I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the true measure of success is. I guess it’s different for different people. I guess it’s measured in dreams attained and wishes fulfilled. I guess it’s measured in happiness, money, personal fulfillment, respect. I think it should be up to each one of us to determine our own- but is it really?
I thought I had my idea of success nailed down. I thought I knew exactly what it was and I thought I was heading for it.
The funny thing about belief is that it has this strange power. It lives outside of reality in that funny space where nothing is really absolutely one way or the other. It is exactly what you make your mind up for it to be and sometimes it means belief creates its own truth. You can believe you’re fat when you’re not and the reflection of that belief will shine out to the world like a beacon of self loathing that tightens the smile and crinkles the corners of the eyes in a way that says ‘I’m uncomfortable in my skin’. In that same way a belief in yourself, your beauty and your abilities can reach its long arm out and soften the smile, widen the eyes and put the shoulders back in a way that is unyielding. It can make all the difference.
That belief (the one making all the difference) is born of an understanding of what success is and what it means on a personal level. I’m struggling to find it. I’ve been asked to teach others. I’ve been asked to stand up and conduct a classroom confidently and effectively but the very moment I’m in a situation where the eyes slide to me and the attention is all in my direction, my heart pumps and my breathing quickens and my voice is no longer my own because I don’t believe I can be what I’m expected to.
The energy is buzzing around inside me but it’s coming out all wrong. It’s like a tornado taking out the nicest house on the block just steps away from the old dilapidated one.
So, what is my true measure of success and how do I believe in myself enough to make it so? How does anyone? Whatever it is I know it’s whatever brings me happiness and makes me feel the most like myself. There is money and there are material things and beauty and glamour and a life filled with all these things but without authenticity it’s all just bits and pieces of a life you can’t really believe in. None of it has true value.
I watched a video the other day of this comedian talking about cell phones and how they’ve stripped us of our ability to be alone. People text while driving so they don’t have to feel alone. People talk on their phones at the grocery store so they have someone to shop with. His point was- many of us fail to really know ourselves anymore and its skewed our beliefs and our values because we’ve lost ourselves. I know, cheerful. He commented that anxiety and depression are on the rise because of this. In our attempt to be so connected we’ve disconnected ourselves from inner authenticity and it reflects. Smiles are tighter. Eyes are crinkled.
For me, personally, it’s important to tap into who I really am and what I believe, and nurture it a little in order to give the most of what I have. Perhaps that’s it then. Success to me is finding inner peace. What’s yours?