We all want to feel successful, right?? When we get down to it, we all want to feel as if we’ve “MADE” it in our career. Whether that’s a money goal, or going full-time in our own business. Or maybe it’s having the freedom to make our own schedules, go on xx number of vacations per year., etc.. Whatever it might be, we all want to be successful “one day”. But how many of us have really sat down and defined exactly WHAT success looks like for us? And if you have thought about it, when was the last time that you revisited it? Do the same things still holds true?!
For so many of us, whether we are working full-time for a company or we are running our own business, we spend a lot of time looking at OTHER PEOPLE and THEIR goals to define what success “should” look like for us.
We too often look at the “highlight reels”
We spend so much time looking at other people’s “highlight reels” that we forget there’s a human making mistakes DAILY behind those posts. Sometimes we also forget that just because one goal or lifestyle works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will bring joy or purpose to our OWN life! A lot of entrepreneurs I know, specifically photographers (since that’s who I spend a lot of time around), share similar thoughts:
– “I really wish I was booking as many clients as her”
– “If I had as many followers as her, I’d be more successful”
– “In order for me to be successful, I need to have the same kind of engagement from my followers as she does”
– “If only selling my products/services came as easy to me as it does for her – she makes selling seem so simple”
What does success really look like for us?
We so often spend so much time comparing ourselves to other people’s “success” that we start holding ourselves to this imperfect standard of meeting or beating them. I’ve done this in the past – I’ve compared how many photo sessions & weddings I’d book in a year compared to someone else — but then I’d completely forget about all of the other outside factors — is our pricing different? Are our priorities different around how much time we want to spend working on the weekends?
At the time, I wasn’t looking at all of the details, I was just telling myself that I needed to measure up. I spent SO MUCH TIME chasing money within my business. I thought that if I made a certain amount, it would mean that I was successful. And guess what? Each year I made more money, and it still wasn’t enough. I hadn’t decided how much money would actually make me happy — I just kept chasing an impossible money goal without even stopping to think if it even made sense for me and my business.
Are we chasing our dreams, or someone else’s?
How often have you found yourself chasing someone else’s goals & dreams? Or, how often have you looked at someone else’s highlight reel and decided that you won’t be “successful” unless you “measure up” to them?? We’ve all done this, so if your answer is ALL THE TIME, know that you are in good company!
Let’s start better defining what success looks like for US and us alone. Also, let’s put our blinders to what OTHER people are doing, and let’s figure out what goals / metrics / progress would make us feel fulfilled in our daily lives. A good friend of mine who is a photographer recently said to me, “I wish I could start booking X amount of clients per year, because THEN I’d know that I was successful.” What she didn’t see already is that she doesn’t need to search for that number to feel successful — everyone around her already SEES her success! She just hasn’t paused long enough to see it for herself. We get so caught up in this belief that success is always in the future — but it’ll always be something that we’re chasing if we don’t stop to see it happening in our life already.
We are already successful, right where we are
Let’s remember that someone out there is ALREADY looking at you and seeing your success. And let’s start viewing our progress through THEIR eyes, let’s stop chasing this never-ending feeling of success, and instead let’s start realizing that we have everything inside of us already to start feeling successful TODAY!
I am so dang proud of you for all of the hard work that you’re doing. I can’t wait to see where these steps are going to lead you! Click here to listen to the podcast and let’s dive even deeper on this topic!
View the Full Transcript:
Hey girl, and welcome to the She Calls or Shots podcast, where we are all about making a bigger impact while learning how to live bolder, brighter, and happier lives. My name is Krista and I’m a photographer, creative and an entrepreneur, and I am so excited to navigate through this. Journey together as we deep dive into creating a life, business and personal growth journey that we are totally obsessed with.
And in this podcast, we are all about real talk and having honest and open conversations as we share insights and tips on how to play a bigger game and live a life that we truly love. So girlfriend, let’s make some moves and start working on our dreams.
Hey girl. I am really pumped about this episode today, and it means a lot to me, this specific topic because this is something that I know that I face on a very regular basis, and I know that you are feeling the same way. We all wanna feel successful, right? Like we all wanna feel as if we’ve made it, or you know, like we’re an expert in a career or a certain topic.
But how many of us have really sat down and defined exactly what success looks like for us? And if you have, you know, let’s get really honest. When was the last time that you revisited what success looks like for you as you’ve grown? For so many of us, we spend so much time looking at other people to define what success looks like in our own lives, right?
For so many, especially entrepreneurs, but really just anybody in life, you know? And especially for entrepreneurs, if you sell a product or a service, it’s so common practice for us to create goals based on someone else’s Instagram highlight reel. How many of us can relate to these thoughts, whether you are a business owner, whether you are just a girl living her own life, like whatever your situation might be.
How many of you can relate to these thoughts? I wish I was booking as many clients as she does. I wish I had that many Instagram followers. I wish that I had people who commented on every single one of my photos. I wish that I had as many, you know, raving fans and testimonials as she does. I wish that I was able to sell X amount of product like her, or I wish that selling my product or service was as easy for me as it is for her.
For a lot of us, we spend so much time looking at other people to define what success looks like in our own lives. But here’s the thing, we have no idea around the work, the effort, the time spent, the amount of times that that person has failed in order to see even a little bit of success. We have zero clarity around what’s happening in their lives.
So how is it that we feel like we can use this outside perspective to then place these unrealistic goals for ourselves in our own life? I think for a lot of us, we don’t spend very much time looking internally and defining what does success look like for us. I know for me as a photographer, when I was just starting off in my business, when I was creating goals, these goals weren’t based on any, you know, deep down things that I really felt like would make me feel fulfilled.
The goals that I had were based on what I thought would be successful to other people. Right. Like I wasn’t thinking like at the end of the day, what would I feel? What would make me feel fulfilled? You know, how many sessions or how many clients would I book to really make me feel fulfilled as a photographer?
I based my goals around what would make me look successful to other people. How many sessions were other photographers booking? How much money were other photographers making? And after doing that enough times, it unfortunately became so common practice for me that I really lost sight of what it felt like to make personal goals based on your own fulfillment.
And for a lot of women, we do this, we do this a lot, and I think it’s especially common practice for entrepreneurs because we’re moving into this territory of. Running and creating our own business, and let’s be honest, we have no idea what we’re doing in the beginning. We really and truly haven’t had experience growing a business from the ground up.
So it’s so natural to look outside and to look and see what other people are doing in order to find this measure of success. But this every time just leads then to the feeling of not enough and comparison. Because when we set our goals based on someone else’s goals or highlight reel or whatever it is that we see the perspective that we have on their life when we’re setting our goals that way, we’re never gonna feel like we’ve really made it.
Because guess what? In a month or two, you’re gonna find someone else that’s booking more clients and that’s making more money. And all of a sudden your goal that you had is gonna up level, but not because you feel like you need to personally because you feel like you need to, because now you see someone else.
Who has more success that you feel like you need to measure up to? And this idea of creating personal fulfillment and like success, being measured by our own personal goals, I’ll be honest, is something that’s still a struggle for me. When I was creating this podcast, even before that, when I was creating the idea of this podcast, I was stepping so far out of my comfort zone that for a while I was just really excited by it.
The fact that I was even going to make a podcast was like a huge win and a huge success in itself. But inevitably, what always happens when you start something new, As you start to do it and as you, you know, start to advance and do more of it and put more reps in, you start to realize that if you haven’t created what success looks like for you personally, you start to look around and try and find what success should look like for you.
And so when I was taking, I took a, um, a podcast course. Just to be completely transparent, I didn’t do all of this by myself. Um, I did look for education and someone who I felt that I could trust to really guide me along this journey. And I’m so grateful because she was so intentional with each of us around making sure that we were creating goals and success based on our own.
Fulfillment. So for example, before I even started this podcast, I made it my goal that success for me would look like showing up and creating content every week for my audience and consistently doing it for a year. And I was so purposeful about not putting metrics in that goal because I didn’t want to get so obsessed with numbers.
I didn’t wanna look at, you know, how many people were downloading the podcast or how many subscribers reviews I had, because I knew that if I started doing that, people wouldn’t become people. People would become numbers. And that is the opposite of everything that I’m hoping to do in this podcast. I am not doing this podcast to reach the masses.
My heart behind it is not to try and reach as many people as possible, although that would be wonderful. And the more people that I can help grow, obviously the happier that would make me. But my heart behind this podcast is talking to you one-on-one on this. Intimate platform and this individual level where I am helping you day to day in your life.
And so I was so purposeful about not putting metrics in my goal because I didn’t wanna get so focused on that, that I lost sight of the reason why I was doing it in the first place. And I’ll be honest with you, this is me going a little off script. I didn’t even plan on talking about this during this episode, but there was a week that I missed.
In episode, it was very recent. It was like two weeks ago. So if you’re looking back in episodes, you’ll very clearly see where, uh, where the gap is. And honestly, at first I felt so awful, like all of those feelings of shame, and I had this one goal for myself to show up every week, and I didn’t hit it. Here I am proving to myself again that I can’t do it.
You know, I, I created this goal for myself and I failed. I’m a failure. I might as well just give up, you know, the only goal that I had, I, I couldn’t even accomplish that. All of these thoughts, Were there and they were very prevalent on a day-to-day basis, and I had the choice. I could either give into those thoughts and realize, yep, you know what?
I’m just gonna throw in the towel because I had one goal and I didn’t hit it. But instead, you know what I thought I had to choose. To think this, but what I thought instead was, wow, this was clearly the right goal for me to set because it’s a difficult goal for me to hit. I messed up. I missed a week. Oh man, I can’t believe I missed that.
But you know what? I am even more excited about showing up again next week because this is clearly something that’s important to me because this weight that I’m feeling of missing a week is so heavy, which means that this thing is really important. So instead of throwing in the towel and giving up because I didn’t hit it, I decided to take that energy and take those feelings and those thoughts and use them as posi, like positive feelings to give me that motivation to show up again next time.
And so back to this feeling of, you know, these ideas of chasing success. I had a conversation recently with a good friend of mine who’s also a photographer, and she said this statement to me, I wish I could start booking X amount of clients per year because then I know that I was successful. And when she said that, my heart just dropped because truthfully, the number of clients that she was dreaming about has nothing to do with her level of success because she is already successful.
She’s already found success. She’s built a business with raving clients that love her work. She’s booking couples that she’s never met in person, that have found her online, that just are so excited to work with her, and she’s doing things today that she only once dreamed of doing. We get so caught up in this belief that success is always in the future, that it’s something that we’ll, we’re always chasing.
After that we haven’t gotten there yet. But what if we change the narrative that we’ve already made it and we’re right here today, already successful? Imagine the shift that that would make to our mindset and to the thoughts and the things that we tell ourselves on a regular basis. If we’re constantly feeling, feeling like we’re chasing this idea of success, we’re never going to feel truly happy.
And I heard this quote once, um, it was, I heard it from Rachel Hollis. It’s probably been said by many people, but if we can’t be happy today, We’re not going to be happy in the future. It’s this idea that she, she told the story of, I guess her parents maybe told her when she was younger, that um, if you got upset in those pants that you’re wearing, you can also choose to get happy in those pants.
And it’s that idea that we have the choice that we can be happy today. We can find joy, we can find success. We can find these things that we’re searching for in our lives already happening today. And on the topic of success, I think that it’s only fitting that we also need to speak around this idea that comes up so often, and that’s the feeling and the idea of imposter syndrome.
The Harvard Business Review defines imposter syndrome as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evidence success, meaning that people who feel imposter syndrome suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulent that overrides any feelings of success or external proof of their competence, or said even more simply.
We experience imposter syndrome despite having success in our life. So that means that while we’re going out there making money, creating a successful business, building out our audience, pushing past our fears, and making things happen in our life, all of that is overridden. And we reflect back on the things that make us feel this self-doubt or this feeling of imposter syndrome.
And this idea is so crucial because girl, if we can’t learn to really befriend these feelings of imposter syndrome, they’re never gonna go away. And honestly, even if you do befriend them, they will still always be there. But the difference is that you will look at them in a different light. Because as we start seeing more success in our life, as we start pushing past bigger fears and making bigger waves in our life, these feelings of imposter syndrome and doubt are only going to get stronger.
Because remember, imposter syndrome is there despite your success. So even when you’re making big moves and you are like totally crushing it, you’re still going to have these feelings. So what if we changed our entire narrative around imposter syndrome? What if instead of cowering away every time we started to feel these feelings?
What if instead we choose to get excited because it means that we’re ready to level up in our lives? What if we looked at every opportunity where we were stepping outside of our comfort zone and we just celebrated the heck out of it because that meant that we were taking another step towards becoming the person that we wanna become.
Because truthfully, the. Only difference. I repeat. The only difference between you and the girl that you’re currently looking up to is that she decided to continue showing up for herself every single day. She faces so many failures. She’s had people outwardly try to bring her down and tell her that she wouldn’t be able to achieve her dreams.
She’s had these exact same feelings of imposter syndrome, but instead of looking at them fearfully, she chose to celebrate them because she knew that it meant that she was ready to level up and grow. And girl, how powerful is that? And I’m speaking this to you in the place of someone who feels imposter syndrome daily, even while making this podcast like I know for a fact that I’ve gotten praise from people who are just like, you know, I’m so proud of you.
You’ve been able to put yourself out there, and you’re so strong for being able to like do this, and you know, all these things, which sound really great, but honestly, I am terrified every time I turn on this microphone like, If I’m being honest, it still feels very scary, but guess what? I am choosing to continue to show up while being afraid because I know that my fear is only going to get bigger because guess what?
As my audience grows, as more people start to listen to me, I know that I will want to start putting more pressure on myself. I’m going to, you know, start creating these unrealistic goals. On, you know, for myself that I’m gonna have to actively fight towards creating, but I’m gonna have this idea that as my audience grows and as my podcast gets bigger, I’m gonna need to show up as a, as a, you know, bigger and stronger version of myself.
And I say this because it’s every girl that you meet is facing the exact same thing. But it just might look a little different in her life. You are the person that someone else is looking up to right now, and I can promise you that the way that you feel about someone else and the thoughts that you have about someone that’s crushing it, or someone that you think has really made it in their life or in their career, someone else is saying the exact same thing about you.
Right now. And girl, I want that to really sink in for a second. Like I want you to think about the fact like, close your eyes right now and visualize with me someone right now is thinking about you and the waves that you are making in your life. And nay, cannot freaking wait to get to where you are today.
Let that really sink in because that is, Huge. So let’s choose to stop putting limitations on ourselves. Let’s choose to start looking at life through a lens of curiosity, and let’s dive deeper into ourselves and our thoughts so that we can become so comfortable with ourselves and who we are right now, that we no longer hold value in other people’s opinions about ourselves.
Just because you might have failed at something in the past doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. If you feel like you failed. It just means that you’re growing and you’re allowing yourself to dream big, and you’re letting yourself get one step closer to achieving your biggest goal. And lastly, let’s be really careful about attaching too much good or bad to things that might be happening in our lives.
Because so often I think we get this, this feeling to attach this label of good or bad to each thing that might happen in our lives, and a failure or a setback in the moment might feel like a bad thing. We might wish it away, or we might hope that if we ignore it for long enough that it’ll go away. But let’s remember that this failure.
Or this setback might be the most crucial step that you need in your life in order to take action towards your dreams. What if that one thing is the last ingredient that you need to your recipe for success? What if that specific situation is helping you to level up? And ultimately helping you achieve that bigger goal.
We have no way of knowing the bigger picture in life. So let’s choose to remember that each situation is an important milestone. Whether we might feel in the moment like it’s good or it’s bad. Each moment we are learning, we are growing, and we are figuring out how we can become stronger. And as always, I wanna keep this real because.
You know, will this always feel easy? Of course not. And some days you might feel like you’re crushing it and other days you might feel like you’re just scraping by and that is okay because you are in good company with each and every one of us. You and I we’re taking small steps each and every day that feel scary and sometimes awkward.
And honestly, most of us have no idea what we’re doing most of the time. So don’t forget to give yourself grace and let yourself find joy in the process. I am so dang proud of you for all of the hard work that you’re doing, and I can’t wait to see where these steps are going to lead you. Until next time, I’ll talk to you soon, girl.
Thank you so much for listening in and for joining me on this journey. If you love this episode, I would so appreciate you sharing it with your girlfriends, or better yet, share it on Instagram and tag me. I would love to personally say thank you and hear what resonated with you the most. As always, I am so excited that we get to figure all of this out together.
Until next time, I’ll talk to you soon, girl.