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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Success – something we all strive for in life.  But what does it actually mean to be successful and how do we get there? 

When you google success there are thousands of different instructions on how to be a successful person. Some suggest getting up early, practicing gratitude, and drinking lots of water is the way to go. Others claim that it’s all about your work ethic and commitment. While all these instructions mean well and are certainly helpful in getting your life on track, they forget one thing: human beings are highly subjective creatures. Success means something different to each and every one of us, which is why these universal instructions rarely work.

For some, success means having a thriving career and being financially independent. For others, it means having a family and being a good parent. Sometimes success can mean going an entire day without feeling sad. Whatever it may mean to you, being aware of your priorities in life is a key step to being successful. Only then can you start thinking about what steps to take to reach your definition of success. 

Living in the age of social media can create its own challenges regarding personal success. The countless success stories we are constantly showered with make it seem so easy for us to reach our dreams; however, it is important to remember that not everything you see online is an accurate representation of reality. Because in reality life is bumpy, we fight battles all the time, some of which we win and others we lose. There seems to be a common misconception that a truly successful person wins all their battles, which is why so many of us feel pressured to succeed at absolutely everything we do. But life doesn’t work that way and some battles are meant to be lost.

When you fail at something it forces you to take a step back and examine where you went wrong. It forces you to observe the task at hand from a different angle and to figure out a new approach. But most importantly, it forces you to be persistent and give it another go. Don’t forget your goal because of one misstep. Reassess. Focus. Try again. Some of the most successful people had to go through this process in order to make it big: Anna Wintour was fired from Harper’s Bazaar before becoming the chief editor of Vogue. Steve Jobs was let go from his own company before eventually becoming Apple’s CEO. Even Oprah Winfrey lost her job as an evening news reporter before going on to become one of the most beloved talk show hosts in TV history. 

There is no recipe for success, no 10-step plan, and no specific habits to succeed in life. You alone decide what your goals are and how you want to reach them. And even if things don’t work out on the first try, don’t be discouraged, after all, failure only makes you one step closer to success.

Hi, I'm Jana! I am interested in all things feminism and social issues. I'm an English Literature student here at Bristol and would love to go into journalism after graduating.