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Upgrading The Measurements Of Success

Written by: Allison Castle, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

When I used to think about measurements of success, I thought of money, job titles, numbers on a scale, grades, and test scores. Things we can pretty clearly quantify and define.

A couple of these measurements of success became my focus when I started high school. The first was the numbers on the scale. I never felt like I had a pretty face, but if I could stay skinny, that would make up for my average looks, and a boy would finally ask me out. The second was my grades. After the first semester of my freshman year, grades entered the picture. I had maintained straight A’s that semester, and if I kept it up, I could be top of my class, be valedictorian and get a full-ride scholarship to college.

My drive to get to a number on a scale landed me with a borderline eating disorder. My grades did get me to the top of my class, but my drive for academic success gave me constant anxiety and stress and zero full-ride scholarships.


My measurement in college was not straight A’s but passing the CPA exam and securing a good job. Again, the constant stress and anxiety were present, and rather than enjoying the college experience, experimenting, and making new lifelong friends, I could not wait for it to be over. I actually thought that there would be less pressure in the “real world.” That there wouldn’t be the marks to measure up to.


I was wrong! My first job was with an international public accounting firm. Long hours were expected, whether necessary to complete the job or not. Happy hour was not expected but strongly encouraged. It was an environment of “Work Hard/Play Hard(er)” because you have to manufacture fun to escape from the grind! I didn’t really think about it at the time because this is what you did to excel and achieve, to move up the ladder and make more money. But as I look back now, was I really successful?


I think the answer is I felt successful in all the quantifiable ways. I was happy to be making a decent living and feeling valued for my knowledge and work. I looked forward to Fridays and not to Mondays. My weekdays felt long, and my weekends felt short. I really had hit a lot of the outer measurements of success, but there were some pieces missing.


I really wasn’t thinking about the other ways to feel successful to feel fulfilled. Some of those areas that might signal fulfillment are not as easy to quantify. Fulfillment is felt more on the inside than seen on the outside. Things like our physical and mental health, moments of joy, free time, quality relationships, and personal growth. I had really been sacrificing those inner areas of fulfillment to obtain the outer measurements of success.


It wasn’t until I started my coaching journey that I really recognized that those other aspects that I had been sacrificing were actually markers of success, too and that I didn’t have to have either, or I could actually have both and more.


Three things I did to make success and fulfillment more consistent in my life:


First, I brought more awareness to my values and priorities. I realized that there wasn’t a standard for success that I was required to follow.


Second, I redefined what success meant to me. In my new definition, I incorporated the outer, more quantifiable measurements of success and the inner, less easily quantifiable feelings of fulfillment. This was my new way of looking at success.


Third, I upgraded how I measured success using this wider definition. Before, my measurements were much more linear. I could create a graph showing my years of work compared with my salary to show a steady incline. Now my measurement has more flow and looks more like a wheel where I can assess my satisfaction in many areas of my life.


This has been a game-changer for me and has allowed me to feel more ease, joy, and alignment in my life every day.


If you are curious about bringing more flow to your measurement of success, I am excited to share an example of the wheel that I use to assess my success and fulfillment.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my Website for more info!


 

Allison Castle, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Allison Castle is a Mastery Certified Transformational Coach, Meditation Teacher, and Certified Public Accountant. After years of following the "expected path", chasing the traditional standards of success, and coming up short on feeling successful or fulfilled, Allison created her Life Alignment Coaching Program to help women stop waiting until they reach that milestone (number on a scale, job title, income level, etc.) to finally find the feeling of fulfillment and success that they have been working so hard for. Her mission: Don't wait for the destination. Enjoy the Journey!

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