“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds” – Orison Swett Marden
One of the things I repeatedly notice in both myself and clients (particularly those who have had trauma and abuse), is that they have an overwhelming sense of lost time and opportunities and are determined to create big, fast changes.
They are absolutely driven to do everything in their power to become different on a cellular level, to master themselves and re-wire their physiology.
Every day becomes an adventure in creating change and learning how to apply new tools and unwind and unravel the tortuous etchings of the past embedded in the psyche and to eliminate automatic responses, reactions and pain pathways from their body and mind.
These people may not have achieved even one percent of what they are capable of during their years of pain and suffering and have probably never been able to connect with their potency and capacities or to enjoy creating with them.
This discovery alone is such a wonderful, empowering and freeing thing to experience as part of a healing journey and often leads to many great accomplishments that contribute to our ongoing transformation.
However it is also the source of much impatience and there may be a sense that stopping to savor success is a waste of time.
Until people get to a sort of invisible ‘tipping point’ where pain avoidance stops being their dominant driver for change, pausing to let success sink in is terrifying. This fear is two fold. Firstly, stopping may result in lost momentum which is unthinkable.. Secondly, if success is acknowledged and embodied, it will disappear again too (like it did after the original trauma).
Typically instead, they will keep going, not yet quite able to experience and enjoy the plethora of newly revealed possibilities available and unable to fully embrace life in the now – at least until they are much further along the healing journey.
Issues can arise when we have made so much progress, so quickly, that beyond a momentary shake of the head and ‘Woah, this is getting better”, we aren’t stopping to ENJOY the process, nor EMBODY the positive FEELINGS associated with our new found SUCCESS.
Rather than being an unnecessary distraction from our incredible progress, stopping to soak in our wins, absorb and integrate them, is a much needed discipline and area for attention and big gains. What it really does is create pathways in the brain that facilitate us to feel safe and ascend to new levels of success in the years to come.
What can you start doing to accept the fact that whether or not your ‘past struggles’ are over, it’s okay to stop and enjoy success and own it? The more we do that, the more of a platform we create off which to stretch ourselves further…
1. ACCEPT YOU HAVE COURAGE IN SPADES OR YOU WOULDN’T HAVE SURVIVED
Start valuing this about yourself and know that your soul chose to out-create your previous set of circumstances, so you could create greater for yourself and others.
This is not a happy accident, rather, in enduring the unthinkable, you have become resilient and wise.
This is cause for celebration, because few people possess such amounts of determination, persistence and stick ability. Traumatized people who persist with change/healing until they get to a place where they embrace working towards self mastery, their life is easy and they are sane, confident and free, are incredibly rare.
Most people who are comfortable in their lives become complacent in the life path they have chosen and will never discover what they are capable of. They have never put their head above the parapet to examine what else might be possible, because they’ve never had to. Just think of the tortoise and the hare by way of analogy…
TIP: Your courage and the skills you have learnt in deconstructing your past will place you on a trajectory to create amazing things. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH! No one ever tells you this and if people knew, I think more would choose a true path to consciousness that is sustainable and all consuming.
What you will be capable of in time to come is far greater than someone who has never endured.Keep going and trust that your path is the way it is for a reason.
2. HAVE SOME FRIENDS YOU CAN VERBALIZE YOUR SUCCESSES TO, WHO DON’T THINK YOU’RE A STUCK UP A-HOLE FOR DOING SO
This is a GAME CHANGER.
I was in my 40s before I had people in my life like this (or certainly who I could receive from and create this type of friendship with). If your mates drag you down, don’t get what you’re about and laugh at your successes, you need some other friends.
I love talking to my friends about their successes and sharing mine. Too many people use shared pain points to create relationships from. This is always a mistake and although it feels safe and familiar, it won’t point you in the right direction. It will hold you back.
TIP: Speaking aloud your successes let’s the Universe know you value them and you want more of the same, so it will help you create more conditions for future success. What we don’t acknowledge/value gets lost/taken away.
When we commune with others on the subject of our success the gains multiply.
3. GET DONE WITH YOUR COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AND FOCUS ON THE NOW
Cognitive dissonance isn’t comfortable, but learning to reconcile the old version of you with how you feel in the present and who you are becoming is essential, to create the success you desire.- Rose Aitken
Sometimes when the contrasts are great between the old and the new, people shut down their good work and go backwards, because it’s too scary that where they were is painful, where they are is unfamiliar/painful and where they want to go is overwhelming. This is different from grief, but can be a part of it. It is more akin to an ‘adjustment of the psyche’.
It can be confronting and create feelings of surreal-ness and the conflict in belief systems between thinking like a victim and stepping into one’s power, can be challenging at first. I’m well used to soothing clients (and myself) through this stuff, which tends to pop up from time to time.
When thoughts pop up that look like:
“This is so frustrating having to learn this at *insert age here*”
“I’m so bummed that I had to go through all of that and I’ve got to make up for so much lost time”,
“It’s easy for them, they haven’t had to deal with all this sh*t”
Just know you’ve been through far worse and feeling topsy turvy is a natural reaction to big change, fear, ego old patterning, conditioning and the discomfort of change.
TIP: Trust yourself, trust the process and keep focusing forwards. Recognize moments of CD when they arise and allow them.
Have a good coach or support team who can steer you through the pitfalls of major change with confidence and ease.
4. REALIZE YOU’LL HAVE THROW BACK MOMENTS AND YOU ARE SAFE, IT’S NOT SELF SABOTAGE AND YOU’RE NOT ABOUT TO LOSE IT ALL
It’s quite freaky on the change journey when old fears/anxieties/physical reactions/insecurities rear their heads and you may react an old way in a new situation or friendship. You may really judge yourself and feel bad and wrong and you may be very confused.
Know that it’s normal and natural to struggle, doubt, have oops moments and make the odd stuff up. You’re human and you’ve been through much. It’s okay.
TIP: What’s really important here is that you release the energy of that experience in whatever way works for you, realign with your intentions for success, make amends or clarify things and carry on.
Learn from what happened, seek support and establish how you can do better next time. Look at what was triggered and see this moment as an opportunity to get better, practice, refine and develop so you become more confident and unshakeable.
5. WHEN YOU HAVE A WIN, STOP, SIT WITH IT, BREATHE IT IN, FEEL THE FEEL THE FEELINGS OF ACCOMPLISHMENT AND CONNECT WITH GRATITUDE
To me, this is where the rubber hits the road. By doing this, you start to retain and be present with new sensations and absorb into your physiology, positive feelings about yourself. As someone who has been in an awful hurry to make up for lost time through much of her recent years, I can’t recommend this strategy enough.
If you don’t do this, you will miss opportunities to enjoy the journey which is critical to long term sustainability. You will also have a physiology that doesn’t quite stand up to criticism or challenge in quite the same way as someone who had taken time to do this.
Expressing gratitude is an important part of this formula. For the opportunities you have made, for your talents and abilities and for the inspiration that arrives through you and for the help and support made available to you. The more we acknowledge this stuff, the more it becomes part of who we are on a fundamental level.
TIP: Your body is important as it facilitates all of your vitality, achievements and accomplishments. Your wiring, circuitry and neural pathways are important and need the opportunity to expand, adjust and adapt to your new ways of being and your wins.
6. CULTIVATE THE UNIQUE QUALITIES/PERSPECTIVES/INSIGHTS AND AWARENESSES YOU HAVE DEVELOPED ALONG THE WAY – ENJOY KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW & BECOME OF SERVICE
This is the part that makes the suffering worthwhile more than anything else.
“Eventually one comes to accept that, their pathway has been necessary to become the person that is here and now, regardless of missed opportunities or the pain that has stimulated and birthed our transformation. If your life had been ordinary, most likely you would be too”. Rose Aitken
Most free thinkers didn’t get that way from an average, mediocre existence. Usually it has taken rigorous self examination, years of suffering and exploration of the human condition to get there. The wisdom that comes from transcending dysfunction, abuse, trauma and limitations to become reconnected, powerful and whole is priceless.
Usually if one has really chosen consciousness, their ego will have been ground into the dirt a million times and they will have adopted completely different values, ones that support a holistic and soul perspective of the human experience.
Treasure this (and yourself), cultivate and share it around and you become valuable and of service in ways that our unhealed self can’t even perceive. There is such extreme joy and blissfulness available in getting to here, because in the process you come to know your soul and your reason for being.