The Myth of Success
Today, I want to talk with you about a theme I often see in my work with clients and also as a larger construct in the world, which is this narrow construct of what it means to be a success.
Culturally, I feel we’ve collapsed the idea of “success” with productivity. It has become about how much we can do, plan, check off the list, and our experience becomes one of looking from the outside in to determine whether we measure up or if we are “successful”.
The thing is, this construct of success totally discounts all the incredible ways we create value in our lives and in the world that aren’t necessarily visible from the outside looking in. This construct also keeps us going and going, and doing and doing, and has us disconnected from the value of our being…it has us ignoring our natural, internal rhythms in service of “success.”
I feel this particular thread of our cultural conditioning creates so much suffering, because anytime we’re not doing, or we haven’t checked the external measures of “success” we may believe or fear that we’re falling short…that we won’t achieve success or that the success we’ve already created will somehow slip away. “Failure” appears like it’s just one mistake away, and so of course it doesn’t feel safe to relax.
These narrowed ideas about success and failure being linked to our productivity and to other external measures take us out of our internal listening… and have us living life from how we believe it “should” look rather than from a place of creation and internal alignment.
What if we didn’t need to “succeed” before we could feel emotionally safe? What if “success” was more about answering the question, “Am I aligned with what’s true for me in this moment?” rather than “does my life look the way I imagine it should?” This idea of living from internal alignment has been one of my most crucial re-framings around this narrow construct of success and failure.
Is this against the norm? Yes. Does it feel scary to consider totally redefining what success looks like for you? Probably. But what I want for you is to know that you are worthy, and your value is inherent, and that there’s nothing you need to do in order to prove that. You get to honor where you are in this moment and create from here, regardless of society’s ideas about how it should look.
Take a moment to consider… where have you been collapsing “success” or “failure” with how much you can get done? What might it be like to uncouple those two things? If you weren’t measuring yourself by that standard, what other markers might you look to in determining what’s really working in your world and what needs to shift?
Regardless of what you do or don’t do, you are worthy of experiencing yourself and your life as a success. Of experiencing a state of contentment that is not only true and authentic, but also unbreakable and unshakable… not at all conditional or dependent on what you can get done in a day. Regardless of what it looks like from the outside or compared to how the world says it should look, you are a masterpiece, and I hope you’ll take at least a moment today to honor that.
So in closing, I invite you to take a few minutes now to write down a new reframe for yourself that brings the concept of “success” much more into balance and alignment for you-one where you’re not hustling for your worthiness.
I’d love to hear what you come up with!