So I read a post today on Live Your Legend which has been sitting in my pile of things to revisit for a while. It’s the first real foray I’ve had onto that site – at least as far as I can remember – and just this one post has convinced me that I should spend more time there.
The gist of it revolved around admitting your vulnerability, understanding when you’re being inauthentic, and considering the effects that being the incorrigible optimist might have on the people around you. Check it out here, if you like.
I was hit really close to home. Part of the business culture in which I usually submerge myself is very enthusiastic, very positive, very large, and very loud. All of those things are great. They’ve contributed to lots of fantastic experiences, and I’ve met many friends there. It’s been a boon to me when I need an infusion of motivation or hope or positivity, and I think that I’ve been able to provide some of that to other people, as well.
Part of what this post reminded me of, though, is a darker side to that. There have been times when I’ve felt that I’m the only one struggling. That, even if everyone there wants me to succeed, my success isn’t critical or even significant to them. As a pessimist, a T, and maybe a depressive, that’s sometimes really hard to deal with. It’s a mark of personal failure and a hit to my pride and my confidence. I think the comment I read about the BS Meter rang really true. I’ve known people on their last legs who’ve insisted that everything was great. I’ve seen people who, as far as I could tell, were trying very hard to convince themselves of the wonderful and positive stories that they were telling. It turned me off of many of them, hard. I’ve done some of that, myself, and I wonder how that’s affected relationships of mine over the past few years.
Again, that’s not to say that the whole enterprise is bad. I believe really strongly in holding on to positives, successes, and progress. The small stuff, in particular, has kept me going as much as or more than some of the big breakthroughs – sales, achievements, licensing, etc. Remembering that, that one time, I opened my mouth to talk to a guy a thousand levels beyond where I was is pretty empowering, even though it didn’t necessarily have any bearing on any quantitative measure of my progress or success. But the struggles, too. So many struggles. I worry that I’ll disappoint my wife, that I’ll let clients down, or that I’ll drop the ball for a friend, a new agent, or a mentor. I worry that I’ll fall into the habit of hiding from success and saying that I tried, or that it was too hard, or that it wasn’t something that I really wanted, after all.
On the whole, I think that my mindset is alright, and getting better. I know that what I’m pursuing is the best chance that I’ve ever found – and I’ve looked – to find the success that I want in my life. I know that what I do for people is the best program I’ve ever come across, and that it’s objectively just really damn good. I know that I mean well towards just about everyone, and that if they don’t want what I try to offer, in terms of friendship, business, time, good vibes, whatever, then that’s not my fault. I know that, if I don’t sustain some of this amazing head of steam that I’ve been building up, I’ll have to start over soon. And I know that it terrifies me to run this track, because what if it all really starts happening? What if I suddenly find myself at the head of a team? What if they’re great people, who want and need and could have success for themselves, and I fall short? It’s tough to deal with, sometimes, and it is frequently present enough that some days I feel like I’m tripping over it left and right.
But what if I am capable? What if, even if I do fall short, I knew that others had been in the same position, and then recovered, and even continued to grow afterwards? What if I was that kind of example to someone with a burning desire for something, someday? That would be a success.