarchy view success.
Because we were brought up to see success in a one dimensional way. An end destination that you never meet, but you continually strive towards regardless. “I will be happy when…” and “I will take time off when…”
We were conditioned to climb a linear path, always moving upwards, regardless of the consequences or trade off to our mental, physical and spiritual health.
Putting the pursuit of money over and above everything else.
And a la Carrie Bradshaw "it got me thinking; that there must be another way"
A way that allows us to evolve, grow and change. To put ourselves at the forefront. And to allow the work we do and who we are as a person to inter-weave.
I’d love us to be constantly checking in with out version of success and using that as a marker to determine if we are on the right track and a barometer for us to know when we have done enough for the day (rather than feeling like there is always another task to be getting on with - which I can also be guilty of)
My version(s) of success evolve and have evolved. But there are always core fundamentals that I can track back to and that inextricably link to my why.
Success for me today looks like being able to earn money, working flexibly a few days a week, doing work I love and supporting women and marginalised groups to unlock their power and unleash their potential. It means spending quality days with my boys doing fun things and making memories. Prioritising myself and filling up my cup doing things I love to be the best version of myself. Not feeling the need to ‘be on’ the whole time as a business owner. Having space in my work days to just be. Investing in our house and creating a space that will last us a lifetime.
Here are a few questions to ponder and journal on to identify what success looks like for you today:
What does happiness look and feel like for you?
What is important to you in your life and work?
What does an ideal day look like for you? (it might be helpful to split this out to a work and non work day!)
What is one thing you can do today to get you closer to your ideal future?
I have created a whole juicy workbook on defining your version of success and that also includes a super powerful visualisation to tap into your unconscious wants and desires. I will share the link in the comments!
In my continued effort to work with even more amazingly ambitious women to unlock their power and unleash their potential, each month I am offering 2 discounted scholarship spaces for my ‘Level up’ coaching package. You can find all the detail here - https://www.emilybuttoncoaching.com/individuals.
So if you are struggling financially and feel stuck and stressed then please register your interest via emailing email@example.com (no questions asked) and we can chat!