The Meaning of Success through a Female Millennial Lens

With the end of the year approaching, I started reflecting on the past year. What are my achievements in 2023? What lessons am I taking with me into the next year? And do I consider 2023 as a successful year? It hit me during this moment that there is a crucial aspect that I haven’t yet addressed: understanding what Success truly means to me.


My writing often dives into the world of femmelennial dilemmas, challenges, and all those little insecurities we face. But there is a question that suddenly struck me: What’s success like through the millennial lens? Let’s delve into the concept of success and get to the core of what it means for our generation.


The concept of success undergoes a fascinating evolution across generations, particularly concerning women. Previous generations of women navigated within rigid societal confines, often defining success within those very limitations. However, for younger generations, especially female millennials, success takes on a more holistic, multifaceted nature. It encompasses not just career achievements but also personal growth, mental wellness, meaningful connections, and making an impact. There’s a desire to break free from societal standards, embracing individuality, authenticity, and a broader range of aspirations. This becomes evident in the age at which women embrace motherhood for instance, or the opening of dialogues around egg freezing. These shifts mark the rise of a new narrative. It’s a narrative that resonates with the diverse dreams and aspirations of women today.


However, embracing this unconventional notion of success brings forth a set of fresh challenges. Today, the definition of success is intricately linked to personal views, priorities, and dreams—demanding a deeper understanding of our aspirations, a task not always as straightforward as it seems.


On social media, we’re bombarded with seemingly flawless and successful lives through snapshots of exotic vacations, career milestones, picture-perfect relationships, and a constant display of material possessions. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing our behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlights and success. It was this realisation, when I noted that it was time to reassess my virtual connections. And so the unfollow button became my tool for curating a digital space that aligned with my reality. I have become more critical in my following, regularly evaluating whether individuals contribute to my aspirations and dreams or merely set unrealistic standards for comparison. It’s not a rejection of success of others’ achievements. Instead, it’s a deliberate choice to craft a digital environment that nurtures the understanding that success is a multifaceted journey, distinctive and personal for each individual.


The term Success evokes different associations for each person. It would be quiet an interesting experiment to select ten random individuals from your inner circle and ask each of them to define the meaning of success for them. You will probably find out soon that for each person the meaning can be complete different. In this diversity of definitions, there’s no right or wrong answer. Each definition reflects the essence of the individual—their values, experiences, and dreams. So how do you articulate your personal definition of success?


Albert Camus once penned a profound sentiment in “the Stranger”: “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.” In these words, lies the crux of understanding. Sometimes, clarity isn’t found in pinpointing our desires, but in identifying what we don’t desire. This, remarkably, becomes a stepping stone toward unraveling our yearnings, aspirations, dreams, and.. our personal definition of success. This, in turn, paves the way for a deeper comprehension of what success truly means to us and what benchmarks define a successful year in our eyes.


Success is an overarching term that is often associated with accomplishing objectives that align with personal, professional, or societal aspirations. So coming back to the question – what is my personal definition of Success? Answering this question is not as straightforward as I would like, so using Camus’ approach, I started reflecting on what I would not consider as a successful year:


  • not having grown as a person (at different levels: personally, professionally and creatively)
  • not having lived a healthy lifestyle
  • not having enjoyed the little and ordinary moments in life
  • not having spent sufficient time with my loved ones
  • not having grown financially
  • not having experiences new things (countries, activities, food)

Continuing on from this point, I’ll delve deeper into my reflections. As is my tradition each year, I’ll be crafting a vision board for the upcoming year. I’d love to know if you’re interested in learning more about my approach to this process. Join me as we embark on this journey of growth and introspection together.

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