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  • Gladys Agwai

Why Your Success Must Be an Inside Job!


“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Maya Angelou


How do you define success? Do you consider yourself to be successful? What has been the tradeoffs accepted and embraced to secure or not secure your success? You look at your life in silos, i.e., business owner, employee, leader, wife, mother, sister, or friend. As you reflect on your life and despite your achievements, you are pierced with guilt and shame of not being enough. You defined success as your ability to do it all perfectly for everyone all at the same time based on what others dictate and societal rules. You have not lived life on your terms and conditions but those of others: parents, teachers, spouses, bosses, and your children when you age. Don Miguel Ruiz, Author, says you have been domesticated. Once you realize you can make new choices in defining who you want to be and what success means for you, your success journey begins.


Each siloed part of your life is a permanent part of a whole that can never be separated. As a result, you must define your success based on your happiness and being fulfilled. Becoming a phenomenally successful entrepreneur or professional, your personal and family life can be a casualty of that focus, such as, remaining single, delaying childbirth, unhappy marriage, or loneliness from the lack of authentic connections with family and friends. I remember a client was told they were lucky in life (success in career) but unlucky in love (relationship turnover). Unfortunately, they agreed ensuring it became their truth. They are now changing their story and the lie in which they had agreed.


Whenever you choose to focus on one area of your life over another it automatically reduces the focus in another area. More time working means less time with family and vice versa. Therefore, you must be clear in defining success and deciding what are you willing to give up. You can reframe and redefine your success by being clear, reflecting, and answering the questions below to have the right mindset to take the uncomfortable action required to create a happy success journey:


• What motivates you? What makes you happiest? What satisfies your core needs?

• What do you want to accomplish for yourself and family?

• What do you value most – spiritually, emotionally, and materially?

• What are you willing to sacrifice to make your success a reality?

• Does success for you have multiple parts, such as, emotional, social, occupational, financial, community, business, romantic relationship, friendships, overall life?

• What must happen to achieve these multiple parts of success (set long-term goals for financial success, build healthier relationships)

• When defining your success, what “must” you have in your life?


Your success is not dependent on what is going on outside of you. Kate Spade, global fashion designer, was extraordinarily successful in her career with all the money she needed and yet committed suicide. Success is the inside job of getting to know you and being comfortable with who you are to share your value to the world. John Wooden, a respected coach and teacher, defined success as “peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Ralph Waldo Emerson's definition of success is to: “laugh often and much; win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; appreciate beauty, find the best in others; leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child or a garden patch; know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is success.”


What is your definition of success? When you have a clearer picture of what success means to you, understand, and determine what must happen to achieve success. Be clear and specific.


Do you believe that you deserve success? This is an especially important question and one to be clear in knowing that you deserve and are worthy of success, peace, love, joy, and happiness in your life. When you fear success and failure, you believe you are not good enough, capable, or worthy. It becomes self-sabotaging behavior that stunts and stops your growth limiting your success. Success is not about how much you have accumulated in your lifetime because it can vanish overnight. Your success is all about how you feel about yourself. You deserve to be happy!


"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." Albert Schweitzer


Article Written by Gladys Agwai


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