Life is made up of moments, and if we're not careful, we miss them. Working and living in the digital world can be emotionally debilitating at times.
It seems that every day there is a new tragic story of a school shooting or terrorist attack or hurricane, followed by an intense societal debate on Twitter or Facebook that lingers for days. It can consume your emotions quickly. At least, that's what happened to me. I lived in the tiny square spaces in my phone rather than the life happening right in front of me. I was focusing on how to be better for the digital world, not my actual world. I forgot how to live, breathe, and hustle, constantly focused on what others were doing or what they thought of my life.
On top of that, our culture ties success to your social standing. Due to that, a lot of people will tell you that how bad it is to take a break. To many people, success only looks one way and is only achieved one way.
But success means significantly more than the dollars in your bank account or titles on your resume (albeit, very nice).
Personal and professional success is built on others; the way you make them feel, the impact you have on their lives, the way you help those who can't help themselves. Success is more than the self-help articles allude to. It takes more than just working yourself ragged every day. Success looks so different at 29 than it did at 24, or even 27. It will look different at 40, 56 and 70. Here are some ways to get out of your own way and succeed:
Keep Challenging Yourself Against Your Own Standards
This is in regards to life, love, career, travel; challenge yourself in everything you do. It is imperative that you find your purpose and pursue it with ferocity. By living in fear, you give up on the potential of life. It creates self-doubt to a paralyzing degree. It's akin to signing the Terms of Agreement without actually reading the terms. "Don't do that, it won't end well." "Why would you go there? You know you won't enjoy it." Don't limit what you can do based on what someone told you. It creates self-doubt to a paralyzing degree.
A life based on others is not a successful life. Step out on fear and rely on yourself.
Relish In Your Hobbies
It's extremely difficult to feel good about being disconnected. I used to listen to my vintage collection of vinyl records every night but hadn't done so in about a year. I used to do small paintings to clear my mind but haven't touched a paint brush in years. Why? Because I'm too busy of course. Isn't that what we all say? Well, I'm calling bullsh*t and taking back my free time. You should, too. One night of wine-induced record listening provided me with a week's worth of energy to take to work. One Sip N' Strokes on a random Wednesday gave me the energy of three coffees from Starbucks. In those moments, I remembered the key to being successful, and that is me.
Always Double Check Your Friend Inventory
Friendships change over time, just like people. It's always been a personal obstacle finding worthy friends. Often times, I find myself invested in a relationship that is as one-sided as a police interrogation mirror. Young women need a tribe of supportive and empowering peers, not women trying to judge or compete. If you feel like a friend isn't genuine, you're probably right. Don't waste time trying to placate or value someone who doesn't care for you or doesn't support you; life's too short. By moving this person to the back of the theater, I learned I can still be there for that person; their negative vibes just won't influence my happiness anymore.
Not everyone needs a front row to your life, some people are best left in balcony seating.
When you put your phone down and jump into life, you amaze yourself. Forgotten are the newest likes on your photo, or how to get the right video for Snapchat; immediately you start living in the moment. You start to remember the things that make you happy, the things from your childhood that brought you immense pleasure and satisfaction. The sun shines a bit brighter, the grass smells a bit better. Sometimes all you need to succeed is nothing at all.