Are you a Success? | Celebrate What's Right With the World
Are you a Success?
by Tania Carriere
July 13, 2019 - 2:33pm

A dear friend is sitting on the couch across from me. There is a look of sleeplessness and worry on her face. She is, by her own admission, weary under the weight of the questions and fear – big, gut cramping fear- that swirls around her decision to close down her dream.

 

Two years ago she opened a boutique restaurant and today she is announcing that she is closing the doors. She slumps, cringing in defeat and shame, and confesses, no, she apologizes for proving the naysayers right and for being a failure.

 

I listen.

And when I can’t take it any more, I lean in.

You’ve got this all wrong.

This is a time for champagne.

And a little defiance.

 

I am so tired of being subjected to ads that promise me they hold the key to my “success”. What really irks me is in this promise of a six-figure income or vast blog reach, they presume to know what MY success looks like and that it is defined in how BIG and DOMINATING I am.

 

This kind of thinking is so destructive. I am tired of this narrative about how we should judge our days. And so when I see the face in front of me, shattered from the belief that she is not a success, the warrior in me reaches for her sword.

 

I refuse to succumb the word “success” anymore. That word has been hijacked and polluted. Instead of compelling or inspiring to greatness, I see it harm and diminish both clients and friends.

 

I’d rather talk about fulfillment, joy, meaning, or whatever word makes me and them smile longingly. My personal favourite is Glorious.

 

I arrive back at the table (‘cause there is ALWAYS a bottle of champagne in the fridge; I am vigilant for celebration worthy moments)…

 

I am going to pop this cork,

we are going to talk about what we are celebrating.

Tell me about being Glorious.

 

Because here’s how I see it.”

 

It was glorious when you felt the beginnings of a dream and you dared to believe in yourself and the vision you had, instead of the much easier route of ignoring it, talking yourself out of it or worse yet, pretending you didn’t even hear your own soul speaking in the first place. Glorious.

 

That day you looked at the naysayers who wanted you to favour safety over inspiration, thanked them for their concern and then went about finding financing and partners who would share and shoulder your dream. Glorious.

 

The guts it took to resist the shortcuts, the cheaper but value-bending options, the dismissive bankers, all while standing, feet wide in your own power pose. Glorious.

 

The soft humbleness through which you found the courage to seek advice, shift your plans, dream up the community that would surround you, create a brand, invite your first customer in. Glorious.

 

The integrity with which you took responsibility for your creation, staying up at night to look over the numbers for the 100th time, make difficult choices, all the while holding fiscal responsibility, blaming no one, not the economy or the clients, but working hard to overcome the events that influenced the pressures on your business. Glorious.

 

You were the master of your life, you dared, risked, loved, brought to life, delighted; all on your own two feet. True, you did not see the doors open into year 3. Yup, you missed that target. But that is NOT the thing that defines you.

 

Success is a state that you have a right to define for yourself. And if you define it as a succession of moments in which you were “glorious”, well then, that changes everything, doesn’t it?

 

Why do we take glory and success away from one another? Why do we hold each other and ourselves up to impossible standards? When did we stop celebrating the experience, the daring and the journey only to focus on the ending and outcome (and then only validating that if it has Amazon’s reach or Oprah’s endorsement)?

 

It takes bravery to reclaim the right to define our success.

 

We have to start putting weight on the things that really matter to us and to do the hard work of owning the measures to which we will account our days. Do you know what they are for you?  

 

How many times have I started to answer someone’s question about my company, a coaching and retreat practice that allows me to live my best life, sharing my gifts in a way that brings me exquisite meaning and joy and makes a deep contribution to those I work with, and I hear …yes but, what about profit margin, the perils of not being scalable or can I really consider it a success if I am not on Oprah’s radar?

 

Seriously?

 

And how many champagne-worthy moments have I let pass me by because I was caught up in success-rhetoric that I don’t even believe in. Staying focused on what matters to me is a daily endeavour. And I can admit to you, I often get sucked into my own self-minimizing language and shame as I shrug and say, “well, you are probably right, there many out there who do what I do, and are better positioned to be a success… but at least I am happy..?”

 

But just when I start to lose my own wrestling match with worthiness, beautiful reminders come in and save the day.  Just yesterday I added to my own list of Glorious, when my best friend’s mother leaned in, kissed me on the cheek and said, “I love what you are doing with your life.”

 

Champagne-worthy, fist pumping moment….‘cause so do I.

Touching another’s heart, risking my vulnerability to follow my dream. Telling my truth and being seen for who I am.

Glorious.  

And in the end, isn't that the bottom line?

 

There is success for all of us if we dare to claim it.

What is your Glorious?

 

In celebration, Tania

 

***

Tania is soon opening registration for The Re-Imagined Self (Jan 2020) and The Art of Seeing Possibly with Dewitt Jones (Feb 2020), both in Molokai Hawaii. Come and reclaim your own Glorious.

Join the first to know list by emailing Tania@advivum.ca

Cathy Drew on July 14, 2019 - 6:18am

Absolutely GLORIOUS, Tania!!!  And of course, timely!  I was just out in the garden counting my blessing.  "Thank you, dear earth and sun, wind and morning mist, insects, birds, and animals, and the scrumptious, electrifying spirit in all life.  Thank you for your beauty, abundance, and generosity ... for your wild and cultivated artistry and nourishing green things that inspire and feed body, mind, heart, art, and spirit ..."  I leisurely strolled back into the kitchen with a Cheshire-cat grin; two baskets of herbs, veggies, and flowers; and a plethora of mouth-watering thoughts about what I might make for breakfast.

Filled with the yumminess of sunrise in my garden and not quite hungry yet, I decided to look at the list of things I wanted to attend to today.  A list longer than I could complete in a day, not even two, my garden-glow started subtly being replaced by feeling weighted and pressured.  

To distract me from that overloaded feeling I jumped onto our uplifting Celebrate What's Right FB site ... and there, right at the top, was the link to your brilliant blog post! How am I defining success (business success, health success, relationship success) that one glance at my list could so easily dampen my light-hearted feelings?  

Yikes ... in almost all territories my definition of success is BIG and requires varying degrees of HEROIC actions.  I cut short the glow and afterglow of the millions of beautiful, magical, glorious moments in every day.  My accounting system is skewed toward tracking more of what I haven't accomplished and less of what I have.

It's time to redefine success.  Time to have a blast tracking and celebrating the profusion of champagne-worthy moments that fill each day and that I have created in this almost 70 years of life adventure.    

Thank you, dear luscious, glorious Tania, for the reminder and wake up call!!!

Dearest Cathy, 

First of all I would love to sit at your table and share that garden bounty with you. It sounds so divine! 

But this line "My accounting system is skewed toward tracking more of what I haven't accomplished and less of what I have." is absolutely GLORIOUS! what a perfect statement. it is so common for so many of us to spend out time looking at the things not yet done, not yet accomplished, only to whip ourselves into a frenzy of busy-ness and lose sight of the joy in it all. 

I also just love that you use the Celebrate Site to find a moment of respite and joy in your day! You made all us here shout "GLORIOUS!" when we read that!! The best to you, stay in touch!! T 

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