The Myths and Truths of Success

In this blog post, I wanted to point out some of our taught standards of what it means to be successful. My hope is to help remind you all that these are not the only ways of viewing success. Hopefully remembering this will allow us all (including myself) to put less pressure on ourselves. Although a short blog post, these are some things I have had to learn (and am still learning) even recently. 

  1. Myth: Success is based on how hard you’re working. If you are always busy, you are successful.
    Truth: We live in a society that says if you are busy, you are successful and if you are resting, you are being lazy. Rest is important and crucial to success. Being unproductive IS being productive. We don’t have to strain ourselves of our resources or completely drain our energy every work day to prove our success. This may actually lead us to be more unproductive in the long run. Let’s throw away this idea that if we stop working for a day, we are lazy and wasting our time. Let’s also remind ourselves that we don’t have to pursue the same work grind as someone else around us to prove our worth. Everyone is different, and we need to keep our limitations in check.

  2. Myth: Success and failure are separate. They are opposites. Success is positive and failure is negative. 
    Truth: Although “failure” is never planned nor something we strive for, “failure” is also an essential part of growth. You can’t have success without failure. Making mistakes is what allows us to learn. Next time you make a mistake or feel as if you have “failed,” just remember this is happening for a reason. Turn it into a learning lesson, and see what you can do differently. We tend to be too harsh on ourselves. Take some pressure off and instead try to understand where you went wrong, and, if need be, right your wrongs. This will allow you to find closure and gain more knowledge. After that, it’s okay to move on.

  3. Myth: Success means a growth in income or “climbing the ladder” in your career.
    Truth: Success is self-defined. This may be the definition of successful for some. BUT this is not the only definition. I personally find that this is one of the main stereotypes of what it means to be successful. I feel this is to be created out of fear of not being stable, and out of the adrenaline that comes with climbing that ladder. These are VALID. I want to emphasize that. I just want to remind people that if your definition of success does not look like this, that is OKAY. We live in a society that strives on competition, money, and reaching the top. However, it’s important to keep in mind the pieces of life that are of utmost importance to you.

  4. Myth: Success means putting your career and financial stability first.

    Truth: Success is defined by each individual differently. Some people may define success in this way. However, similar to previous stereotypes, success does not have to be reached through putting our personal needs and desires aside. 

One of the main takeaways is success is something that can only truly be defined by each individual. I want to strip away some general definitions or assumptions, or even standards. Success is not always about the money and the career or the amount of productivity. I want to give a reminder that it is OKAY and CRUCIAL to take breaks, take care of your mental health, incorporate self care activities, pursue hobbies, take care of your physical health and get lots of sleep, and, overall, make you and your well being just as important as your success. 

What does success mean for you? Let us know in the comments or on our Instagram (@AllenHoustonMagazine ) or Twitter (@AllenHoustonMag )! Do you have any more stereotypes or standards that I didn’t touch on?

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