Careers for Women (& Men), Communications
“Success” starts from the outside. You hear it. Someone who knows tells you. It embarrasses you to not disclaim it. Then the compliment is repeated, reinforced. You walk away in order to change the subject. It feels good. It feels so good that the first time you hear that you’re “successful” it’s hard not to repeat it to someone soon. Word by word, including the disclaimer.
This is success observed; success under glass.
Then follows recognition. It starts from the outside. Deference is paid to you. The people who are important acknowledge that you are important, too. Your income grows. Your title grows. Your office grows. Your responsibility grows. Your pressure grows, your work load grows.
Then follows ritual. You dress for success. You are obliged to. You live the life of the successful person and you think the thoughts that these people think, too. You have successful diversions, and you believe that successful people are of a kind.
Then follows uncertainty. You notice slights, or you imagine them. You make mistakes, or you think you do. You evaluate: yourself and others, always wanting to know how each is doing. You realize that “success,” your own, is no longer as pleasant as it first was.
Then follows confidence. It starts from the inside. You feel balanced. You feel competent. You care less about appearances and more about results. You don’t worry about making mistakes because you can afford them now. You like your work more than you ever have before. You like yourself more than you ever have before.
Then follows success.
- David W. King, President and Founder of Careers for Women (& Men), Inc.