Create Success that Embraces You
I sometimes wonder if I will ever stop measuring my “success” against that achieved by others. I know what success means to me. I do have a self-definition for my own success that has morphed through the years and base decisions upon it. Yet, our culture, and practically every message in events that I attend or the media glorify outward success (position, money, status, beauty) along with the speed and assumed ease of attainment. In moments of struggle or doubt, I find myself questioning my decisions and my path. Why am I not like that other person? Why is my journey so convoluted and twisted? Why is it that I am not normal?
Then I think – thank God I am not normal!
No one is, really, but most of us buy into the cultural paradigm of how to be successful and what it should look like –the myths of happiness creation. We believe somehow that everyone else is normal, and if we play by the rules our lives will be happy and normal, too. Step away from the idea of normal, if only for this brief moment.
Try embracing the idea of diversity.
Diversity in all its facets. Embrace a new “normal” where different is accepted and valued for what it brings and adds to the conversation – the experience, the product, the team.
Because, therein lies the power of diversity – the freedom to acknowledge you are worthy as you are – you don’t require fixing to belong or to be considered a success. Diversity as a norm by its very nature allows for the space for not only the other but you to be yourself. To live a life that is full and rich in every respect and of your own choosing. Whatever that may look like, and it may end up looking very similar to how it looks today from the outside. What matters, though, is your perspective from the inside. Make sense?
Usually we talk about embracing diversity as a practice that allows others who are different to sit at the same table and share in power. Wholeheartedly support this goal: it is a necessity. And, I suggest that we stretch that idea of embracing difference to allow for the inclusion of ourselves and our choices. Allowing for a different paradigm for normal – a diversity perspective – helps relieve the pressure of the “shoulds” in our lives. You know, the “I should be this or that” – or “I should loose that 5 extra pounds” and if I do not measure up to the standard (whatever that standard may be), I am not a good person. When you catch yourself thinking along these lines, consciously make yourself stop.
What are the tapes in your head that hold you back?
For almost 4 years I have lived my life making decisions that are my financial advisor’s worst nightmare- or so I joke. It has been stressful and lonely at times. Other moments have been filled with a joy and expansiveness that I could never have imagined. It has been a journey of transformation that has brought me to a position where I help others heal their lives and lead with courage.
Ultimately the journey is a good one, twisting as it may be. I know now what I bring and how to assist others to lift their faces up and move into the warmth of self-acceptance, proactive choice, and a wholehearted life. Yes, attorneys deserve to truly have it all.
I am who I have always been. I love those outward moments of recognition and always will. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The gold star, the honor roll, those status symbols that are not “supposed” to mean so much, but gosh (yes, I just used gosh), they provide a balm when I feel parched. I also enjoy and value the freedom to choose my path understanding that life is what I make it.
Choose yourself and see what that brings. You may be surprised what a small change in perspective can do. In doing this, you open the way for others to do the same and maybe, just maybe, freedom to be who we each are becomes a bit more normal.
What is your definition of success for you? What can you do differently to increase your leadership skills and help your team embrace diversity?
Take a moment and schedule a call. Let me know how I can support your journey.
You do not have to do success alone.