How do you define success?
For some people success is concrete -- money, job titles, assets, awards, or popularity. In fact, I remember a time when I measured my success on whether my boss afforded me the right to have a business card or not. Happily, a dear friend introduced me to Kinkos and the notion that I can define my success anytime I choose by making my own business cards based on whatever I gosh darn wanted to be.
Is this what you do too? Do you wait for other people to define your success instead of taking responsibility for it?
Fear of success is a concept that I have been actively engaged with for the last five years. Here are some key beliefs that I have learned about my ideas of success during this process:
1. I believe that if I am truly successful, I will lose love.
2. I believe it is easier to receive love, if I am rallying support from others when I am not successful.
3. I believe that to be a success I might need to be different, which could physically and emotionally isolate me from the people I love.
Funny how my top beliefs around success are fixated on approval from others and insuring that I will have a continual source of warmth, love, and support. I can't speak for men, but I've got a sinking feeling that I'm not alone, and a lot of women shy away from being successful because it somehow threatens their notion of being loved.
I've had a lot time over the last five years to come up with my own vision of success, and it doesn't have a dollar amount or title attached to it. It's based on the feelings surrounding this imagined woman who is completely at ease with herself, centered, whole, and self-assured. A woman who doesn't plan the next moment but lets it arrive, trusting that she will greet it just like this daisy -- wide open and present.
success = being grounded in my true nature
Here's the mind bender that put my whole life in perspective and started me down the path to examining my inner beliefs about success. If success means I am being true to my own nature, then...
1. I believe that if I am truly myself, I will lose love.
2. I believe it is easier to receive love, if I am rallying support from others around an act that is not true to my own nature.
3. I believe that to be my true self I might need to be different, which could physically and emotionally isolate me from people I love.
Crazy, no? You may be resisting what I've just said because it seems impossible that a person could sacrifice their true nature so easily for the offerings of love and acceptance from others, but these beliefs are probably working in your life more often then you think. I'm guessing that many of us question if other people really want us to be our best selves, and yet we freely hand the guidelines and measuring stick over to others who may not truly support our path. Our lifelong cheerleaders may not have our best interests in mind, not because they don't love us, but because their hearts may be focused on another outcome. We ask others to validate that we are doing our best when the responsibility for love and acceptance lies within one person -- your own Self.
Uncovering your hidden belief system is the beginning of pinpointing your place on the universal map, seeing where you've gotten side tracked or waylaid on your soul's journey. Re-imagining and rewriting your beliefs is what will move you forward along the path to your chosen destination. In a future post, I'm going to reinvent my beliefs about success so as to illustrate how one can go about remapping their lives. Think of it as recalibrating your spiritual GPS system!
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place
where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
Today I have reached Day 90 on my 120 Day Challenge to improve my health and well-being. I'm three quarters of the way to my destination. I want to jump up and down and tell you about all the great stuff that I'm learning and what things have been changing, but it feels almost like a delicious movie you don't want to spoil for a potential viewer. All I can say is that it is big, minute, amazing, simple, powerful, and subtle all at the same time.
Perhaps life wouldn't have as much meaning if I didn't struggle to learn how to take responsibility for my success and being true to my own nature. Fear of success is the metaphysical string tied to my finger reminding me that I am always actively co-creating with the universe. By engaging with my fear of success, I have come to understand that I am responsible for showing up to the life I have created. I wanted it this way for a reason, and though I may have forgotten my original intent, I am solely responsible for being actively engaged in it no matter what it looks like.
This fear is nothing to run away from, but rather it's asking you to stake a claim in your own life, a necessary pain that shoves us forward into our futures so we can be people who are continually growing up and showing up for our chosen destination -- the best home of all the one found in being truly ourselves.
P.S. Many thanks to Mary Jane for sharing Maya Angelou's quote with me and making this post richer xoxo