How Do You Define Success?

How do you define true SUCCESS?


I am a success coach. It’s true. I work with women stepping into and creating their success. I do it at the mastery level. That said, my work can be misunderstood when someone sees it from the outside looking in. It’s easy to make success and mastery only about goals, achievement at all costs, or money. I see ads all the time that illustrate this kind of surface “success”— you know one ones.

For me, there’s no heart in that. There’s no soul. It’s a hollow husk resembling true success, but without substance.


True success is about CONNECTION. True success is about ALIGNMENT and what it means to live in true integrity.

That integrity is between your personality self and your Highest Self. It’s between you and your loved ones, you and your community, you and your body, you and your money, you and your career … the list goes on.


True success cannot be separated from the soul.


One life-giving concept I learned years ago was that of “Strong Spine, Open Heart.” That phrase became both a mantra and a framework for aligned actions. That phrase helped me see where I was disconnected and what was needed next.


One way we can live for years in misalignment and UNsuccess is by carrying forward actions and commitments out of integrity with who we are becoming. Many times, this misalignment can come from a fear to let someone down (even if that someone is ourselves). Have you ever been told, “I’m disappointed in you?” Yikes, right?!

I wrote this free verse to illustrate just one way of how “Strong Spine, Open Heart” helped me.


I’m Disappointed…

Those words used to terrify me. The bottom would drop from my guts. It shut me down. Spun me into apologies, compliance and doing anything to avoid disappointing someone. To avoid those words, I would hand over the keys of my life. My life was no longer my own.


Then… I strengthened my spine.


The words, “I’m disappointed” then activated me. They summoned my inner warrior and fighting spirit. I learned to speak up for myself and stand on my own two feet. I learned how to hold my own position and strengthen my voice to be understood. I learned determination and tenacity.

But everything was a war, a conflict. I had to be on guard. My armor grew heavy to hold. I felt alone.


So… I opened my heart.


And those words became a treasure chest that, when unlocked, revealed a whole new set of priceless, rare colors with which to create something altogether more honest, true and valuable. “I’m disappointed” became an invitation to lean in and learn with curiosity. It became an opportunity to sit with another human and explore new territory. Spoken to myself, “I’m disappointed” because I whisper that I was no ready to go deeper and embark on a new adventure of honesty and integrity.


I learned that true strength comes from within, not from armor protecting the outside. True strength is wisdom.



With a strong spine and an open heart, I realized I’m no longer afraid of those two words – I am activated by them. It’s a gateway to my TRUE success.


Now, as beautiful as it is, it’s not an easy gateway. Those words are strong medicine and can still feel heavy to hear, especially from a respected source. But, when accepted, appreciated and leaned into, they do bring wisdom.


The wisdom is in learning something in a new way. The wisdom is in owning our own decisions confidently. The wisdom is accepting where we are still living incongruently with our values. The wisdom is in truth.


When I, as a string player, play a TRUE NOTE, in tune and solid tone, it resonates and reverberates clearly. I can literally feel it in my body. It strikes a chord in the hearts of both the player and the listeners. Truth, alignment, and therefore success are no different. It connects and touches something deep within us and those around us.

 To me, that resonance is just a little closer to real, felt success.


How do you define success?

What could be the next level of your true, connected, aligned success?