Personal Success Benchmarks – Do You Have Yours?

With the flurry of activities and meetings, it is easy to lose focus. With the isolating nature of being a field-based medical science liaison, it is even easier to lose ourselves in the busy-ness.

This is where Personal Success Benchmarks come in.

Let’s face it, most of us are in this MSL community because we are high achievers and we set lofty expectations for ourselves. We constantly set goals. We keep our eyes on the ball. We aim for personal bests, but then we’re onto the next level of success we aspire to.

But what many of us forget to do – at least I forget more often than I want to – is setting my personal definition of “Success” and creating benchmarks to this definition.

And when I forget to do this, then I quickly begin to feel like I was doing a lot of things, but can’t see where everything fits in the big picture of how I want to contribute to my industry. I feel as if I’ve lost touch with the very meaning of why I got into this job in the first place. Pretty soon I’m on the fast-track to the burn-out lane!

When I worked as a MSL, I used to deal with burn-out by looking for something “new”. Like a new MSL job opportunity. You know how that story ends. New lasts for a few months and then I’m reunited with that old flame I thought I’d dumped – burn-out.

This is why defining a personal definition of success is so important.

You come up with a list of criteria that you accept as “I have arrived!” or “This is what success means to me.” Then you look at some metrics to tell you if you’re closer to farther away from your own meanings of success.

If you feel that you’re farther to success than closer every day, you need to figure out why. It may be what you’re doing or how you’re doing it – or maybe – just maybe – your success definition needs more clarification.

Recently I did this exercise and I started with a purpose statement:

“I want to retrain my thinking to (1) recognize all that I’ve accomplished and (2) be grateful for all that I have and more importantly – (3) give myself permission to enjoy my success.”

This led me to develop a list of 4 personal success benchmarks, which included my desire to have more time to take my 2 year old son to the beach now that he’s discovered the joy of rushing at the surf of the Pacific Ocean, and my desire to “have the freedom to accept only projects and consulting gigs I am genuinely interested in, and say ‘no-thank-you’ to the rest.”

Then from here, I begin to look at what behaviors and thinking process are taking me closer or farther from “success”.

What about you? Do you have a personal definition of success? Do you have Personal Success Benchmarks?