What is your definition of success? Pause for a moment and think about it. List the top 3 things that need to happen in your life in order for you to feel successful. Or if you believe you are successful, what is your criteria? What are the first things that come to your mind?
Is it about reaching something – like a degree, a job position or a podium prize? Or having something – like a certain house, a car or status? Or getting along with certain people?
Have you ever got what you wanted, but then found yourself unsatisfied, wanting more? You might be thinking about success in terms of upward gains, continually acquiring more and doing better. This happens for many of us naturally: consciously or unconsciously we rank ourselves and others according to our external achievements.
Many societies and the environments where we live, teach us success as a scarcity formula. That success means reaching the top of something and only a few can reach it. And no matter what we should prepare ourselves for some sort of battle to get there. Scarcity in this sense, speaks to the ego’s need to be better than the next person activating the fear of not having or being enough, because there is only room for the best. In an early stage of life, we begin a battle for whatever is our learned idea of success and our mentalities are shaped to dominance, self-focus and must-conquer.
The language that we use, shapes our experience of the world. Killing it, nailing it, or picking your battles, being armed with the facts, giving it a shot are just a few examples. This battle idea of life and success is profoundly embedded in our cultures. Just because the default metaphor for success has become the battlefield, that does not mean that we have to stick to that metaphor. And it does not serve us all equally.
There is a big difference between wanting to be your best and wanting to be better than anyone else. The current idea of success that most of our societies live by is attached to the second one. The myth that we need to dominate others in order to succeed ourselves has become normal.
Imagine a swimming competition. Athlete A goal is to achieve the 1st place; Athlete’s B goal is to improve his time by 0,3 seconds. At the end of the competition, they reached the podium both on the 2nd place. Athlete B accomplished his time goal. How do you imagine that each of them is feeling? Athlete A is feeling miserable. He does not realize his idea of success is what have set him for failure. It is based on variables that he cannot control like other athletes performance. It is as described before, a scarcity idea of success. On the other hand athlete B is thrilled! Because he was able to accomplish his goal, focused on wanting to be at his best and working hard to achieve it. And as a reward, he even got a medal!
If you reframe your beliefs and ignore society expectations and your family expectations about success what will it look like for you? How afraid would you feel from not taking the expected path everyone else has dreamed for you? If you look deep to your authentic self, what would it look like the expression of wanting to be your best? How would one of the possible and best expressions of you could unfold? And how would this relate differently to your own version of success?
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