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It’s Time to Stop Chasing a False Image of Success

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Each person reading this will have a different idea about what accomplishing success involves. For some, you want to lose weight. For others, you desire to build a business that creates financial freedom. An excellent general definition could be becoming the best you in each major area of your life.

Whatever success means to you has probably been shaped and modeled over the years by the images you see of people in your sphere creating success for themselves. Social media has millions of daily users that are sharing information about their life and business. You see stories of success and what looks like impressive wins. It’s not uncommon for people to share a highlight reel without talking about the struggle on the path to accomplishing those wins.

Conceptually, we know that we don’t get to see the full picture when someone shares their wins, but seeing those images of what we feel is success feeds into our limiting beliefs. We get caught in the comparison trap even though we know better. The comparison cripples success-seekers. 

If you’re going to reach new growth levels and accomplish your goals, you’ll need to stop chasing a false image of what it takes to create success. Here’s why.

Vanity Influences the Creation of False Narratives

The Internet and social media have created a culture in which individuals can instantly get their ego fed. You post an accomplishment, and immediate praise follows. That ego hit is intoxicating and makes individuals want to experience it often. The vanity causes false narratives about what’s happening in someone’s life. 

If your image of success is this vanity-driven false narrative, you’re going to be the one left without a chair when the music stops. Your look into someone else’s success journey is a surface-level glance. You can’t base what you do and the decisions you make on the little bit you see.

It’s great to see success and be inspired by it. A smart strategy is when you see success and research the elements and steps that could help you — model success and use what you see from others as motivation. But, don’t let an incomplete narrative be your driving force towards your goals.

“Attitude drives actions. Actions drive results. Results drive lifestyles.” – Jim Rohn

Beware of Being Sold a Lifestyle 

In the day and age that we live in, entrepreneurs sell books, digital information products, consulting, and coaching. For some of these entrepreneurs, portraying a lifestyle of success is a marketing tactic. You’ve probably seen a social media ad in your feed from an entrepreneur advertising an appealing lifestyle that doesn’t require a lot of work.

You have to look at the motivation and reason behind images of success in others. If the success posters are trying to sell you on a lifestyle, it’s not likely you’ll get the full picture of their success — if it’s even real. Don’t fall for the flashy copy or good advertising. 

The reality is that you probably don’t need another course to understand your success path. You need more execution of what you already know, and you need to develop consistent healthy habits. Your intuition knows what you need. 

There is No Substitute for the Work 

Images of success can be an inspiration, but if success becomes a reality in your life, it will happen when you do the work. There is no substitute for mapping out your goals, taking daily action, and pushing through moments of challenge. The main image you should aspire to is a vision of you being consistent in doing the hard work to be your best you. 

Success is putting in the work and being motivated by the process. Success is experiencing setbacks and learning from them. You create success by understanding that it’s okay to want more from life and stop waiting for permission to step into your power. Success happens with healthy boundaries and enforcing them.

A false image of success has held you back for far too long. The image you should strive for is your vision of your dream life. Visualizing success is a powerful strategy that doesn’t involve what anyone else is doing.

Get clarity on what you want and get to work. Let the false images of success come and go. You know what you have to do — it’s time to work.

Lisa Collum is a CEO, author, educator, and mother of four with a remarkable history of working to change lives both inside and outside the classroom. She owns and operates two educational companies, Top Score Writing, Inc., and Coastal Middle and High School. She has 16 years of real-world experience helping women start and build businesses. Her focus is on helping women entrepreneurs create the strategy and tactics that consistently generate revenue, create financial security, and do it all with balance. Join her at lisacollum.com.

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