What Success Really Looks Like

Mar 8, 2016 | Anxiety, Blog

Listen to The Calmer You Podcast

Share the love


We often think that success, whether it’s success in terms of our own personal development, in our work, in our relationships, or a hobby – should look a ‘certain‘ way (ie. perfect and linear!).

When we look at other people (for example on social media), we see them going from strength to strength, but actually the reality of success is very different (see picture below) (pic source)


I see this all the time with my clients; they’re making progress with reducing their anxiety, they’re feeling more positive and confident, and then something happens which knocks them off course. Their self-assurance takes a knock, they have a bad day, they experience rejection in some form – and it knocks them for six. They forget all the amazing progress they’ve made and all they focus on is what went wrong.

But here’s the thing; It’s so important for us all to remember that success in anything is rarely a steady incline, there will still be ups and downs, set-backs and times when you want to give up or stay in bed all day. The key is to see the bigger picture and trust that;

Click to Tweet! You are making progress, even if it doesn’t seem like it on that particular day.

I was reminded of this when I was snowboarding last week.


Anyone who’s learned to snowboard will know that it’s particularly frustrating to learn, you spend a lot of your time falling over on your bum and trying to heave yourself up again. It’s enough to break the spirit of even the most determined among us (and nearly all of my snowboarding friends will confirm this!)

There are days when you lose your nerve, days when you fall down head first on your back down a black slope (we call this ‘reverse turtle!), times when you feel like crying, but throughout all this, you are making progress and getting better all the time (even when you’re falling on your arse). 

As in life, there are ups and downs. If you judge the whole week on the bit where you fell over and felt like screaming in frustration, you’d be doing yourself a massive disservice.

At the end of the snowboarding week, I looked back and saw how far I’d come since the fiboardingrst day and realised what amazing progress I’d made.

So rather than judging yourself for those times when things aren’t going so well, see it as a stepping stone to things getting better. It’s often the tough times, that make you stronger and wiser for the future.

Think about your life over the last year – what progress have you made? What have you learned? What challenges have you overcome?

When you look at it this way, you’ll see that you’re always making progress, whether or not thing’s appear to be going well right now.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments about one specific situation you’ve made progress in over the last year, even if there were ups and downs! Let us know in the comments.

 Wanna feel calmer, like, now?

Share the love

Download your FREE High Functioning Anxiety 




  1. Sophie

    Just read this, end of the day on a friday, a time when its sometimes hard to think of the achievements of the week over the difficult times. Such a powerful thing to be able to learn that we are progressing and achieving all the time. Hopefully we will eventually be able to get this message across to young children starting school and teenagers under pressure. This new years day i wrote a letter to last year, a letter of achievements, triumphs and stumbles. It was a great way to see what i had achieved and learnt from and how much we do when we think we’re doing little. Many thanks

    • Chloe B

      Thanks Sophie, you’re so right. I love the idea of writing a letter of achievements, I like to do that too.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like

Ep 171. Stress and Libido with Irene Fehr

Ep 171. Stress and Libido with Irene Fehr

Get your FREE High Functioning Anxiety Workbook https://calmer-you.com/workbook/ Irene Fehr, Sex & Intimacy Coach, MA, CCPC, helps women overcome the “I must be broken sexually” syndrome by exposing the oh-so-common societal myths about women’s libido that...

Ep 170. Stolen Focus with Johann Hari

Ep 170. Stolen Focus with Johann Hari

Get your FREE High Functioning Anxiety Workbook at https://calmer-you.com/workbook   My guest this week is Johann Hari, author of Stolen Focus and Lost Connections.   We discuss:   Why our focus has been stolen and the reasons it's an issue How sleep,...

4 Simple Ways to Overcome Your Perfectionism

4 Simple Ways to Overcome Your Perfectionism

In a world of plastic surgery, pore-blurring primer, air-brush phone filters and spell checkers, flaws and mistakes can feel unacceptable. It seems fairly ridiculous written down, but what we often do is compare ourselves to the idea of a perfect woman. This is a...