For some people success seems to follow them wherever they go and whatever new venture they put their hand to. I have always admired those types of people as they often come across very motivated and enthusiastic about life.
What success means to me can be different to what success means to you.
I can confidently say that I’m successful in having raised five incredible children. Of course I’ve had my imperfect moments yet never have I felt that being a mum was something I failed at. Whether it was the practical side and or the nurturing of little human beings I felt good at being mum. The nine months of pregnancy to the labour/nursing has always worked out for me which is very fortunate and I do feel blessed in that regard. There are couples that try hard to get pregnant with no success and for them it would be extremely disappointing and painful. While none of my five children are perfect they each do possess a sense of right and wrong and have morals that any parent would be proud of and for that I am also very grateful. Each of them have been travelling through various stages in life and I have watched them make mistakes and have also watched them learn from them and become better for it.
There are however other areas in my life that have not been as successful. And that is not to say that these successes cannot happen at some point in the future. Due to the lack of success in particular areas it has required more effort from me to continue persisting and moving forward when my natural tendency would be to believe the worst or to settle and accept it for what it is, believing that there will never be change or success. When you are used to particular areas in life not moving forward quite the way you would like them to, you become almost accepting of that. It is almost scary to believe that it could ever change as your reasoning tells you that these issues have remained that way for so long despite your best efforts so what hope is there for it to turn around.It can become so grounded that it is as though whenever you are looking at that area a big sign with flashing lights comes on displaying the words “face it you will always suck at this”.
In my life I have noticed how almost frightening it is to believe for success and accept that something could actually work out for me. I am so used to certain areas not working out. These areas I am referring to in my life are finances, friendships with other women and my own personal achievements in the areas that I am passionate about.
When it comes to finances I am used to many challenges and while I am aware that money isn’t what defines you I still would of liked things to be at a better place for us in that area. When I start to compare myself with other families that seem to have it all together in that department, I can quite easily become frustrated and feel that we are very unsuccessful financially. If I were to compare our finances with people in other countries who cannot even find enough food to feed themselves or their families, then I can be grateful and realise that we are in fact rich. The lessons learned in the financial struggle have built a foundation for success, whereas previously we had no foundation or understanding. We have learnt to be generous with the little we have had, which I believe is of great value.
How about female friendships?
From my younger days until now I can say that I have had quite a struggle in this area. It has not come naturally or easily for me. Growing up I was so used to only having a couple of good friends and even then finding it difficult to fit in completely. While my self- esteem has become more balanced over the years it is almost scary to consider having true female friends that I could confide in and count on. With my natural tendency to gravitate towards the belief that females don’t really plan to be friends with me; puts me in a position in which it requires more effort on my part to take steps in the direction of friendships. It is very comfortable to settle and not make any efforts, as success for me in this area is so foreign and one which I am not so used to. When you have experienced instances in which you thought you were making a friend and sometime later found out through their actions they only considered you as an acquaintance it only adds to the hesitancy of pursuing friendships. While this area remains as a construction zone in progress I have made some inroads that have been shifting my core beliefs from failure to success.
Four years ago I would not have believed that I could actually complete university units and pass let alone get high distinctions for units relating to maths. This personal achievement has exceeded all of my expectations. There were many mind sets I needed to overcome as I began study, and if they had of been videoed it would have kept people entertained for hours. The new found success that I have achieved in my studies gave me motivation to begin writing. At this stage my writing has been developing along by blogging. It has given me ideas about the future books that I intend to publish and has been equipping me with the skills to connect with people I have never met through my inspirational stories.
It is often far easier for me to believe in other people being successful than believing that I could ever truly go too far ahead of myself. It is always more comfortable to settle by convincing yourself that your success is going to be limited. That there is no point going beyond what you feel comfortable with as you may set yourself up for disappointment.
The question we need to ask ourselves is “will I be satisfied with myself if I don’t at least give something a try”, whatever your something is!
How we measure our own success is going to look different for each person. What I have had to overcome may look different to your challenges. Either way we can settle staying in our comfort zones or turn past failures into successes.
To remain unsuccessful can feel very comfortable when you are used to things not working out, however I don’t think it can last, the time will come when you will feel uncomfortable with your lack of progress. It does require a lot of effort and hard work to move beyond our internal core beliefs that keep us sitting in the same spot from one year to the next. After I decided to begin facing the uncomfortable situations my life has grown in purpose and satisfaction. One by one the thoughts I have believed about myself have been changing from negative failure to positive success.
Breaking the message down looks like this:
Comfort now → Uncomfortable later
Uncomfortable now → Comfort later and for longer
This = Success