Success…tell me what it means to you?


At my writers’ meeting on Friday night we discussed the trials and tribulations of parlaying thought into effective storytelling.  One thing is certain, all of us have a unique approach on how we accomplish the feat of writing.

I have made it a point to write everyday.  It doesn’t have to be the project that I am currently working on.  If I can at least post a blog, then I’ll have met my self-imposed obligation to the craft.

A conversation cropped up about what success looked like.  I thought about this long after the meeting.  I thought about it as I let sleep claim me later that evening.

A few years ago in some weird little twist I acknowledged that I actually had a fear of success.  I don’t know that this is an entirely accurate description but I feel I can provide more clarity given this ideology.  My meaning is this.

Throughout my life I would begin a course of action designed to improve my well-being.

For example I would get a job and work really hard hoping to move up the ladder and be rewarded for my efforts.

I went into each job with so much hope and attacked the position with undeniable passion.  Unfortunately, I had a deep need to be praised for the work I was doing.  This translated into a behavioural  display of being something of the proverbial doormat.  This conditioning had occurred in my youth.

It had been hardwired into me and in some convoluted manner, I was playing this scene out repeatedly.

As a young girl I sought the attention, approval and love of my father.  The times when praise was rained down on me felt like an aphrodisiac of sorts.  These occurrences were extremely rare.  More often than not verbal assaults and criticisms were directed my way.

As a teen, emotions began to surface and erupt.  The outbursts would ultimately result in physical abuse.

I entered the work place at a young age.  Each job began with me as a dynamo the first little while.  Then somewhere along the way the desire to be acknowledged and accepted would become more demanding.  When it wasn’t offered up then somehow I would begin to sabotage my efforts.  The result was always the same.

A dramatic ending of me either walking out or going off the deep end resulting in the loss of my job.  And of course, it was never my fault.  I was the perfect little victim.  Eventually this behavior of mine began to wear on me.  I would feel so defeated at times and simply could not understand why these things always happened.

The thought then occurred that perhaps I had a hand in my own demise.  Horror of all horrors, if this did not turn out to be the case.

Looking back over the years I saw the pattern that had been established, not just with my conduct in the workplace, but in relationships in general as well.  I knew this had to change if I was ever to be successful in life.

I’ve worked hard to change how I respond in many situations.  I’ve also found that when I acknowledge my participation/or lack there of in certain exchanges and accept the responsibility that I played, I ultimately learn and grow stronger.

As we spoke last night, it came to me.  Success for me is completion.

Of taking whatever it is I am working on to a conclusion.

This was instilled in me in a big way when I ran my first Sun Run, which for those of you who don’t know, is a 10 KM race in Vancouver that attracts approximately 50,000 participants every year.

Crossing the finish line in 2010 was pivotal to where I am today.

With that success, a hunger was born and the challenge was laid out before me. I’ve stumbled along this path ever since.

Oh, I recognize old behavior patterns that still come up creating issues but I now deal with them and move on.

Each success opens a new set of challenges and offers the opportunity to learn, grow and evolve.  Each success results in the foundation of my person becoming that much stronger.

What is the measure of success?

For some it is financial independence.  For others having a family, home and good job.  For many finding love in their life.

Now when I look in the mirror I try not to see the woman I think this world expects but rather quite simply, the woman who I am.  And with each project, with each challenge I accept and the completion of said task, I see my true self emerging.

Enjoy your day! Peace.

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One thought on “Success…tell me what it means to you?

  1. For me, success is achieving things I think can probably do with a bit of effort, but it isn’t a foregone conclusion, and might actually take a couple of attempts. I don’t really get a sense of achievement from doing things I already knew I could do, so I’m always keen to take on new and interesting challenges.

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