Written by Felecia Williams | Owner of My Spa My Way
A million-dollar question: What is the secret to success? No longer is the answer your bank balance, job title, social status, or a mere object. Success is how one views themselves, it’s the valleys traveled to get to the top — the bruises from falling every time you begin to run this race called life. Success is a priceless feeling or emotion one waits to feel at least once in a lifetime. Everyone seems to be looking and waiting for this one key ingredient to succeed.
The truth is to determine your success, you must know what you consider success to be. Many confuse success for one as success for all. Financial means, career achievement, real estate acquisitions or even romantic love interests. But regardless of the feat, the path to get there is different for us all, and the outcome is measured in many different ways.
As a young African-American woman growing up in the south in the ‘70s, i knew early what a strong African-American woman looked like. and to me, success was all about how you felt, not what you had. My grandmother, a woman with four children in an abusive relationship, walked away to start over. Afraid and alone, she endured with a strength she didn’t know she had and never looked back. She worked numerous jobs, made sure all four children went to college and even helped raise my sister and me when both my parent’s careers become too demanding.
She was what I thought a superhero looked like. She wore a cape every day of my life.
Today, my mother shows me that a woman with a loud voice, strong opinions and a seat at the table does not have to settle for only being invited to the party. She can host with the best of them. Mom, I know many of your accomplishments have gone unnoticed, but you never stop achieving great things. You have taught me the respect of the position and the accomplishment outweighs the thank yous any day. You’ve shown me that it’s not about the change you make today but the changes you are able to leave for tomorrow that define the success for which so many thirst and hunger.
Successful people are masters of many traits, including hard work, sacrifice, determination, and perseverance to stand even when they feel themselves sinking. Life is always going to be like quicksand. The strategy is knowing when to stand, when to move, and when to go under to prepare to remerge for the next fight. There is no magic pill or formula to success. There isn’t one key. There are many. The key is found in your grind, in your hustle. The key is found when you believe in yourself. The key is believing in yourself when no one else does.
No matter how many Ted talks, self-help books and empowerment speakers we listen to, it all leads back to self. The key is sacrificing your today for a better tomorrow. The key is stepping outside of your comfort zone and pushing yourself past perceived limitations. Your success is never measured or weighted against another. The key is using your pain as fuel to drive your success.
The key is not in setting the goals but not stopping if the goal isn’t achieved. Being afraid to fail is the key to not succeeding. One must realize there is no such thing as failure, just another chance to succeed.
Stop allowing others to place their expectations for success on your life. Mom, dad, significant other, teachers, and preachers all have their view of you, just continue to look through your own lens. The key is in your vision and being able to see even when you can see no way out. Even today when so much is unknown, the answer to this critical question remains unchanged.
Who should i vote for? Should i wear a mask or not? Who is telling me the truth – the politicians or the scientists? Should i close my business or prepare to expand? All of these are difficult questions, but that doesn’t mean the answer to the overall question should or will change.
What is the key to success? Resoundingly and without doubt, I say… You are.