There is no Yelp for creating your success
We have to look inside for keys to exceed our own expectations
We have an interesting relationship with the concept of proof and validation. Just think about how eagerly we seek out reviews, testimonials and the inside scoop on everything about our lives. We almost can't make a decision without it.
We want to know that the hotels we book for business or personal travel are going to be clean, comfortable and convenient. We want to be sure that the restaurants we visit with our friends won't have poor service or lackluster food. We won't even buy dog food without checking in with other people about their experience with the same. (Humans rating dog food…always an interesting one to me.)
Most of the time, our quest for information to prove the merit of things we buy or otherwise bring into our experience makes sense. We don't want to waste our time, money or energy on things or services that don't meet our expectations or standards. Getting evidence up front on the quality, effectiveness, and value of what we're going to invest our resources in, seems only fair.
But there is a flip side to our apparently insatiable need for proof or validation. As helpful as it is in our lives as consumers, it can royally trip us up in the realm of our attempts to grow into our opportunity for true, fulfilling success.
Many of us hold a vision—even if it's a little blurry—of what we want in the way of our professional and personal success. In most cases there is an aspirational aspect to that vision, an element of growth and achievement, something that will lead to improved satisfaction and fulfillment. Vision of this sort is great! It is exhilarating, liberating, motivating, and exciting! That is, until we start second guessing and wondering about the merit or value of what we want to do or be as measured externally.
That's the time when our yearning for information kicks in. We look for confirmation and validation of our thinking, we want our choices to align with the opinions of others and we want to verify the value of the paths we're considering. Confirmation of our right decisions, our personal paths to success, may not come from other people, so we've got to tap into our ability to find that on our own.
The good news is that we all have what we need within us to identify our best options, assess their relative merits as aligned with our intended future, and to act with confidence to move forward in deliberately making our vision reality. We don't need to get stuck no making progress due to our continuing to allow ourselves to believe that we need the validation of others.
We can't afford to keep selling ourselves short that way. And frankly, the weight we put on others' input and opinions often is what got us into the dissatisfying and miserable places we’re longing to get out of, so continuing that approach doesn't make sense.
Until there's a Yelp! style site focused reviewing options for realizing success (oh may we never see that day!), we have to learn to trust our own inherent capability and capacity to be all the proof we need. When we allow ourselves to own our future success and be accountable for our part in either supporting or undermining it we self-generate feedback about our effort and our path.
When we confidently step into actively creating the success we want we gain experience. Active engagement and deliberate action focused on our vision of success—whether that's the type of work we're doing, the team we're leading, or our overall lifestyle, or something else entirely—generates information and evidence that we can review and use to guide our continued forward momentum.
That's the stuff we can use to endorse our own ideas and options. This is the way we can create personal testimonials around what's great and going well in the pursuit of your vision. It's also where you'll be able to generate your own critical views of things that aren't working and that need to be adjusted or re-routed altogether.
Your success and fulfillment may come as a result of engagement and connection with your network and community, but it is not without significant personal involvement. This is particularly true in the evaluation of your options and next steps.
You are ultimately responsible for your experience of success. So find the way to award your own potential and possibility with a five-star rating. Give your nod of approval to your ideas. Uphold your opportunities. Prove it to yourself that you can create the success you deserve.