Success – what is it really?

Outside of my HR role I work with 14-18 year old young women in Girlguiding UK, they are fantastic young women at a very influential time in their lives. One of the things we’re told through Girlguiding and other channels is the importance of making these young women feel confident in their own skin.   Which is a good thing, attempting to combat the pressure on girls and women from marketing, fashion etc, however the focus remains about accepting and liking the way you look.

As a relatively new mum (Ok my oldest is now 6 so probably not that new anymore) the issue of disliking your body comes again into focus, we’re told so often we need to be slimmer, healthier, hide our scars etc etc.

Why as a women, and even for men now is the way we look and being confident in the way we look a measure of success? Why is this even an issue? As I mum I have been fortunate in that this change in my life gave me confidence, I was happy to accept I was never going to be a perfect mum as long as I did my best and possibly a slightly strange side effect I became more confident in my work and felt successful in my life. I may not be Lord Sugar or Richard Branson, but I’m happy with what I do and therefore I’m confident and successful in what I do.  Despite this I feel there is so much to tell me I need to be like this or like that…I now look back throughout my life and realise I have been successful at pretty much everything I’ve done and by success, I mean success for me!! I’m not really concerned about measures and what other people think, it’s about me and what makes me happy.

If only I’d known this many years ago, when I was the teenage me. Being successful, being happy and being confident isn’t about complying with what the media tells us we should feel, it’s not about all those social media posts that tell us the “10” things every successful women/man does. Being successful, happy and confident is about you and what you want to achieve and it can be about anything! Success isn’t limited to music, fashion, which celeb you look like, although of course it can be if that’s what you want it to be.

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