From striving for achievement to returning to self

By February 27, 2019 No Comments

From resistance to allowing…

Unlike previous times in my life, when I set goals and went for it…. and yes, objectively speaking, I ‘got there’….for me, and I suspect for many ‘high achievers’ like me … more and more I found this just wasn’t enough to ensure the fulfillment or joyous living I was seeking. While goal setting is still necessary  it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition for successful living…

In the first half, I neglected my internal identity, my essence I suppose, in favour of striving for outcomes, leaning heavily and relying upon my outer world achievements. The world was my oyster and I went from point to point- you know, high school valedictorian, cum laude, blue chip multinational annual promotions and reviews. And to a point, it worked! I was able to achieve outward success very fast, and very early. I for one, felt proud of my achievements, it gave me a sense of worth I had not gotten innately, a sense that I could control outcomes or “get good circumstances” as a result of feeding in the right inputs. But more and more, I saw that the world is not linear or logical. It’s messy and complicated, with stresses and responsibilities mounting rather than subsiding as Iive gotten older. The implication has been confusion, procrastination, and often, deep dissatisfaction. It’s been a “stuckness” and relative lack of achievement that I just never experienced when I was younger

Why? I think it’s exactly this reliance on, and imbalanced strengthening of outer world skills, that causes the neglected inner world to erupt in painful screams due to its lack of control over outcomes and the frightening uncertainty that results.

I started to notice that Input no longer was directly proportional to output: so I began finding that circumstance or outcomes felt more and more out of my control. I wonder if any of this sounds familiar to you?

And because I was looking at outward achievement- because I relied on outcomes-  I looked externally, I let circumstance and other people (that I felt I should have been able to influence) define me: good circumstance= happy, bad result= moaned/ blamed myself endlessly with a lot of shame, self-flagellation and very little forgiveness. I was out of control of my own experience of life. So I tried to control circumstance.

I have had to learn to travel through this murky muck and keep walking, defeat after defeat after monotonous defeat! Sometimes clutching at straws, sometimes holding onto a belief that one right step after the other will bring me there… there is just a time delay. That its like an underground stream that you cannot see until it reaches the ocean. Until I began to see the light again.

I realised that the second half has to be consciously re-designed by stepping back and giving myself the gift of clarity: strategically examining and consciously re-imagining the second half. Then its about learning the skills to making that change stick and that actually change the neural pathways.

But Stepping back to ‘sharpen the saw’, gain clarity of vision and strategically re-imagining a different and better second half is necessary but not enough. Knowing one’s new purpose and direction, is necessary but not enough. Because habits of thinking, doing are so strong. So enforced, so entrenched. The power to shift that inertia has to be huge at first to encourage commitment to pay the price, then the momentum has to be maintained through daily conscious self- discipline and restriction. For it’s in the doing, at first with the little building blocks of skill that will mold and shape and actually design new neural pathways, which will allow the first, and then the series of little 1% changes in thinking, beliefs and behaviors that will eventually string together to bring about lasting change that actually sticks.

None of this was/would be possible without this…. I had to learn to “love and accept myself exactly as I was” with all my mistakes, regrets and disappointments… all the times I fell short of the high mark I set, real acceptance of what is ‘wrong’ with me. Because you cannot pull yourself up from underneath a pile of effluent. Its simply too slippery. And that, in and of itself, I had to learn is its own structured journey, not a snap change.

If you are ready to redesign your life and need support in making the changes necessary to move from stuck-ness to success-ness give me a call on 0726464184. Tess

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