If one was to ask a group of people what their favourite country is, they are unlikely to hear the same answer over and over again. One person might enjoy going to Australia, while another may enjoy going to Mexico, for instance.
What this partly shows is how different people are, and how they appreciate different cultures. One country could then fit one persons needs, but it might not fit another person’s needs.
It might not always be this way though; as a country they enjoyed visiting at one point in their life may no longer bring them the same level of enjoyment at another. This could be due to how the country has changed and yet it could also be a sign of how they have changed.
So as change is part of life and it is not something that can be avoided, it is to be expected that someone’s outlook is going to change throughout their life. If one always had the same outlook, they might end up being seen as stubborn or stuck in the past.
This is similar to how ones idea of success is likely to change as they change; with this being a reflection of how their needs change throughout their life. One could have children, for instance, and their whole outlook could soon change.
But without even looking into how someone’s idea of success can change as time passes, it is clear that not everyone have the same meaning when it comes to success. For some people, it could be relate to having a family, and for others, it could involve being recognised for something.
One person can’t tell another person what their definition of success should be; this is not something that someone else can do. This is something that one will have to decide for themselves, and once they have decided, it will be down to them to make it a reality.
Another important part of this process will be for one to look into whether it is possible for them to achieve what they want to achieve. This doesn’t mean that one should be ‘realistic’, what it means is that one might be setting themselves up to fail.
It is then not going to be possible for them to achieve what they want to achieve and they are setting themselves up for a massive come down. While one can believe they are a failure, it would be more accurate to say that they expected too much to begin with.
With that aside, it could be said that there are two sides to success; with the first part relating to how one experiences life and the second part relating to how one’s life looks from the outside. While there is the chance that these two sides will match up, there is also the chance that they won’t.
Most people would agree that being happy is a big part of success; if one was to disagree with this outlook, it may mean that being successful is way for them to avoid pain. In this case, it won’t matter if they are happy or not; what matters is using success to regulate the pain within them and to create a certain image.
Creating a certain image may allow one to receive approval from others, but it won’t allow them to experience real fulfilment. What will lead to this outcome may not receive the same amount of approval from others.
However, just because someone wants to be successful, it doesn’t mean they are to experience the level of success that they desire. In fact, they may find that they are unable to get one foot on the ladder.
Or one could be in a position where they are able to get to a certain level and then before long, they end up where they started. It is as if they not only have a self destruct button, but that they keep pressing it.
One could then come to the conclusion that they only feel comfortable with a certain level of success. On one side, the need is there to move forward and to achieve what they want to achieve, but on the other side, it is not something that feels right.
If one was to dig a little deeper and to get in touch with how they feel, they may start to find out why they sabotage their success. They may feel as though they don’t deserve to have what they want.
When it comes to what is taking place in their mind, they are likely to have thoughts that match up with how they feel. One outlook would be to say that what is taking place in their head is defining how they feel in their body.
A Half Truth
Now, if one was to think about someone they appreciate, there is a strong chance that they will feel good. Yet, just because what is taking place in one’s mind has defined how they feel in this example, it doesn’t mean this is always the case.
It is also possible for the mind to be a trigger, and this means that it doesn’t always define how one feels. Therefore, if one focuses on their mind and ignores what is occurring in their body, they might only get so far.
The reason one feels the way they do when it comes to experiencing success, could be because they are carrying toxic shame. Unlike healthy shame, where one will feel bad from time to time for transgressing their values and beliefs, toxic shame ends up taking over.
It is then not that one feels bad, it is that they are bad; they are inherently flawed and there is nothing they can do about it. As a result of this, it is not going to be possible for one to feel good about themselves and it is going to be normal for them to believe that they don’t deserve to be successful.
To say that this only relates to success would be an understatement; as one will feel as though they don’t deserve to exist. However, while toxic shame has infiltrated their whole being, they weren’t born this way.
The reason one see themselves in this way is likely to come down to what took place during their childhood years. This may have been time where one was neglected and experienced some kind of abuse.
In order for one to let go of their toxic shame, it will be important for them to come out of hiding and to reveal themselves. This is something that can happen through the assistance of a therapist or a support group
This will involve getting in touch with how they feel and tolerating the change until it begins to discharge. Through embracing how they feel and being affirmed for who they are, they will gradually be able to let go and to realise there is nothing wrong with them.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.