I believe that our definition of success is where it all goes horribly wrong.

Preparing to set new goals for 2017 and looking back at goals achieved and not, I find that I am really challenging myself to define what success means to me. With the understanding that having a set definition of success will allow me to walk within my purpose this year.

Not only do we not understand what success should mean to us, we have adopted a definition of success that is quite honestly, not achievable.

You will not be Beyonce!

Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Only if you believe that you will be part of the top 9% that even has a chance to get there, because the other 91% are completely undiscovered. What we do not stop to ask ourselves is, does being in the top 9% actually mean that we will be happy?

Separating our definition of success with our happiness is the reason we stay in the same disappointing job for years, determined to make it to the top of the ladder in order to be successful. The problem is that you hate the job, you hate the company culture, you are unhappy, unfulfilled, but you believe that having the title, after years of sacrificing your time and happiness, will allow you to flaunt your success.

Success is not about money or position

How involved was money at your happiest moment?

Although everyone and everything around us has programmed us to believe that it is. Jeff Haden’s INC piece, A New Definition of Success has definitely been a guide for me as I shift my approach to success. His question, how would we approach success if it defined as happiness derived from good relationships, and achieving personal goals…is a challenge to intertwine our happiness with our definition of success.

More money more problems is a reality that is inescapable. Although money allows us the freedom to spend freely, to spoil those we love, it also creates problems that we are not often prepared for. Growing up with very little of it as well, I realize as an adult, I never really noticed. I was surrounded by the warmth and love of my parents and 4 siblings. We had exactly what we needed and rarely more than that, and yet, I can honestly say that I had an incredible childhood.

If we intertwine our definition of success with our happiness we realize that the moments when we were our happiest, did not always involve money, so does money truly define success for us?

Success is earned not given

How hard are you working towards your personal goals?

I love blogs and online communities. I allowed myself to connect and get involved in many such groups in 2016, even becoming inspired to start my own. It was exciting to connect, collaborate, and discover like-minded women…but how much time is spent connecting, dreaming, and planning vs actually working?

We all fell in love with the term Get Sh*t Done is 2016, how much Sh*t did you actually get done? We love the idea of success and this disturbing business cinderella mentality is paralyzing us and leaving us frazzled and discouraged as we get nowhere with our goals. As exciting as it is to see others do well and as inspiring as it can be, we have to be aware of the amount of time we send envying vs actually working towards our own goals.

It’s a beautiful concept, the idea of working your butt off and finding success in your passion, but how willing are we to work towards our success? Knowing that you are walking in your purpose and loving the journey does not guarantee success!

Success is about knowing and walking in your purpose

A CEO is a great title. I have interviewed incredible CEO’s who have an incredible life, managing world renowned organizations, traveling across the world from meeting to meeting, representing and managing teams. Being a CEO with a jet-setting lifestyle would not make me happy at this point in my life. 7 years ago, it would be the life of my dreams…as a wife and mother, my priorities have changed, and I would not find fulfillment from a life that kept me away from home for longer periods of time.

My definition of success is having the ability to build a great business from home. Being able to do what I love, writing and managing communities for myself as well as my clients, while having the opportunity to participate in my children’s lives. Working from home makes so much more sense for me because the longer I do it, the more my routine becomes comfortable.

I know that my purpose is in leadership, and the more I put myself in a position to do just that, the more accomplished I feel.

We gain a sense of accomplishment from knowing that we are making a difference through our passion. Doctors love healing people, lawyers love getting positive results for their clients, what do you love doing?

Having an unhealthy definition of success will leave you demoralized and depressed as you struggle to hold on to unrealistic expectations for yourself. Allowing you to redefine success in a healthy way will only result in more opportunities to thrive in 2017!

Originally published at colombre.co on January 1, 2017.

Originally published at medium.com