Whether you are an Olympic athlete, high-flying professional or Entrepreneur it’s likely you have one thing in common; a definition of success that has led you on the journey to where you are now.
Traditional “definitions of success” are set in the early part of our lives. We pick up on the cultural conditions around us, on what our parents think, what influencers say, how society views “success”. We are influenced by sports coaches or teachers wanting us to get good grades or to get into university.
As you grew up your brain picked up on all the information around you and programmed in a set of beliefs about what “success” should mean.
We follow our beliefs to a career that ticks those boxes as best we can and we start to introduce ourselves to people as our job role.
The question we so often ask after “what’s your name?” is “what do you do?”. It’s as if we are what we do, holding an identity within a job role.
“Hi I’m Sarah and I’m a senior marketing manager” or “Hi I’m Heather, I’m in charge of Customer Services”
Whether an IT Director, Olympic Athlete, or Blogger – rightly or wrongly many hold a large piece of identity in the job that they do.
Traditional definitions of success have had people holding their identity, self-worth and feelings of Enoughness in a career of job role and its associated status. The problem is that if something goes wrong in that job role, let’s say you get ill and can’t do your job, go on maternity leave, or get made redundant for example, it can feel crushing. As if part of your identity (and worth) has been taken away.
The self-worth you were holding onto as part of that job role disappears with it, and you hear the creeping feelings of I am not enough getting louder. When you think about it, a job is an activity not an identity, however it doesn’t always feel that way.
Simone Biles, unique human being, and USA Olympic Gymnast, recently tweeted “the outpouring of love and support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before”
Not feeling enough, be it good enough, clever enough, thin enough, successful, brave, rich, popular, assertive, talented or confident ENOUGH is of epidemic proportions today. Even Michelle Obama shared she repeats the daily mantra “Am I enough? Yes, I am” to keep her mental wellness in check.
The pressure that has been put on us by expectations, conditioning and cultural norms has meant so many of us have been chasing external goals and collecting “stuff” to help us feel a sense of achievement. Looking to gain or do more, more, more to make us feel good enough on the outside, when Enoughness can only be found, in truth, on the inside.
It’s a real eye-opener to realise that the “programming” our brain put together in our early years is still controlling our decisions and beliefs today, but if we set ourselves free from it our lives could be and feel significantly different. This is the key to taking control of your mental wellbeing and life satisfaction. Choosing your path and choosing your thoughts, for yourself.
One useful activity to do this is to redefine and redesign what success means to you.
Deep down, within your true self, do a self-rediscovery exercise.
>What do you really want?
>How do you want life to be and feel?
Figure out who you are and what you want without all the expectations, baggage and influences of the past.
This opens your mind to infinite possibilities.
Have you ever taken the time out to pause and reflect on your life. If not, the time is now. Take a look at your current path and ask yourself:
>Where am I now and where do I want to be.
>Who am I now and who do I want to become?
Have you checked in with your values (what’s important to you in the way you live your life) to see if they still feel relevant and whether you are actually living in alignment with them each day?
It’s very common to keep busy running on the merry hamster wheel of life, without actually stopping to question whether we are following the path to a life we love. And then one day we hit burn out, or a mid-life crisis. Which forcibly stops us in our tracks.
I advocate a facilitated awakening! Instead of waiting for the identity crisis to hit, take the time to do the inner work that means you can create a life you love by design. One where your self-worth comes from the inside, one where you know you are Enough, and you can choose the activities you want in your life, but not be defined by them.
I believe it’s time for a new way of thinking. It’s time to stop allowing cultural conditioning to beat the Enoughness out of us that we were born with. Each of us has the choice to decide what “success” means to us. What Enoughness means to us. We can define it for ourselves.
If you need support and guidance to do this The Create a Life you Love Journal® – The Ultimate Life and Mindset Makeover takes you on this journey.
About the author
Lucy Griffin-Stiff is author of The Create a Life you Love Journal® – The Ultimate Life and Mindset Makeover. Having ticked off all the traditional boxes on the “success list” but still reaching a mid-life crossroads Lucy did the mindset work to find her happiness and retrained from her corporate career. Lucy is on a mission to help women choose courage over conditioning to create a life they love. She helps people move from feeling not enough to Enough.
Lucy is a certified mindset coach, NLP Coach Practitioner, Timeline Therapy Practitioner and Hypnotherapist who hopes to create a ripple effect across the world as people change their minds and their lives.
WeAreTheCity covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in business, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.