Understanding what measures your success is not a simple equation. One individual’s metric may be different from the next. However, it is far less important how we measure our success than it is how we determine it. Simply put, our struggles determine our success.

Whether you are a corporate employee or an entrepreneur, one of the most common fears associated with transitioning in the professional world is the anxiety and pressure of setting – and exceeding — expectations. No goal can be met without the occasional struggle along the way; an important lesson that none of us are expecting to learn.

Transitions in life are difficult. There are no guidebooks to follow or direct paths to take. In fact, many individuals feel isolated when it comes to verbally recognizing the fears, anxieties, and apprehensions associated with the evolution of ending one endeavor and pursuing the next.

Applying the First Step

Even more confusing is knowing what direction your life is heading in. How can we be expected to define our success and goals if we aren’t even sure where we want our first step to lead us? Many of us assume that we will continue to find success simply by applying the same old formula that has worked in the past, but in order to create success, we must be willing to reinvent our concept of self-achievement.

In a recent article on transitioning in life, former NBA player Shane Battier dissects the idea that our lives are broken into three sectors. He discusses how often times, professional athletes maneuver talent and dedication into great success in the first third of their lives, thereby “winning” the first third. He states “Many individuals in this particular demographic seem content to rest on those accomplishments and don’t grow as individuals.”

We at Capstone believe this is what restylement is all about; reinventing yourself to win the next two thirds of your life in a completely different manner than the first.

No Pain, No Gain – Accepting Failure is Essential for Personal Progress

With this idea comes a plethora of questions clients must ask themselves. First, are you willing to make yourself vulnerable in order to identify areas of personal growth? Are you willing to try things and accept that some ideas may bring failure? What you are willing to struggle for is one of the greatest determinants of how your life can expect to turn out.

What we achieve in our life is not determined by the positive feelings we crave, but rather by what feelings of negativity we are willing to sustain in order to redeem the positive, happy emotions. Without a hint of risk and struggle, it is probable that you will remain in your comfort zone, stagnant, fixated on the past; a formula that is highly unlikely to win you the next third.

In other words, happiness requires some degree of struggle. In a recent article on the global economy digital news website, Quartz, author Mark Manson said it best, “Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for.”

If you are looking to restyle your life and are unsure of what the first step is, begin by asking yourself: what is the level of pain that you want to sustain? Understanding your willingness to accept struggle and defeat is the first step in the right direction. The answer to this question can change your life and help you win the next round.