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Episode 75 - Defining Success [Your Year Series Pt. 9] 

Welcome to Episode 75

How do you define success? Success is deeply personal and unique to you, but defining it is key. Without clarity, recognising success becomes challenging. In this episode we delve into thought-provoking questions to get clear on what success means to you and align it to your goals. Start defining your success, so you can confidently identify it when you achieve it.

Success is subjective and can vary across different aspects of life. It is beneficial as an overarching, aspirational success statement that acts as a guiding principle, not something rigidly measurable.

Spend quality time defining your own success, acknowledging that it's an ongoing process subject to personal growth and life changes. Embrace your personal growth, remain open to new experiences, and set personal goals aligned with your definitions of success.
In this podcast, you'll learn:
  1. Why we struggle to change their habits

  2. The reasons we see a life coach

  3. What is life coaching (briefly)?

  4. Why see a coach versus a counsellor versus a therapy, etc.

  5. But.... those coaching stigmas!!

  6. Ways to find a Life Coach

  7. The four pillars of a coach-client relationship

  • Download Episode Transcript
Episode Transcript:


EP #75


“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 75, with Rhiannon Bush


Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.



As a new mum, I became so clouded with people’s opinions and the way others were doing things and advising me that I felt very overwhelmed. So I sat down and decided how I needed to defined success as a mother. Becoming a parent had completely flipped my world upside down, in the best way, but I’d lost a big sense of my identity and who I was before that. And that made it harder, and more overwhelming, when everybody was an expert and felt the need to impart their parenting wisdom upon me – if you’re a new parent, you’ll totally get what I mean by this.


I had to really sit and consider how I defined success as a mum, and what that meant. If I was a “successful” mum, what did that look like? Because success is so subjective right? What you deem to be successful may not be how somebody else defines it. And, you may define success in one area of your life differently to another – it’s applicable depending on the activity and you can also define success for the overall.


Example – if I live a happy and healthy life without regrets and provide for my family, that would be success for me. Big picture, overarching success statement.


Or it can apply to something so specific – being a mum, fitness goals, career pay, etc.


Truthfully, I think when it comes to specifics it’s more like a goal. For example, I want to increase my salary in 2024 by 25%. A trick I learnt from a great friend of mine, Matilda, is that when you’re goal setting, have thresholds. Have an upper and a lower. For instance, I want to increase my salary in 2024. By at least 25%, but ideally, I’d like it to be 50%.


When defining success, it’s more like a vision statement. It’s aspirational, it may not have those measurable qualities. Google says success is ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose’ and I like to think of success as a sweeping statement that you can carry with you throughout your life. It doesn’t change too much and it’s not so stringent and rigid that you have to monitor and measure it all the time. I like to think of it more as a guiding principle that you can remind yourself of when needed, rather than something to consistently calibrate your results against.


The reason it’s important to define success is that without it, we fly blind. It’s like we’re going about our lives but we’re not clear on what we want, what will make us happy, what we’re striving for, or even the state we want to be in. So at least when we have a little bit of an idea of what success looks like for us, we’ll recognise it when we see it.


So really, when it comes to defining success, you can do whatever you want to do with it.


I concluded that my baseline as a mum is that “I’m responsible for my kids safety – their physical, spiritual, intellectual and mental safety”. This gave me such clear boundaries about what I would and wouldn’t discipline them for and what I would or wouldn’t pull others up on.


For example, if my son puts odd coloured socks and shoes on (which he does, by the way, going through a massive phase with that at the moment), does that impact his safety? No. So do I need to worry about it? No. Does playing outside without sunscreen on affect his safety. Yes. So that’s something I worry about and make sure I make a point of. Just like brushing teeth and eating healthy food.


Deciding this gave me a baseline. Then, the aspiration as a mum is that my kids are certain enough in themselves, to know what they want and act accordingly. So if they treat someone badly, they know and they rectify it. Or if they decide to go against the majority on something because they believe it’s right, they do so. At the end of the day, if they lie their head on their pillow of an evening and know they did the right thing for themselves and others, that’s what I want for them.


Having that written down and front of mind means I have some kind of a plan, or best guiding principles. It helps calm me down and know what boundaries are set for me to be successful. It sets me up to succeed because I’m aware of it.


As an adult.


As a woman..



Defining success is deeply personal and can vary significantly from person to person.






Start with your notebook or blank paper. Write the word ‘success’ in the middle of the page. Now, write down all the words you associate with that word, just dump all the words that come up to you about ‘success’.


Then use some (or all) of these tips to help you define success. You may get it today, next week or next month. Plant the seeds in your mind and let them grow, you will define what success means for you, when it’s the right time for you:


  1. Reflect on your values: Success often aligns with our personal values. Reflect on what matters most to you—whether it's family, career, personal growth, community involvement, or something else.


  1. Focus on happiness and fulfillment: Success doesn't always equate to wealth or prestige. Consider what brings you joy and fulfillment. It might involve pursuing passions, maintaining meaningful relationships, or contributing to a cause you care about. What, each day, makes you happy? I promise you it won’t be the big things because they’re too infrequent. It’ll be staring at a bumble bee as it sucks the pollen from a sunflower. Or watching your children interact and realising you created the safe space for them to foster that relationship. Or eating something delicious. Or how you feel when you can tick your workout off for the day. It’s actually little, simple things that make us feel great. Yes, big things too, but frequency matters.


  1. Equally, focus on impact: Consider how your actions and achievements impact others positively. Contribution is a core need of our spirit and success that brings genuine and sustainable happiness often involves making a meaningful difference to someone other than ourselves.


  1. Measure beyond external factors: While financial stability or career accomplishments can be part of success, also consider aspects like work-life balance, mental well-being, and overall happiness. What, each day, makes you feel content and how do you easily meet your values each and every day? Tiny things.


  1. Identify what wins you’ve had, or things that have made you laugh, every single day. I do this with my son. We tuck into bed each night and I ask him “what was the best thing that happened today?” or “What made you laugh today” and I make sure he answers me. It’s easy to focus on what’s not working but when you can flip that around and even if you don’t feel like there’s anything, make sure you pick something that was good in your day, no matter how small. Recognising progress focuses your RAS better and reinforces a sense of accomplishment.


  1. Clarify your priorities. At different stages of your life, different things will be important. You may be able to do it all, and if that’s the case, go you! But my experience of trying to do it all meant I did nothing. I half-assed everything and was a mediocre mum, a mediocre employee and a mediocre human. Determine what aspects of life are most important to you right now. Consider relationships, career, personal growth, health, community involvement, or any other areas that hold significance for you and make your life meaningful.


  1. Self-reflection: Understand what drives you, what you deeply care about, and what brings you joy. And don’t do this just sparingly. Sit down, give yourself half an hour – it may take longer but it might also only take 30 minutes. And give yourself really great focus time to do that self-reflection.


  1. And be authentic. This is about you, nobody else. I know I ask this question a lot but what do YOU want? This is why it’s so important to give yourself quality time to self-reflect because without it, we can struggle to identify what our true desires are because we focus on other people and what they have or what they’re doing. Or we listen to other people tell us what they think we should do. Identify what you want and stay true to yourself. It will make for a much more fulfilling life, even if it does upset a few other people along the way.


Once you’ve brain dumped all the words you associate with “success”, stop and pick your favourites – the ones that you truly feel in your body. You may have some of these already, you may not and that’s ok. This can be an aspirational exercise.


Play around with making it into a sentence. A good friend of mine talks about appreciating today and being excited about tomorrow. Winston Churchill said “success is Not Final, Failure is Not Fatal: it is the Courage to Continue that Counts”.


If you struggle to come up with your own, feel free to google it and steal somebody else’s until you do. That’s an ok solution – it’s taking outside resources and bringing them in. It’s a great option.  You can also use quotes to get started if you like – motivational statements. I heard about something Anthony Mundane said recently, and normally to him I wouldn’t listen but he said “it’s not about the set-back, it’s about the come-back” and I think that’s truly awesome.


“Don’t Wait for Opportunity, Create it” - George Bernard Shaw. I read a few quotes to write this podcast and a lot of them didn’t really cut it as a way of defining success, because the key is that it creates action. It creates an emotion in you that allows you to view the day or what you’re doing that day through a certain lens.


So.. when you’re playing with sentences or words, you’ll know it’s right for you if it creates the emotion you want to experience. For instance, “it’s not the set-back it’s the come-back” puts a fire in my belly and makes me want to slay the day.


The “don’t wait for opportunity, create it” – opens up my thinking and makes me question how I can create today to get what I want to get done, done, and how can I do it better.


How do you want your success statement to make you feel? Powerful? Appreciative? Motivated? Authentic?


Decide that and then work on your success statement. Authentic success is deeply personal and unique. It's about living in alignment with your values, finding fulfillment in what you do, and creating a life that resonates with your authentic self.


Spend the time coming up with your definition. Even if it’s not perfect right now. Make sure you have something. You can refine it moving forward, but now at least you have a foundation to work with, a starting point. That’s progress.


Then check whether your goal aligns with your definition of success. If it does, great work. If it doesn’t, that’s ok. Why doesn’t it? What’s missing? What are the gaps? Write up your definition of success and stick it up on a wall somewhere, or a mirror. Getting it up to eye level will help your brain comprehend it and your RAS focused on it.


Once you have something written down, remember to embrace personal growth.  Success often involves challenges and hurdles you have to overcome. Be open to alternative ways of doing things, new people, different experiences, learning opportunities, and challenges that help you get to where you want to be.


Evaluate your success statement as needed and as your life evolves. What success means to you now, may change in time. Your priorities and values may shift, so revisit this when you’re not feeling like your success statement gives you what you need it to anymore.


Set personal goals as we are in this Your Year series. Follow the process I’m taking you through, each time you want to achieve something new.  And always create your own definition and success. Adapt it so it makes you feel what you want to feel. Remember, this is your definition, you can change it, edit it, or completely start again at any time.


I want to acknowledge and congratulate you for doing the work. Well done.


I’ll see you soon.



Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…


I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!



Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

Questions? Topic Ideas?

Reach out to Rhiannon today
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