Accomplishments can usually be measured pretty easily. That’s why it’s so tempting to let them become the basis for who you are. Salaries, job titles, GPA’s, college diplomas, raises. They all come with some kind of number or word or phrase that tells you how you should feel about yourself.
In a world where we are constantly stimulated, reminded of everyone else’s accomplishments and amazing lives, and made to believe that our time is wasted if we are not producing something, it’s hard to figure out who you are outside of your accomplishments. It’s so much easier to merely see yourself as someone who is worth $60,000 a year, or someone who is the Head of Global Something, or someone who has a bachelor’s degree from an ivy league school.
Those things are part of who you are. They are important to your identity. They are things you should be proud of, and things that have significantly contributed to your development.
But they are not you.
You are not a Manager in a Corporation, or a Graduate of Business School, or a Successful Artist, or a Summa Cum Laude Student.
You are just a person. A person who has succeeded at many things, and failed at many things. You’ve fallen in love, or you’re still waiting for that to happen, or you’re not interested in romantic love at all. You’ve made incredible friends, you’ve lost others. You’ve felt happy on some days, and completely worthless on others. Insecure one second, and confident the next. You’ve been a loyal daughter or husband or friend or brother or niece or girlfriend, but you’ve also made some mistakes. You’ve given love, you’ve received love, and at certain points, you were not giving nor receiving it.
You’re complicated. You change every day. You make mistakes every day, you grow every day, and you expand your knowledge every day. You are constantly in a state of development, until you die.
That is the beauty of realizing that who you are is an ever-changing being. You are not your accomplishments because they are just a mere part of you, a part that’s always changing anyway, just like the rest of you.
Be proud of your accomplishments. Let them feed that fire within you even more. Let yourself build a desire to keep going, to keep trying, and to keep accomplishing things. Do not let anyone make you feel like you are not good enough, do not let anyone make you feel like you can’t do something.
But remember along the way that your goals will change. So will your wants, your needs, your priorities, and your opinions. Something that means a lot to you now may seem trivial in ten years, or five, or two. Remember the other parts of you, the parts that love and form relationships, the parts of you that feel insecure and the parts that love learning and improving. They are all parts of you too.
You are fluid. You are complicated. You are always changing. Carry your accomplishments with you along the way, but never let them define you as a whole.