My husband and I were having a conversation about our past work experiences. These discussions usually have something like this sprinkled in them “My whole career was solving problems no one else could solve but not one person acknowledged my contribution.” “Actually, I was shunned by my co-workers and ignored by my bosses, unless they needed me.”
Both of us felt the same way about our past working lives (We are retired from the corporate world now). My husband even went on to say he never felt successful. And come to think of it I never did either even though we both loved untangling, trouble shooting and solving problems at work. We loved the work but hated how we were treated.
I told my husband that he was indeed successful. He solved problems, completed what he started, was creative, and never stopped learning in his profession.
I found it was easier to think this about my husband than it was of myself. I probably would never have thought those things about myself if I hadn’t just said them out loud to my husband. But the same holds true for me. We were and are successful.
Why don’t we feel that way?
One simple reason. We both allowed someone else to define what success meant to us.
Being an outwardly appearing success is not the same as personally feeling successful. We each have to define our own meaning for success on a daily basis. Some days I’m a success just by “suitin up and showin up”.