Why am I not successful? This is a question that on my darker days I hear that little voice in the back of my mind ask. I look back at my life resume:
- Attended a good but urban elementary/middle school
- Attended a high performing urban highschool but upon entering college knew a lot of education had fallen inbetween the gaps
- Got an OK GPA in highschool, but excelled in writing and won a few poetry contests
- Went to an OK state school, was too scared to apply to really prestigous colleges
- Got an OK GPA while in college, only 2 C’s and everything else was an A or B
- Have always been in a bunch of extracurriculars including marching band, orchestra, HerCampus WPUNJ, etc
- Started a blog and have a pretty lower readership, same with youtube channel when compared to other metrics
And now we’re here at the present time where I am a college grad without a fulltime job feeling a little aimless (blog post on that here) but still hopeful and asking myself: Why am I not successful?
Something that popped into my mind is what if I reframed the question? Instead of asking why am I not successful,I should ask What have I succeeded in?
Redefine what success means
I think a lot of people (myself included) put success on a pedastel that is held up by money, fame,travel, items and all sort of other material things. And while those things are great to have, sometimes the greatest joys we have aren’t from those items or freedoms but instead from the smile of a student understanding a new subject, from your husband kissing your forehead good morning before he heads off to work or your dog jumping up and down when he sees you like its been a year but its only been 5 minutes (no? just me? cool.).
Those things, those things we often don’t tack on to our list of endeavors.
I know I often am pretty trigger happy when it comes to pointing fingers at social media for all our woes, but honestly can you blame me? It doesn’t help our self-esteem to constantly be bombarded with flashy images of casual lifestyle bloggers living a lush, seeming effortless life. We see people who get famous for things like “Cash Me Ousside” and silly dances while others grind their butts off to gain some type of platform or level of comfort. It can feel downright degrading at times.
But instead of looking at what you don’t have or haven’t accomplished start looking at what you DO have and HAVE done. I bet you there are some pretty great things.
Never Give up, Never Give in.
Just because you think you’re suppose to be somewhere in life by this point and time doesn’t mean you’re really suppose to just yet. And I say yet. I truly believe that if you can dream it you can achieve it, as long as you take action. A dream will stay a dream until you take action.
I get it. Sometimes our dreams seem so big we don’t even know what action to take or if we’re taking the right steps but as they say, ” All roads lead to Rome” or something like that.
I know that taking big goals and turning them into smaller goes is a great start. I know that success isn’t linear and where you are now is exactly where you’re suppose to be no matter what you think. Everything and I mean everything happens for a reason and it’s either to teach us a lesson or make us stronger. Persistence and grit are key to achieving those long term goals and ambitious. So never give up, never give in to whatever negative self-talk is going on.
Tina Fey wasn’t hugely famous until the age of 34 after Mean Girls mainstream success.
Robert Redford didn’t get his first actingjob until the age of 33.
Charles Darwin was 50 when he published his book on Evolution and changed the course of science forever
Julia Child was 39 when she published her first cookbook.
Even if your aims aren’t to be the next Charles Darwin and just want a great home with a manicured lawn, a life where you aren’t living pay check to pay check, you can achieve it.
The Rest Is Still Unwritten…
Just because you’re not where you want to be yet doesn’t mean that your story is done. Each new day is a new page in another chapter of your life.
Make it count.
Hustle, give yourself grace, love others, love yourself, love life. Put your all into everything and watch the fruit of your labors ripen for your picking.
By the way that life resume looks a lot more like this:
- I won my first poetry in my middle school that spurred my passion of writing.
- I made the varsity soccer team as a freshman in highschool.
- I became Editor-In-Chief of HerCampus WPUNJ after 2 years in the club.
- I was inducted into an English Honor Society
- I became a certified teacher with a blog that has touched a few but deeply
So take look at yours and instead of comparing or minimizing what you’ve done highlight all those great accomplishments no matter how small they seem. They have added all up to the amazing person you are now.
Until next time