What are your beliefs around success? Do you believe that success only happens under certain conditions? Do we have to work hard, or have a special talent, or be smarter, faster or bolder than others? Is success just part of the “rat race,” achieved only when you have 2.5 children and a nice house, or when you are rich and famous? Perhaps you are afraid of success? Some of us learned that when we are successful we should no longer need any help, and we have to go it alone. Some of us learned that asking for help makes us weak, yet we can’t do it all ourselves, so we burn ourselves out doing it all ourselves. I learned that when I was successful, it pushed others away or took something away from them as if there wasn’t enough success to go around. This made me tentative to be successful, or share my excitement with anyone when I had a success because I learned that my success could lead to being abandoned by others.

For many of us, our definition of success is about money, power or recognition by those we see in authority. Much of it stems from our early childhood programming by those around us. As a child, many of us learned that success was being the best student, friend, son, player, sister, paperboy or church member. I remember my mom telling me “just be the best YOU that you can be.” Unfortunately, I had no idea what that was since I was so focused on being the “success” that the world said I should be. I had lost that inner connection to what felt good to me, and saw success as money, power and recognition that came from outside of me.

What if success were about fully being ourselves and feeling good about that? What if it were about our unique talents, preferences and abilities uncovered, honored and expressed? That would be a very different definition of success than the one we currently hold ourselves to. Success would no longer be something we define by how others see things, but by what feels the best inside of us. What new freedom can we find in that?

Now that I am aware of my limiting belief about success (that those I love will abandon me if I'm successful), I can challenge and change it. Is that belief true? Is it really, really true? As an adult with choices that I didn't have as a child, I would say no--it's not true. Some feelings of sadness moved through me as I remembered many times when I abandoned myself and my good feeling whenever I got close to my own success.

Here is a new belief that feels much better to me: "All the right people and places support me in honoring and expressing what feels best to me.” This is a definition of success that feels good to me now as an adult. The more I focus on this new belief, the more I'm noticing all the right people and places are showing up in my life. The universe will always respond to what we expect. It's delightful to see my new belief manifesting in my life.

How would you like to redefine success for yourself today?


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