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In an era where the pressure to be perfect – or at least look that way online – is extreme, what does it mean to be successful? When you have an idea – a company you want to build, a project you want to foster – success is watching it bloom and grow. But how do we measure it? Once upon a time it was marked by a person’s sense of satisfaction, achieving new goals, seeing financial growth – or maybe even just enjoying the simple pleasure of being one’s own boss. These days it often gets evaluated by entirely different terms: how many followers on Instagram or Facebook? How many likes on a photo? How many shares on a video? Suddenly the goals are more elusive – and often it looks like everyone else is having an easier time being successful. The pressure to be perfect can make the tough job of bringing a dream to life even more challenging.
The View From Inside
The reality is that everyone talks about the wins, but very few talk about the losses. People share the great days, but not the hard ones. For every success – in business, in life, in our personal goals – there are countless fails. The pressure to be perfect comes from feeling that no one else is experiencing the downward slopes. From the outside all we see is the summit. Remember that for every success you see on social media, there are failures that no one takes photos of.
Keep Going – For Yourself
Being an entrepreneur in the social media age is both a blessing and a curse it seems – it’s easier than ever to get your name out there and your idea or project or business can become famous overnight with the right set of circumstances. But that pressure for perfection is amplified in the echo chambers online. It’s impossible to set aside social media entirely but create and focus on goals that are outside that realm. Remember why you had this dream in the first place – and what measures of success you want to use for yourself. Maybe it’s how many followers you have, but maybe it’s also how you feel when you go to bed at night, how your customers (or readers, fans, listeners, and so on, depending on what you create) respond to what you’re doing. Focus on the good – an email of thanks, an unexpected collaboration – and allow yourself to set aside the pressure to be perfect for a few hours each day. Your dreams might look great in a well-filtered photo – but they’ll feel even better while you’re living them.