It occurred to me recently that for me, winning and success go hand in hand. I’ve been driven by a desire to win for as long as I can remember. Embarrassingly, my memory even features scenes of me crying after coming second in a swim club race. Not lying. #cringefactormassive
That was a long time ago, but the belief system remains. If I’m not winning, then I consider myself not only unsuccessful, but I will even go as far as to tell myself I’m failing. This I can report, is a sure fire way of creating a hard wired damaging self talk pattern. For me it’s led to a lack of self worth and sometimes even a little self loathing.
With my awareness of this pattern, there’s good news. I’m able to look at it from every angle and assess it’s validity. It may be of no surprise to you, that this is #stinkingthinking. While success and winning can go together, they are not interdependent. You can win a race and remain disappointed with your time. You can finish something you never thought possible and feel like a winner, no matter where you came in.
To really pull this apart for yourself, will require some considering of your inner narrative around success. What is your version of it? While mine has always featured the word ‘winning’ I’m now working on re-wiring this cognitive habit of thought. As in, writing a new narrative and spending time letting it truly sink in.
Here’s something that’s really helped me. I’ve been separating out how I feel about myself when it comes to success vs one of my nieces or nephews (feel free to sub in a child if you have one!). When I think about them succeeding, it has nothing to do with whether they win. All that matters is that they try their best and ultimately that they’re happy. That’s what their success looks like, so why not mine?
Our thought patterns directly impact how we feel and act. Therefore, unravelling how you think about yourself is worth exploring. Reframing your thinking can lead to significant ‘feeling’ related break through’s and that means success, if happiness is a measure for you. So why not give yourself the gift of turning this inward. How would you feel if you called yourself successful, simply for trying your best?
For me, I can’t tell you the answer to that just yet. Years upon years of this belief won’t dissolve over night. Self awareness is an important first step, but real change will take consistently reframing the thought. So that’s the work I’m doing. I’m doing that via positive affirmations and remaining aware of the related stories I tell myself. My ultimate goal? To treat myself with the same unconditional love afforded to the little ones in my life.
My favourite essential oils for healing negative self talk and strengthening self love are Rose oil & Bergamot oil. Apply Rose oil across your heart and diffuse or inhale Bergamot when practicing your affirmations.
So, I have to ask you again, how do you define success?