Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

A client was recently discussing her progress for finding a new job. She’d rewritten her resume, sent some out, and studied online job boards. After a month, she felt discouraged after not getting any bites. I reassured her but she went on to call herself a failure. I immediately explained that she should actually be proud of her SUCCESS. She looked at me like I was from Mars. How could she be successful if she hadn’t gotten a new job yet?

Because SUCCESS isn’t just the end result. Getting off your butt and taking some action is SUCCESS, when you’re enlightened enough to recognize it as such.

When you don’t get instant gratification for your efforts, do you feel down or indulge in self-pity or feel defeated or all of the above? That’s typical, but unfair. Every step in your journey to reach the ultimate goal is SUCCESS. The hardest part of that SUCCESS may be the work you do to achieve it. Yet so many folks don’t acknowledge that as an accomplishment.

My ninth and tenth books will be out early next year so I’m not a newbie to publishing. People often ask how I manage to write them. How do I get the interviews for my music biz books? In their eyes, getting the book published is my SUCCESS. Yet for me, my biggest SUCCESS is writing the proposal that sells the book. I find that part tedious. It’s a sales pitch. Writing books is pure joy—the easy part for me. Once I have the deal and can write the book, I’m reaping the benefits of SUCCESS.

People judge my SUCCESS by all the TV and radio shows I’m on. I do get a lot of press. But for me that’s the process I need to go through to continue earning my living writing. The many fan letters from folks telling me how much my writing helped them is another big SUCCESS. Every day! That’s what makes what I do worthwhile. Earning money is good since I must pay my bills. But that’s not what I celebrate as SUCCESS.

It’s easy to sit back, do nothing and complain about not enjoying your life or getting what you want. Taking the first step to accomplish something is the first SUCCESS. Not giving up is SUCCESS. Making that call you hate making is SUCCESS.

I made my client do an inventory of all she’d done. Once she began to acknowledge her efforts as small SUCCESSES and cheer herself on, she began to get calls for job interviews. More importantly, she felt better. Slowly her perception of SUCCESS broadened with her opportunities.

In the first post of my Embracing SUCCESS series, I discussed some definitions of SUCCESS of my own and from other bloggers. Periodically I’ve posted more. I haven’t been as successful as I’d have liked about posting for this series lately. My schedule has been crazy with my plate overflowing with blessings of work.

Am I guilty about slacking off? NO! I consider it a SUCCESS that I prioritized my time to get my paid writing done while still getting some posts up here.

In the past I’d have killed myself to do it all. Less sleep. More stress. And beat myself up if I couldn’t do everything. Since this behavior hurts my well-being, I curtailed it. So slacking off on this blog for a while is actually SUCCESS to me. I care about myself enough to respect limits. Taking good care of yourself SUCCESS. Others may not agree but I don’t care! I feel good because of it!

This series is intended to make you more aware of the many facets of SUCCESS. It means many things to many people. The more you recognize things that you should celebrate as SUCCESS, the better you’ll feel and the more you’ll manifest. Some points to understand are:

* Appreciating all the little things you do and have as SUCCESS is a good way to count your blessings. The more you feel gratitude, the better you’ll feel. Gratitude is a great tool for accelerating SUCCESS. Counting your blessings attracts more blessings!

* From the point of view of the Law of Attraction, the more you acknowledge as positive SUCCESS, the more successful endeavors you’ll attract. Bah humbugging the journey to your goals puts a bah humbug vibe on it. Patting yourself on the back for each little step you take, and appreciating the bigger picture of your life more, feels better than lamenting about what hasn’t worked out yet.

* Making SUCCESS less about external material acquisitions and more about intangible assets, like internal peace and satisfaction, will make you a lot happier—IF you let it of course!

Now for some more definitions of SUCCESS from other bloggers. I greatly appreciate their participation. Lorraine Cohen at Powerfull Living participated a while back, with a full post called, What’s your Definition of Success? While I linked to it then, I want to quote part of her definition, since it fits what I just talked about:

I see success as anything attempted regardless of the outcome. That’s how we learn and grow. So, I see every action as a stepping stone to bringing our desires to reality.

When you flow from one step to another, the goal you’re pursuing becomes clearer and more accessible. Dustin Wax, project manager at Lifehack as well as the blogger behind The Writer’s Technology Companion says:

Success for me is a kind of flow state. It’s not just that a project gets finished and that it meets your expectations but that one thing leads to the next. A successful project lays the groundwork for the next project, and so on, in a cycle of self-sustained growth. When all the parts of your life fit together and feed each other’s motion, that to me is a successful life.

I so love this definition! The last few months left me feeling a bit out of whack, rushing to interview people, transcribing, and writing—writing—writing, while I had to neglect activities and people. Now I’ve been expressing gratitude for getting my mojo back. It’s so true that when you’re in a good flow and life works for you, you’ve achieved the kind of SUCCESS that creates joy and satisfaction. The pursuit of money and power doesn’t! Colleen Wainwright at Communicatrix has learned the true meaning of SUCCESS and says:

For years, I measured my success by external yardsticks: money, power, lots of juice on a business card—even my status as the post-feminist version of Mrs. Somebody Else (without, you know, actually *changing*
my name, since the deed went down in a post-feminist era.)

Ironically, now I measure my success in how quickly I notice when I’m still measuring myself by those old, external standards. Because change, she is a mighty and slow process, and I’d be lying if I said I had the issue well in hand. I’m working towards being comfortable with whatever I define success as, which, at this point, is mainly being comfortable in my own skin. No external rewards for that, but the internal gratification is priceless…I think.

Internal gratification IS priceless! Colleen’s definition reminds me that my biggest SUCCESS is finding and loving me. To rip off a Master Card commercial—You might buy a house–half million, a car–40 grand, get a raise at work–$10,000. Learning to love yourself—PRICELESS! As a recovering DoorMat, I’ve come a long way from the hell I lived in when I hated myself and let people walk all over me to be liked. No matter what else happens in my life, I’ve found SUCCESS!

Being happy is SUCCESS. Sadly, I encounter many more people who aren’t happy. They may not be overtly unhappy, but they’re living without passion. MANY people pass time, like I did before I took the train out of DoorMatville, instead of grabbing life with both hands and jumping into joyful activities and people. As Jonathan Fields, at Awake @ the Wheel, says:

Success is the ability to spend the greatest amount of time absorbed in activities and relationships that fill me up, surrounded by people I cannot get enough of.

Yes! SUCCESS is having a life that fulfills you, that provides MANY reasons to smile each day. A computer techie I know works constantly. He runs from one person to another to charge his high hourly fee to help them. I asked him if he ever slowed down. Surely he must make enough money with all his long hours. He pulled out a bunch of tech toys and explained that there are more and more electronic devices being created. He has to have them all, so he needs tons of $$. I asked him if he’s happy. He looked confused. I know he’s not. He rarely smiles and is always rushing off to work or buy more.

You can buy lots of toys and clothes and other things, but you can’t buy is joy!

Creating a joyful life is an inside job. When you recognize that being happy is true SUCCESS, your priorities will go in that direction. As Scott Young at Get More from Life says:

Success is having a reason to wake up with enthusiasm each morning. If you can do that, the rest will take care of itself.

Redefine SUCCESS so you can manifest more in healthier ways. Embrace every little things that you do that improves your life and every attempt to reach a bigger goal. If you look for small SUCCESSES to acknowledge, you can feel successful every day! David Bohl at Slow Down Fast posted earlier as part of this series and has some questions that can get you thinking about what SUCCESS is in What Does Success Mean to You? The more you appreciate as SUCCESS, the better you feel!

Thanks again to Lorraine Cohen at Powerfull Living, Dustin Wax, at Lifehack and The Writer’s Technology Companion, Colleen Wainwright at Communicatrix, Jonathan Fields, at Awake @ the Wheel, Scott Young at Get More from Life, and David Bohl at Slow Down Fast for participating. Gee, I feel a bit more SUCCESSFUL from having them share their thoughts! And there will be more definitions to get you thinking in future posts!

Thanks to these blog carnivals for including this post:
Personal Hack

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