Life Design Coach and creator of The SELF Approach™

This is my corner of the web where I share unfiltered advice, practical tools, and laughter at life's sometimes fuckedupedness - all meant to help you live & love the absolute hell out of yourself and your life.

I'm Jen Vertanen

Love Your Damn Life

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How Do You Define Success? Discover Your Personal Definition

A woman writing in a journal with a blue circle and the words How to define your own version of success

Success is the progression of a worthy ideal.

~ Earl Nightingale

How would you answer the question, “Are you successful?” which begs the question, “How do YOU define success and is your current definition helping or hurting you?”?

Would someone on the outside looking in consider you to be an overall “successful” person?

Maybe you have a good career with a healthy paycheck or a supportive spouse or a comfortable home or annual vacations or well-rounded kiddos OR MAYBE even all of the above.

But inside you feel a bit unhappy, a bit resentful if you’re being honest, a bit like life is missing meaning, a bit <insert your emotion of choice>.

If you’re nodding along, I’m going to hazard a guess that you’ve been living someone else’s definition of success BUT there’s hope because you’re here reading this which means you’re open to changing things up and trying new ways of being and doing so you can live a life you love the hell out of.

Cool, cool. Welcome.



What does being successful look like to you?

Many of us were raised with an outdated definition of success. One in which external factors – productivity, wealth, career, and material possessions – took an almost zealous priority over fulfillment, contentment, happiness, meaning, joy, connection, etc.

The outdated definition of success has us feeling inadequate. It breeds comparison-itis and “not measuring up” with the underlying message…you’re not worthy just as you are.

And I call bullshit on the outdated version because all it’s done is create people who feel unhappy, unfulfilled, unworthy, and disconnected – in other words – a whole lot of suffering and for what?

If that’s how you’ve defined success up until now, you are NOT alone.

And here’s a reminder that you can always change because your life, personality, and definition of success are never carved in stone.

Read on for how…

How do you define success in your personal life?

Your definition of success is unique to you and with that comes great power and responsibility lol!

It can and should grow and evolve and pivot just as you do in each phase of your life.

The important thing is always bringing awareness and intentionality to your definition and ditching the shoulds and others’ expectations and definitions of success.

People are going to people but that doesn’t mean YOU have to cave to their definitions and expectations.

Success shouldn’t be solely about achievements. It can be about how you answer:

✨ How do I feel at the end of each day? (<== this is the big one right here)

✨ Did I make progress on a worthy ideal (ala Earl Nightingale)?

✨ Were my decisions and actions aligned with my values and desires?

✨ Do I feel free to be fully myself?

✨ How fulfilled do I feel?

My personal definition of success looks like living a deeply fulfilling life that aligns with my values and desires. I am free from comparing myself to others and their expectations and instead, do the work to love my damn life.

My guiding principle + worthy ideal is answering, “How do I want to feel at the end of my life?”.

Having my own personal definition and worthy ideals I’m striving for gives me something to look forward to, clarity when making decisions, how I prioritize my time and resources, and motivation to push through challenges and setbacks.

Because there will absolutely be challenges and setbacks.

How to define success for yourself

Success is so personal and it’s only natural to be influenced by those around us – family, friends, society, culture, media, etc. – which is why it’s so incredibly important for you to define YOUR unique version of success because no one else can know you like YOU know you.

So how do you do it?

You start by having a solid and worthy vision for the important areas of your life:

  • Health & wellbeing
  • Work, career, and/or business
  • Family and friends
  • Personal growth & learning
  • Fun & happiness
  • Financial health
  • A sense of belonging to something greater (spiritual, religion, community, etc)
  • Any other areas that are important to you (remember…this is ALL about you!)

And then asking questions for each like:

✨ What is my end game here? What is the end result I’m aiming for?

✨ I’ll know I’m successful when…

✨ How do I want to feel as I’m working towards success in this area?

✨ Where am I already successful in this area?

✨ What do I need to start doing? Keep doing? Stop doing?

Your personal definition of success

Without an ideal vision and your personal definition of success in the important areas of your life – it’s like driving a car with no destination in mind.

It can be fun for a while but eventually…you get tired of wandering aimlessly and frankly, bored and that’s not good for anyone, let alone YOU.

It’s time to take action!

  1. Identify your values and core desired feelings
  2. Think about your personal definition of success for each of the important areas of your life
  3. Take action to stop doing, start doing, and keep doing because action is THE ONLY THING that moves you closer and closer to your ideal vision of what it means to live and love the absolute hell out of your life

If you’re ready to fully live life by YOUR definition of success and want to get there even faster, I’d love to be your coach in my 1:1 Love Your Damn Life 3-mo intensive where we dive deep into YOUR unique definition of success in many facets of your life (including your relationship with yourself – the most important one of all!) and create a roadmap full of intentional + purposeful actions that give you the true success you so so deeply desire.

I’d love to get you there faster.

Hey there!

I'm a magical mix of coach, perspective-shifting mentor, hair-holder, consultant, wing woman, get shit done'r, silver lining finder, & slightly annoying cheerleader

I'm Jen Vertanen, Make Shit Happen Coach + creator of The Fuck Yeah Methodology

I used to roll my eyes at the notion of self love and loving my life because it felt so far outside the realm of possibilities. I thought both were saved for those who'd escaped childhood unscathed.

But a perfect storm in 2015 had me wake TF up and heal my childhood ish. Along the way, I started to not only love but LIKE myself and I stopped wanting to escape from my life and instead, intentionally create my exciting future. That's saying a lot when you read my stories!

And now? I get to help women all around the world fall in love with themselves, their lives, and create the future THEY want. How cool is that?!?

Make Shit Happen coaching to help you bring your Big Ass Goals w/Soul (BAGS) to life and live your Fuck Yeah. Life doesn't wait. Give your fucks wisely & live your life fully.

© 2024 Jen Vertanen + A Fuck Yeah Life

An ADHD &  LGBTQ+  woman owned business