Struggle and Success

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“I used to think that I had to struggle to succeed.  Now I know that true success is an inside job,” Gabby Bernstein.  Every day I looked for something shitty that happened.  I used to wallow in it.  I would relish the opportunity to use whatever negative thing that happened as an excuse to not do what I wanted.  Constantly the wounded victim, I created a cycle of trying something new only to watch it fall apart because of some horrible thing that happened.  Or if it wasn’t horrible, it was some unfortunate thing that prevented me from moving forward.  As much as I wanted to move forward, I realized that my comfort zone was dreaming…not doing.  Because the doing meant accountability and responsibility to keep it going.  If something stopped me, then I couldn’t go forward through no fault of my own.  It was a deceptively comforting story to tell myself.

Essentially I grew tired of the same bullshit story.  The desire to create and do something original and fulfilling for myself outgrew the need to be a victim.  That’s when this pattern hit me—I didn’t it to myself.  I went through a long phase of believing I needed to prove myself.  That the only way things we want come true was if we suffer for it.  I never believed success came easily.  There were times I felt the tide turning in my direction and I would bail because it felt too easy and I didn’t believe it was “my time.”  I did a lot of soul searching and I understand now that if it is meant for us, it will come—it really is that simple. 

I also learned that struggle is no indicator of success.  It has no bearing in determining where we end up.  I’m not saying that we don’t have to work—and sometimes work is a struggle—but making things unnecessarily difficult on ourselves will not get us where we want to be.  That’s martyr thinking.  And the thing with martyrs is they never get where they were meant to go.  Their sacrifice only serves to hurt them in the end.  I digress.  Changing the mindset around struggle clicked for me when I realized that if things seem to be flowing easily or happening quickly, it’s because of alignment.  It isn’t because the shoe will eventually drop.  Brene Brown talks about foreboding joy where when we feel hints of success we fear it because we believe something bad will happen because of our success. Sometimes our success is just the result of what we have done.  It is never a lure into something we were not meant to have and it isn’t a trap to punish us for something else.  Success is meant to be enjoyed.

When it comes to success being an inside job, Bernstein is talking about feeling worthy of the results of our work.  As a society we are used to letting people determine our worth—everything from what they pay us to their critique of the service/product whatever it may be.  When we know our own worth, setting those boundaries becomes much more comfortable.  We know we don’t have to struggle to prove our worth as that value isn’t tied to other people’s opinions.  We know we have a say in the result.  So find your alignment and go with the flow.  If you’re struggling, ask yourself how you can let go more, not how you can push more.  Do the work to set your boundaries and know your worth.  Nothing has to be a struggle—it’s all how you look at it. 

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