When Instant Success Isn’t Your Story: Things To Keep In Mind

Instant success stories are everywhere. They can be about climbing the career ladder. Or starting a network marketing business. Or overcoming an addiction.

Though these stories are often inspiring, they can leave us feeling like something is left to be desired. As though there is something “wrong” with us because, well, that just isn’t our story.

In fact, thanks to marketing tactics like FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) we are led to believe instant success is normal if we just follow these certain steps…

From where I sit, I’m a little tired of instant success stories. Mostly because they simply don’t exist.

On the exceptionally rare occasion they do occur, they are fewer and farther between than winning lottery numbers. Still, that doesn’t stop discouragement from creeping in when it takes a long time to reach that personal “success” mark.

I’ve been there too. A lot, in fact, over the past couple years. There has been figurative blood, literal sweat and a whole lot of tears. But there are a few things that have stood out in my struggle that I believe are necessary to the personal growth to reach success goals:

Don’t let success determine your identity.

It happens to all of us. At one point or another, our identity gets wrapped up in our success — or the lack-there-of. It’s normal, but it isn’t healthy. Frankly, I’m convinced the only way to achieve success is to keep your identity intentionally separate.

In fact, God created your identity to be complete before the idea of success ever entered the picture. That’s right; the quirky, weird, lovable parts of you are intentional facets of your unique design. And regardless of success or failure, your identity is secure in Jesus alone. Don’t give it away to something that temporary.

Learn through the trials.

See trials as an opportunity to grow. I know, it’s harder than it sounds. A friend in college once told me: “If it’s worth having, it’s worth struggling for.”

If your view of success is truly worth having, face those trials. Find the opportunity within them. You won’t deal with those same lessons anywhere else in life, and there is a good chance your character desperately needs them so it can grow.

Be humble.

(Yeah, I hate this one too.)

Make the choice to not hide your failures — especially if you are leading a team of any sort. That doesn’t mean dwell on the failures, but don’t avoid acknowledging them.

When you hide, it is a form of isolation. And Satan loves it when we isolate ourselves, especially for the sake of our pride. Instead, be real and be transparent. And use your tools to keep moving forward.

Besides, by sharing your experiences and being real, you never know when your story will inspire someone else who is struggling in the same area.

We all want to reach our goals quickly. But let’s not forget sometimes we need the journey to equip us for maintaining that success.

So take the pressure off. Then go and run your race.


How do you feel about instant success stories? How do you keep up your motivation when things take longer than planned? Do comment and share!


Overnight Success Is a Myth — Here’s Why, by Luis E. Romero. Forbes, 2016.