Sweet Success

20 01 2011

I am always intrigued when people describe someone as being ‘successful’.

What exactly does being a success mean…and how do we know  when we are ‘successful’?

Does ‘success’ relate to the level of our bank account; the size of our house; the type of car we drive; or the number of exotic holidays we take every year?

Or could it be the amount of column inches we have generated in the press; the number of friends we have on FaceBook…or how many followers we have on Twitter?

Is ‘success’ is based upon other peoples definition of ‘success’…or are other people’s opinions irrelevant and it is it how we feel about ourselves that really counts?

By committing to writing a blog; particularly for those of us who have signed up for the WordPress PostaDay 2011 challenge…unless we are writing purely for our own enjoyment and we aren’t concerned whether anyone actually reads our posts…we will want others to read what we have to say – even if they consider it to be a load of old rubbish!

So how do we measure our ‘success’…and is it enough for us to  feel ‘successful’ by giving ourselves a pat on the back and saying ‘well done girl – you made it past the starting post’!

Or will we only believe ourselves to be a ‘success’ if this is based upon the number of ‘views’ we have generated; the number of subscribers we have for our blog; or the comments we’ve received from others?

At what point will we consider ourselves a ‘success’…and do we have to wait to be considered a ‘success’ by others before we can start to believe it to be true?

By putting ourselves ‘out there’, we are agreeing to stand up and be judged by others and we have to be prepared for less than favourable feedback at times.

As a novice blogger, I remember how terrified I was when I pressed the ‘publish’ button after I’d written my first blog on 1st January 2011.

It felt like the point of no return and I probably would have given blogging up as a bad job if the first comments I’d received had been negative ones.

I like to think that I am pretty grounded and self-aware, but I am a sensitive and artistic soul at heart, and as much as I hate to admit it, my self confidence would have taken a hard knock if people had initially said negative things about my blog.

I was open to feedback about the style of my writing because this is still evolving. My concern was more to do with my sensitivity around ‘wearing my heart on my sleeve’ and sharing my deepest thoughts and feelings with complete strangers.

For the first time in my life I have found the courage to ‘stand up and stand out’ instead of hiding behind the ‘success’ of others…and it has left me feeling very exposed at times.

When I read an article this week, written by a local journalist about my involvement in ‘May the Best House Win’ (to be shown on ITV next Tues 25th Jan), I was really upset to read that throughout the entire piece she had either described my little house as a ‘caravan’, or  a ‘90210 Winnebago’!

Me and My 'Caravan'! (photo by kind courtesy of ITV)

I have to confess to not really knowing what a ‘90210 Winnebago’ is (!) – although I would just like to point out that my little abode is definitely not a ‘caravan’…it is a ‘park home’…and there is a big difference!

The entire article was really derisive and her mocking tone was totally uncalled for; particularly as I’d never even met the lady and as far as I am aware, there was no reason for her to write about me in such a manner.

Somehow she had managed to change what I had considered to a ‘success’ story into what reads like a ‘hard luck’ story.

Now I am the first person to say ‘all publicity is good publicity’, but when you are the one on the receiving end of such publicity, it takes courage to face the world and say ‘huh-what does she know anyway’. (or words to that effect!).

Me, Denys & Rachael (fellow contestants on May the Best House Win)

So, do I base my self-esteem on the views of others; or do I feel a ‘success’ regardless of what others think of me?

Do I allow this one woman’s barbed words to effect my sense of ‘self’, or do I focus on all the good things in my life that make me feel ‘successful’?

I feel ‘successful’ when I can retire for the night knowing that I have done the best I can with the resources available to me…that I have been true to myself and have acted from a place of love and integrity towards everyone I’ve had contact with throughout the course of the day.

It is lovely to receive positive feedback from others and it makes us feel good for a time.

Ultimately, we have to be prepared to answer to ourselves, and if we like the response we give, we are on the right track towards feeling truly ‘successful’!

Day 20 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I celebrate the pleasure of ‘Sweet Success’!

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10 responses

20 01 2011

I am so proud of you to have taken the high road, and to have recognized that other people’s definitions of your success do not define you. You define your success because you are living your dream; your life; your best. It’s a pity that she tried to squash your enthusiasm…
All press isn’t always good press.
Great post and love your home!

21 01 2011
The Great Chocolate Cake Robber

Success is a journey, not a destination. I wish I’d said that, in fact I wish I knew who said it and how I know the words.

It’s you in the final of respected TV show, not the journalist who has a fixation about caravans, perhaps she was the baby crying in chalet number 47 at Butlins, Skegness, all I remember was starting off the next song in the wrong key. Generally journalists are never kind about even the merest hint of celebrity, yet if they were reporting for the BBC from the Oscars they’d be wallowing in it.

This is Staines local bugle and word car park you’re worrying about. Answer me this? – how many people started this ITV journey and “who is an de podium sister, come what may?” as my mate Winston from Trenchtown often said. Well he never called me “sister” except once when I had the front legs of the pantomime horse!

Success is having achieved a goal by being true to yourself that you feel good about and hopefully brightens somebody’s life.

Any road up, Winnebago is also the former name of the Ho-Chunk tribe of Native Americans with reservations in Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin; that’s an awful lot of dining experiences in one night! How do you think they feel about having a motorhome called after them? And on that note I shall retire to my Teepee and fiddle with my Wampum, meanwhile you wallow in praise.

21 01 2011

You look pretty successful to me! Negative people and comments are such a downer, but they are the ones with the issues … all you can do is feel sad for them and keep your distance from them.

Wishing you much more Success and Happiness!
Debbie 🙂

28 01 2011

Julie, when I first started my blog I was also scared to hit the publish button. It wasn’t until I joined the WordPress Challenge and started to connect with people that the fear went away. As each day passes, I have more confidence in myself and what I hope to achieve by year’s end.

I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading more. You can give yourself a pat on the back anytime. We all need it once in while, it’s just that many won’t admit it.

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

I also hesitate to press the publish button at times…usually when I’m feeling less than confident with what I’ve written. The funny thing is, the posts I think aren’t so great, are often the ones that people seem to like….it goes to show that you just have to write how you feel at the time and let others decide.

I am delighted that you enjoyed reading my blog…particularly as yours is so good – thank you.

29 01 2011

Been there, done that! Thanks, but I’m just getting started and my writing is shaky at times. I just write like I’m talking and I’m a good talker. 😉

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

I can’t believe you’re just getting started!

You write like a pro…and your blog looks very polished…you must be a natural 🙂

29 01 2011

Thanks Julie, I’ve done plenty of reading and personal writing but this is the first time I’ve published to a blog. It was scary at first but I’m really enjoying it now. I might even tackle some other projects I’ve been thinking about. 🙂

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

This is the first time I’ve ever written a blog as well. I’ve written lots of stuff for press articles but that was focused on business and this is so much more personal. I was shaking like a leaf when I published my first post and I never thought anyone would want to read it. Now of course, I’m somewhat addicted and need to get my time better organised or I’ll never get anything else done!

Have a great weekend 🙂

29 01 2011

I’ve written a lot of training manuals for staff but that’s been the extent of my writing. I know what you mean about it being addictive, time management is definitely something I need to work on. Hope you have a great weekend too! 🙂

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