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6 Self Made Women Define What Success Means To Them

We live in a world where our lives are often punctuated by career crises. It is at times like this when we ask ourselves- Is this what I truly desired? Do I feel as accomplished as I wanted to? Where did I fall short? And most importantly, how can I turn my life around to be more successful?

Some of these answers would require you to analyse your own definition of success. Most of us have grown up with a singular idea of success that is money, power and status. And we thought the only way to achieve it is punishing morning routines or beating yourself into physical and mental exhaustion. But as one matures, the realisation hits that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to success, everyone has their own definition and path which changes over the course of life and also as we age.

As I pondered upon the above questions I realised how vague my idea of success really was. So I approached some women who meet all the standards of being successful. Most of them are high up the corporate ladder or run organisations that they started. But what is their own definition of success? Let’s find out!

1. “Success to me is knowing that I was able to create & scale impact”

Upasna Dash Jajabort Brand Consultancy

Studies indicate that the act of giving back to the community and helping others can boost your happiness, health and a sense of well being. Upasana Dash, Founder and CEO, Jajabor Brand Consultancy sheds light, “Although success and its definition is ever-evolving, the one thing that is constant is the real tangible impact of it. When your internal and external goals are in sync, that's when the magic happens. Every day I show up to work and life thinking what can I do today to cause some real on-ground positive impact. Success to me is knowing that I was able to create & scale impact. The other layer of success is to make it scalable; how many people can I bring along with me as I learn and grow?” 

2. “I feel successful when I am kind to myself”

Snigdha Ahuja Writer Voice of Fashion

A change has been seen in the way people think about success and their personal journeys. A majority of 90% people admit that success is about happiness more than power, possessions or prestige. Snigdha Ahuja, Deputy Editor, The Voice of Fashion agrees and continues, “Achievements can be immensely satisfying, especially if they bring you happiness. Of course, the meaning of achievement is very personal. Success can stem from the littlest of things. It's all about personal goals, be it a good work-life balance, financial independence or just the luxury of going on a holiday. To me, the idea of being successful is being satisfied with all I have and the things I don't.” 

3. “I  would equate success with growth- particularly personal growth”

Rhea Verma Lawyer

Continuous investment in yourself is what personal growth is. It requires the desire to improve, willingness to strive and challenging yourself out of your comfort zone. “When I was younger, success was all about money, fame and enjoying the finer things in life. After working for a couple of years, I realised that the template was completely unsustainable in terms of expectations and rewards. It's been far more fulfilling and comforting to have an internal definition of success that's singular to me and the life I have created for myself. Building my skill set, sustaining strong social/familial bonds, and maintaining good mental health are some of my indicators of success” says Rhea Verma, Lawyer

4. “Success is about putting in your best efforts every time and seeing them bear fruits one day”

Tanya Bahl Ted x SRCC

Success is about controlling the factors that are in your hand like trying and giving your best. Research showed that 1 in every 3 people is plagued by the fear of failure which hinders their path to success. “Success isn’t always about coming first, it’s about putting in your best efforts every time and seeing them bear fruits one day.” Tanya Bahl, advisory board member of TEDxSRCC is doing well today, but it wasn’t always like that. She recounts, “In my first year of college, I took part in 7-8 competitions. Let alone win, I didn’t even reach the final round of any of them. This made me question whether it even made sense to participate in these competitions. I wasn’t able to win so why even waste my time participating. Fast forward to my second year of college, I decided to take part in one more competition. This time, not only did I reach the finals, but also emerged as the national winner of that competition. That day I realised that the 7-8 times I felt I had not succeeded, I had actually been learning and a bigger win was awaiting me. I had already succeeded in learning earlier, only this time I succeeded in putting those learnings to use. It isn’t only about winning and you won’t always win, but you will always learn and that’s what success is about. Don’t ever stop trying because you never know when you will taste victory.”

5. “Success to me means making an impact in society through my work”

Anjali Bawa Co-founder Voila.expert

In the culture of job snobbery, 89% of people have stress and anxiety, and the number increases with every passing day. The pursuit of selfish desires can leave us lacking and wanting for more and sometimes because of that we fail to understand the difference between achievement and fulfilment. “Achievement is a success whereas fulfilment is the satisfaction to achieve that success. Both are driven by action, but with purpose in fulfilling goals, it leads to achievement. Success means different things at different levels. Right now, when my business achieves a goal of 10,000 users, that’s a success for me along with making an impact in society through it. Its meaning changes with time because the purpose of life changes as we age,” explains Anjali Bawa, cofounder of Voila.expert 

6. “Success comes with passion, compassion and hunger to make things happen”

Neha Kumthekar, Oceedee

Passionate people are more resilient when it comes to encountering obstacles. Unsurprisingly, only 20% of people are passionate about what they do. It helps you stay motivated and determined to work hard. “Fulfilment is more passion-driven. You are in the driver's seat as to how to pave your course of the journey. Achievement brings that drive with an edge of competitiveness. I feel success is an ever-evolving game. Life throws various circumstances at you and we meander through them breaking and building every day. For me as an entrepreneur, it's been a lot more, as you are constantly learning. Each day is a new surprise and hence you learn to cherish the smallest achievements along the journey. I feel there has to be a fine balance for one to be successful,” says Neha Kumthekar, Co-founder and MD, Oceedee

1 comment

Success is doing what you love to do. The freedom to choose what you like and looking forward each day as new opportunity to drive you is success.

Unless happiness is the outcome of your action it’s the most unsuccessful life

Amita Desai October 11, 2021

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