Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
When it comes to success, everyone has their own version of what success looks and even feels like. For many years, success to me was defined by how much money I made and how well known I was. But after a serious burnout. I had to relook at my idea of success. Not only for my health but also for a more fulfilling life. Now don’t get me wrong, I still very much enjoy having financial freedom. Or having enough money to do the things I want. But unlike before, I now don’t see those things as my main definers of success.
Instead success to me these days is having good mental health, being physically and emotionally healthy. Doing things I enjoy. Nurturing my marriage. Ensuring all my daughters emotional and physical needs are met. And having a job and or career I enjoy that pays me enough to achieve my above mentioned goals and success indicators. In many ways having to sit down and rethink success allowed me to see areas that needed work, and areas which I was doing well in. It also made me ask myself serious questions about where I want to see my life going and where I see myself in the future.
When I started to think in this way, it became abundantly clear that for one, I needed to get mentally sound: As someone with a history of depression and anxiety. Ensuring my mental health is always taken care of is a top priority and one I no longer take lightly. In part because I realized from my burnout that if I am not mentally well, I am unable to fulfill my other goals in life. So that to me has been and will continue to be my top priority. This means ensuring to incorporate tons of self care. Giving myself room to breathe. Seeking help when I need it and working out as I have found that helps a lot especially with my anxiety.
the rest have been easier to manage too when I am mentally sound. And whilst it’s not a perfect system. It does help me see what my priorities are and what I want my legacy to be. But also what I need to do to reach that legacy. It also made me realize the importance of defining success on your own terms. As someone who achieved financial success early. I always felt like there were other things missing. And even from a young age I knew I wanted to be a mother. Whilst this may not be a popular route or definition of success for many. Coming from a scattered family background made me realize that I wanted to work extra hard to ensure my children have a good life.
And also to break the generational trauma that comes with being raised by a single mom and an absent dad. But again this is not, and should not be everyones definer of success. Instead, we should all think about and form our own ideas of what success means. It is only then that we will feel truly fulfilled. So as you are planning out your next steps for the rest of the year. Think about what success means to you and you alone. Find the areas in life that you want to be successful in and how you can be. From then on it is about constantly looking at that list and ensuring you are staying true.
Don’t worry too much however if your idea of success changes in a few months or a year. What matters is to have a working document of success for you at this very moment. It could be finishing school. Getting into a certain university. Pursuing your passion. Starting a business. Being healthy. Or any number of things. What matters is that it is real and true for you.