A client recently said she was afraid she feared success because of its potential trappings including increased exposure and less personal privacy.
The definition of trappings is: the outward signs, features, or objects associated with a particular situation, role, or thing.
Embedded in the word trappings is the word ‘trap’. A trap is thought of as something outside of yourself that contains you in some way and stops you from moving in the way you want.
Trappings are something external to an actual job or condition. Sometimes they could be described as unintended consequences if they’re something you don’t want. At other times they’re considered the ‘perks’ of a job or situation when they’re personally desirable.
Desirable perks sometimes include the corner office, a personal assistant, elegant attire, increased respect, business and personal travel to exotic places. Some people might consider these affectations or ego needs, others may define them as a natural and necessary reflection of increased status.
When you think of the trappings of success, do you think of circumstances that weigh you down, or that buoy you up?
If you replace the word trappings with compensation, does that change?
If you replace the word trappings with recognition, does that change?
If you replace the word trappings with appreciation, does it change again?
If you replace the word trappings with extras or perks, does it change again?
The point really is to define your own success, whether or not it includes trappings, recognition, appreciation, extras or perks. Ideally every job you do is undertaken on its own merit, because it’s worth doing and personally meaningful to you. Hopefully, it includes the right amount of reward (whether that is measured by salary or not).
But do define your vision in terms of what you do want, without burdening yourself with what you don’t want.
May we pursue our paths and define our own success,