For personal and professional success, we are often told to “think big”, encouraged to create a BIG vision for our life. Particularly in career/business, advice is often anchored around letting go of small limited goals and to go for the biggest outcome you could possibly imagine. We're encouraged to grow any venture/endeavor as big as we could make it! And, you might ask, why wouldn't you?
It's easy to absorb that advice and then define your goals/business around this idea of BIG. I'd like to encourage you to take a different approach to initially defining your goals and vision.
If you're compelled to create something big, a national or global business, an empire, an expansive network, a multi store or multi office business, a franchise network… then do that. But not everyone wants the same thing. Not everyone wants a BIG business, or a BIG career position at the top of the proverbial ladder, or a BIG goal, or a BIG endeavor because in reality, big careers and big businesses and big goals and big endeavors often come with big responsibilities, and some complexity, and certain accountability and challenges.
The key is this – if the really BIG ideas and BIG business models and BIG goals make you excited and inspired and filled with possibility, creativity and enthusiasm for life… then go with that. If they don't, then you need to work with the idea, business model and/or goal (personal or professional) THAT DOES drive you and fuels your enthusiasm and makes you want to get out of bed every day.
Define What Success Really Means to You
“Success” is not what society tells you it is. Success is not what a business coach or mentor tells you that you need to achieve in order to really “make it”. Success is not having any particular outcome or thing. Success in life is what YOU define it as in terms of what will make you feel good, feel fulfilled, feel balanced (health/wellbeing/lifestyle) and what speaks to your heart.
So success to you will be different to success for the next person. You have to know what success looks like for you personally, and then you think and act in alignment with that model…
Are You Living in Alignment with Your Version of Success?
Notice – what are you focusing on achieving in your life right now? What is it that you say you want?
Now – if you don't have what you want yet, and you're struggling to create it, consider that there might be a CONTRADICTION of some type going on.
Either (A) YOU personally are not aligned to your goal. Your inner beliefs/thoughts/feelings and your outer actions don't line up to what you want. You say you want that goal but there is an adjustment to be made with how you are being or what you are doing before you'll be able to achieve it.
(B) Your GOAL is not aligned to you. The goal is simply not what you truly want, and so there is an adjustment to be made to what you are aiming for/focusing on and trying to create.
It's all about authentic ALIGNMENT. Wherever contradiction exists, you solve it with alignment. You won't achieve a goal that you don't really personally want – that doesn't align to your own version of success. You can't fool yourself. If you set a goal and it's society's idea of success, but underneath a part of you knows that achievement of that goal would not fit with your values or with your preferred way of living/lifestyle, or that goal achieved would put you in a position that you personally deem to be problematic in some way (more exposure, more responsibility, more room for failure, more complexity etc) then you won't achieve it. You'll likely self-protect (knowingly or unknowingly) to stay away from those things.
Likewise – you won't achieve a goal that you do really want, if the way you are currently thinking/feeling and acting isn't lined up with that type of result.
So today I encourage you to consider in your own life where is there any CONTRADICTION happening in your life – between what you say you want and what you are really thinking, feeling and doing. When you notice a contradiction then you can get into ALIGNMENT. That is, align your way of being and your way of doing with your own personal heart felt goals (your version of success). You either adjust yourself, or you adjust your goal.
It's so important to have really authentic goals that speak to what we truly want and what we deem to be meaningful and important, not goals that are aligned to what others suggest we should want, or what society tells us is good for us and what society says “success” is.
The New World model of conscious living is about CHOOSING our own definition of success and being conscious creators of our reality to that personally chosen success model. So rather than focusing on setting big goals to achieve big things, I encourage you to let go of caring about whether your goals/dreams/vision are big or small, and to simply set authentic goals to achieve meaningful success for yourself – whatever that is for you. No matter how big or small that is logistically, no matter what that looks like in comparison to what anyone else is doing, please trust your own intuition and stay aligned to that compass.
With love, Bernadette
What a timely post, thank you! I’ve always struggled with “what to do”, felt I needed to do something big and significant with my artistic side. Friends often suggest…you should make this, or do that, but nothing really clicks. Trying to figure it out was always a source of anguish. Just this week I decided to forget about that and just focus on having fun, to stop trying so hard. I already have a successful, although health field related, position. I have decided that I will view that as the source that pays for my artistic exploration and relax. It’s a relief. Maybe something will arise out of that, maybe not. Whatever! Your article has given me more to think about, but has also helped validate my choice. Thanks again-
Hi Michelle, wise words… it is often when we stop trying so hard and relax, have fun in the moments, and allow life to unfold (following our nudges, intuition and passions) that we get surprised (pleasantly!).
If you are caught in anguish, upset, frustration or confusion about your path or “finding” your passion/purpose, it’s often a sure sign it’s time to stand back and reassess. Often that reassessment is simply about adjusting our own inner perspective and allowing ourselves to be with the uncertainty, to remember our life is a co-creative process and we’re not meant to have all the answers all the time.
I love your attitude and I’m sure more flow and peace will evolve out of it.
With warmest wishes to you!