There have been many moments where I have thought about my age and immediately started panicking about the fact that I haven’t accomplished something or reflecting on some insignificant measure of success. There have been times where I have literally given myself undue anxiety about the fact that I don’t own property (if you own property, that’s actually great). Society measures success by a list of standards and most of those standards make a person LOOK successful rather than truly telling me anything about that person. What is success anyways? I’ve discussed in a previous post that we define our own success and are responsible for creating our standards of success for ourselves as individuals.
However, defining our success can be difficult when society has created timelines for nearly everything that we do in our lives from getting married to owning a home and even having children. Society literally says we should have our own business by a certain age, only switch careers before a certain age, and refuse to take risks if the timing isn’t perfect. I also published a post previously about refusing to limit yourself based on the ideas that you believe are “realistic”. Free your mind of the box that someone has labeled “For women younger than 30” or “For people who are over 50” or even “For people who have money, house, car, etc.”.
I’m beyond tired of people creating rules for when things should happen in other people’s lives and it isn’t going to stop. But what we can do is create our own rules and choose to live by a unique standard that truly inspires others. Your timeline may not fit everyone else’s because your story is unlike anyone else’s so do what suits YOU. Keep writing your own story and living your own truth while creating your own standards and timeline for success.
If you know me personally, you know that I look much younger than my actual age. In my career, my reality has been that people have underestimated my experience and skill set because of their perception of my age and what they feel that my experience should be. That is unfair because it impacts my career mobility if I am not highly communicative about my abilities and experience (even while displaying those abilities in the workplace). I say that to demonstrate that we can’t push our “should be” mentality on other people. We can’t go around placing things in boxes because they are operating on a different timeline from what society has taught us to expect.
I want you to think intentionally this week about the things that you want to accomplish, why, and when. I want you to reflect on your whys and be sure that they fulfill you and not just other people’s standards of success. Then pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished already because it is a lot more than you think and there is no timeline except the one that society has created FOR you without your permission. Yeah, no thanks.