What is your current definition of success?
2018 had me questioning success for myself and redefining what it means moving forward. I have been a bit shocked on what I actually need to feel successful moving forward, and it all started with a conversation that took place several months ago.
I had met up with a male life coach to talk about the personal development industry. I was thoroughly enjoying hearing his perspective and experience. At one point we were discussing how we work with clients and how to set them up for success. He began to imply I was wrong and that my perspective may change after working with more people.
This was a huge triggering moment for me. I knew because my heart started to race, I felt pissed, and I could feel my throat begin to close. How dare he tell me that I’m wrong when he knew nothing about the results my clients were getting, the training I’ve had, and assuming I haven’t been doing this for very long. In short, he was making a judgment when he didn’t have all the details nor was he allowing me even to finish what I was saying because he was cutting me off. To tell me that my clients gaining inner strength to do things they never thought possible isn’t how to work with clients is complete crap. That is the gold that people are looking to others to help them find. Don’t tell me my way to get them there is wrong. Seriously? There’s no one way to get clients results, nor only one person who can help them get there.
You can't tell this conversation really lit a fire under me, can you? :)
Now, I’m not new to being told I am wrong by men. In fact, my ideas were often overlooked when I would present ways to improve workflows or how to set the company up for success when I could see potential pitfalls coming our way. This all took place in the Entertainment Industry during my 10-year stint working as a Project Manager. I became used to being brushed to the side only to have the other men offer suggestions that rarely got the results they were seeking. Whether it was because I was female, didn’t speak up with enough confidence, or for whatever reason - the fact is that it happens often and not just to me. And I’m not against men in any way. Just to clarify, I’ve had so much respect for all of my bosses, but in that moment of being triggered, I noticed a theme that had been playing out in my life that I didn’t entirely want to look at.
Since I’m highly sensitive and looking back at all of those moments, I saw that my pattern after being brushed off or told no I would drop my shoulders down, experience shame for thinking I knew something, and then question myself - A LOT.
Something took over me at that moment though in this recent conversation. I had hit my breaking point of being put down for my experiences and insight, and I stood up for myself. I told him to let me finish my point before making that statement because we were actually saying the same things just from different angles and perspective. Because that was the truth. The conversation shifted and the meeting ended shortly after, and I left feeling energized for finally firmly speaking up for myself and grateful for the opportunity he provided me without even knowing.
I realized at that moment that no one has anything figured out and no amount of money, clothes, cars, etc. would ever have my voice valued if I didn’t appreciate it and believe it myself. The belief in the work I do, how I do it, and what I have to offer solidified that day by breaking a pattern. I regained my power that day and redefined what success meant to me - what I needed to feel worthy, and that’s to be around people and places where my voice is acknowledged and appreciated. I won’t always be ‘right,’ but there is definitely worth to my perspective and experiences. I want it to be a conversation starter and for deeper connections and understanding to be made through my viewpoint.
My skewed perspective up until that conversation was that if I made more money, had more clients, more beautiful clothes, and drove a better car, that people would want to hear what I had to say. Yet ‘success’ doesn’t promise anything. Money will not be the magical piece to the puzzle to cure all of our struggles (it would for sure help with some - don’t get me wrong!). A relationship will not completely fill the void of connection if you aren’t connecting with yourself. Better clothes don’t increase your value of who the essence of your being is. You can hide behind it all for as long as you’d like though - I know I have - and still will continue to do in areas I’m sure. Any of the ‘things’ we desire don’t always fix anything though until we can take a look at the ‘why’ we are actually desiring them or the need we are looking to fill.
Since I started valuing my own voice, I noticed I didn’t need that external validation from others near as much, yet began receiving it more than before. It’s funny how that works.
2018 was an intense year for many many people in my life. It caused us to take some hard looks at our lives, our values, and what we truly desire moving forward.
As we come to a close this year, I’m curious if your definition of success or redefining your personal values has shifted in any way?
The ‘messy’ side of ourselves where we feel misunderstood or not heard is actually the entry point to our success and brilliance. It’s there to show us what’s actually important, what we value, and why we value it. It’s the hidden gold to our inner strength to have us experiencing more success and fulfillment in life. Love on that part of yourself and watch your whole world expand. I know mine has.