Career Coach, Life Coach, Performance Coach, Personal coaching, Personal Development, Success

How successful are you?

I was talking to somebody very close to me the other day, and we started to talk about her book. It is being developed as despite strong interest from agents it ultimately didn’t get taken on. I could sense her understandable frustration and I was eager to talk to her about what she defines as success for the book. So I asked her to give me a picture or image of what her future success looked like. Is it money in the bank? Amount of sales? Personal gratification? Peer approval? After a lot of chat, and a customary glass of wine.

She replied- ‘It’s seeing my book on the shelf in a store.’

So success to her is measured by the satisfaction of seeing her work published for public consumption.

Great.

But what happens if it’s not published and she doesn’t see it on the shelf? By her own thinking will she not be successful anymore?

How often in our lives are we caught up in the end goal? We chase success, but struggle to define what it means. Often I will ask clients to visualise their future, because if we don’t see it we can’t let our subconscious work towards it. But this is hard balancing act because if we place to much conscious importance on the image it can place unnecessary pressure to achieve it. Additionally it can mean we miss and ignore our own growth and development. We don’t focus on the skills we learning, or our resilience in hard times, we ignore the two jobs we may have done to support ourselves and our family. Each of these examples provides us with resources to better ourselves, but they are easily missed and crucially not built upon if we fixate on the picture in our mind.

Another glass was poured.

‘But I don’t agree that if the book isn’t published, I can still think of myself as successful’

The key to that sentence is the conscious insistence on her picture of success. It neglects her crafting of language, the emotional intelligence it requires to give characters a real voice, her resilience to not give up, the learning and development of her writing, her ability to promote herself and pitch an idea. Her increased self belief. Her ability to take her imagination and through hundreds of hours of work turn it into a tangible and highly credible piece of work. All of these skills are used to great affect in her other career. . .

But they don’t match the picture in her head so they aren’t recognised or given credence.

To want success is highly commendable. It shows motivation and drive but it mustn’t come at all costs. Nor should we lose sight of what success truly means. It’s about constant renewal and growth, it isn’t about who you know or what you can buy. It’s about what you have learnt, what you given, and what you can do next. Success (whatever the picture turns out to be) is the by product of hard work, resilience, and passion for what you love. It can come in small places, and sometimes it’s not what we thought or expected.

Maybe her picture of success will come true and the book will appear on a shelf.

Maybe it won’t.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s about the journey she’s taken in writing it.

Action Coach, Career Coach, Hypnotherapy, Life Coach, Lifestyle, Performance Coach, Personal coaching, Self Help

Spot the difference

‘You’re a bit weird dad.’

 Once the searing honesty had subsided, I thought for a second about my eight year old’s pearl of wisdom.

‘Well, it’s good to a bit weird. I replied.

When she said this, I’d like to think she was referring to my love of Spandau Ballet. (Fair cop). But I sensed it was my commitment to an impression I was doing to make her laugh. It struck me afterwards about how we define ourselves and others as ‘weird’ or ‘not normal.’ Is it the job we do?  If you are a deep sea diver off the North Atlantic then you are in the minority compared to a factory worker. However both equally provide for an individual and their loved ones.  Is it our colleagues? The person who is socially awkward at work? Maybe they haven’t been given or shown the tools to cope in life? Is it our family? Why is one sibling totally different from the rest when given the same upbringing by their parents? It strikes me as ‘weird’ how quickly we see the difference in others without looking at our own oddities. . .

Why do we conform to being ‘normal’ or at the very least wanting to be perceived as normal? Must have kids. Must earn loads of money. Must get married. There is nothing wrong with any of those choices as long as they are your choices and they don’t come from a need or desire to fit in socially. So often we miss out on what is around us because we are consumed by where we aren’t, what we’re not earning, who we are not with. How much of our lives do we spend thinking about fitting in, instead of embracing who we really are?  I’d like to think we are all bit weird, we all have parts of us that we suppress out of embarrassment or fear. But the truth is, this is where our soul lies, it’s what makes us an individual. What makes you stand out? What makes you, you?

To cut a long story short.

It’s true,

I am weird.

If this sounds familiar, then drop me an email. I’d love to help.