A nice person recently asked me this question: 'Are you successful? You know with your....what is it called? Therapy? Coaching? You know, the stuff you are doing?' To my surprise, I was speechless and in my head I heard: 'Hell yes, I am successful.' Have you been in a situation like that? The second after, I questioned myself: 'Am I successful? I am seeing clients and they seem to gain something. Do I have enough clients to say I am successful? How many hours of the week do I need to work which allow me to say, I am successful? How much money am I supposed to earn to say, 'Yes I am successful?'
I simply answered 'YES, I am.' By throwing that question out at me, a valuable longer inner dialogue started, and I want to share here some thoughts, and hope they resonate with you. Our success is very personal. It can mean something completely different to any other person. Don't you think that a city boy juggling accounts and money since 15 years, has a different definition than a new mum, who bathes in the bliss of the moment realising that she is satisfying the baby's hunger by her breast-feeding. Likewise the difference in feeling success for an olympic athlete getting onto the podium walking home with some metal or a newcomer setting a new PB (Personal Best) in the same event. I remember the amazing footage of a swimmer in one Olympic heat, who struggled through the given distance, as anyone else was probably already in the shower, he literally was super thrilled that he was even able to swim and making an appearance for his country. The crowd loved the hero story and was ecstatic. Who is more successful? Okay those might be extreme examples, but my point is that we are aware of differences in the meaning of success, but also people tend to have a build-in sensor to judge about someone else's success. We all own our own successes.
Let me ask you again: Are you successful? I would like to suggest to you, that contemplating about your situation and getting clear on where you are in your life, is a good thing. Please observe your inner dialogue. Become really mindful about it. Are you criticising yourself, for something you should have done, or should have achieved by today? Are you blaming others for your lack of success, or are you blaming the circumstances you are in for your lack of success?
Let me give you a six strategy pointers, which worked for me, finding clarity about my success:
1. Shift your mindset
Contemplating about your situation through the eyes of gratitude will shift your awareness and will highlight the more simple and mundane things. In all of a sudden small things become massively important to you and you feel a sense of achievement and with it success.
2. Your definition of success
What does success mean to you? Ask yourself this question, before jumping to a conclusion for an answer to 'Am I successful?' Look, in what areas do you consider success important to you? Mostly people relate success to a money-making career? How many cars? How many houses? How many holidays? Okay, that might push some people forward. Money is important when we know what we want to do with it, and I believe when we invest it into our goals and values. I want to suggest that most of you who read this agree, that there is much more about your success that the money-making career? So what about relationships, health, personal development, physical strength, spiritual growth, career, community service. When you start bringing those to mind, your life becomes this big, rich experience. Which in some areas you might find, you could invest a bit more intention or effort to feeling successful and in other areas you might find yourself at a happy place already. 3. Taking responsibility and action
Once you know where you are with the definition, it really is just a decision for you to fully take responsibility for that area. Allow yourself to dig a bit deeper. Let's say, you find that you are not feeling as successful with your health than you want to be. Great, good observation. By making a self-assessment you begin to take ownership. This then moves you into action, because you will want to make changes, adjustments. Like changing your medical support, adjusting your nutrition, communicating differently with your family and friends about your health, maybe seeing a health and wellness coach (or a Mind Coach :-)), or even going on a health retreat. Whatever you choose, make sure it is changing something from the old pattern and habit.
If you want something in your life to change, something in your life has to change. 4. Beginner's mind
The concept of a beginners mind, is actually quite simply. You are at a certain age, and let's say in this moment you go through life with this bank account filled with your knowledge, your experiences, your ups-and downs, your struggles and achievements, moments of bliss and moments of grief. In that respect we are all really rich! Now, the way we see our own world, is through our senses. And because we all have a different bank account in a given situation, every one of us will see, feel, hear, etc a situation differently. In other words the same situation is a very different experience for each person. What you want to consider is that, most people don't realise that it is their choice. The key is to become aware of your default response in a situation. If you want to change anything about your life, awareness is the key! The good news is that our brain is very capable and malleable. Even the strongest opinion is just an opinion. Whereas facts are facts and tend to be universal. You can train your brain to adapt to function from 'the beginners mind.' Let me give an example. When new technology is launched like the finger touch on the phone, or Airdropping pictures, in order for us to understand it, we approach it with the mind of a beginner. And this helps us taking in all the information we need so that we can make use of the new technology. If we are not open to it, we will not learn about it. Now, it takes awareness to do the same with mental concepts. When you notice that a certain reaction is not helping you to serve you best. Stop, breathe and analyse. If this would be the first time of you being in that kind of situation, what would be the most valuable response. Make yourself aware that by not polluting your response with all the old knowledge you used to believe, or bringing in the negative experience you had in a similar situation, your new response can come from the beginners mind. The beauty of it is, that this is self-enriching. You gain fresh knowledge, and experience something in a new way....This is updating your mind and by the way your bank account continues to grow.
5. Goals, Vision and your target A lot is said about goal-setting. And as much as some people like to see real figures attached to their success mark, this might be possible in your career and business, and it works there. Some people might find this difficult, or for some areas like success in relationships a different tool might be helpful. I want to point out that our mind, as you know, is amazing! It is ultra-fast, it works relentlessly to help us. It is good to know as well, that it operates in pictures, movies, symbols. So we can make use of that through visualisations. If you know what I am talking about, you know that visualisations help us to project something into our mind which can be eg the perfect wedding day, the perfect holiday. And by the way, we all can visualise. If I tell you to think about the door knob into your house or flat, you all will create a picture of it instantly.
So what I like to do, is daily meditate about my perfect future. And I include all the main areas mentioned earlier into it. I like to visualise the future in three years time. The reason is that mostly we overestimate what we can achieve in a year and we underestimate our achievements in three years. So I dream big. I dream big, and bright and wonderful. If you practise including your goals and targets into your visualisations, they will form a network of neural pathways and you are taking the steps forward assisting yourself mentally.
6. Celebrate Oh yes, celebrate your successes!! Recognition feels good, because you are stimulating the brain and give thanks to what it has created for you. Okay, it sounds like the chicken and egg discussion, but believe me, when you include celebrating your successes into your life, you will teach yourself to become more successful. Celebrate in a way which is in line with your values and serves the goals in other areas. If you want to celebrate your achievement in your career, stay in line with your health goals and treat yourself to a healthy dinner, or a bike ride or tie in a relationship goal and have a cosy movie night.
With all the above, those 6 steps will make the answer 'Are you successful?' clearer, in fact you will answer from a reflective and conscious position. Have fun and let me know, if this is helping you. Remember, you own your own success! When you want any further assistance in finding clarity, get in touch with me and we find out if NLP and Hypnotherapy fits into your life right now. Much love, :-) Julia +44-7817-555893 firstname.lastname@example.org