Success: Focus on the Feeling


What is success?What does it mean to you? You can create your own success! You can achieve all the success you want!

I don’t know about you, but even with all of these statements, I still feel no closer to my own success, or even knowing what success is. Yet we keep seeing blog after blog, self-help book after book making these exact statements.

As a coach and psychotherapist, I have conversations about success almost daily. In fact, one of the first things I say to new clients is, “It’s my goal to help you be successful.” New clients love this idea, but rarely understand what it means in that first session.

Therefore, it is also my job to help them understand what success is. The truth is that success really does have a unique definition, which is fully dependent on who’s authoring it. For instance, I have a client who feels wildly successful about his new job making $50K, and another who’s gravely disappointed by not exceeding $600K.

But don’t be confused by this example; success is not defined by your salary.

Here’s another example: I have a client that feels so excited to complete his divorce, and another that feels she’s utterly failed by having a simple argument with her spouse.

But success is not defined by our relationships either.

So what is “success” then?

In my experience of sharing intimate conversations with clients, friends, and family, I’ve come to define success as this:

“Success is the achievement, sustainability, and re-create-ability of your desired feelings.”

How did I reach this definition?

Think about it like this: When people attribute a certain dollar amount to their success, they think that amount of money will give them financial security. And financial security will allow them to relax and feel happy. Or when people define success by a certain relationship status, they believe that having a certain partner will bring them comfort and validation; and that will give them happiness.

So, I think Thomas Jefferson was on to something when he penned the Declaration of Independence. The pursuit of happiness is inherent in every human being. But what creates our happiness is different for all of us. However, it’s when we achieve, sustain, or recreate whatever it is that makes us happy that we’ve truly succeeded.

That being said, people are in pursuit of all sorts of feelings. But the feelings we truly desire lead to our increased happiness.

So there it is…. Success is a feeling. Now that we’ve reached a definition, how do you get it?

Focus on the feeling!

Articulate how you want to feel in your life. Identify past instances when you’ve felt this feeling in your life. What were you doing? What was the setting? Who were you with? You’ve got to get really clear on who and what was involved in creating that desired feeling.

It is likely that you’ve identified more than one desired feeling you want in your life. Do the above research for all those feelings. Write down your findings.

What overlaps? What people, environments, and activities did you find in several areas of your research on your desired feelings? These are clues into what brings you closer to your desired feelings.

Don’t forget YOU! You play the biggest role in bringing these desired feelings into your life. How? You are the vessel by which these feelings are experienced and processed. So give yourself the best opportunity for success by preparing for it! Prep your body for a sensory experience by setting the intention to experience your desired feelings, grounding yourself to actually feel them, and bring your mind’s awareness to the experience.

I have bared witness to so many people’s true success. It is such a privilege to watch people achieve their desired feelings in life. Those instances have only reinforced my belief that you can be truly successful in your life as well. Just focus on the feeling.

Brittany Drozd helps success-oriented individuals by offering them strategies, tools, and support to stop living for everyone else so they can live the life they really want with greater clarity, direction and fulfillment. Visit for info on how to work with Brittany.