You can’t really think about success without considering what drives people.
What has driven you to be the person you are and to do the things you have done?
Once we hit midlife, these questions can become all the more critical as we find ourselves either in the space of dissatisfaction or the hallowed ground of contentment. (which ironically, unnerves many of us)
Many of us are driven by a strong need to find love, appreciation, the value in ourselves and our lives. Attempting to fill that void in our hearts and stop that voice in our head that says we are not enough.
I have never met a driven person who isn’t running away from something, often the pain of their past, or chasing something, often inner peace and I have met a lot of driven people.
And I have to tell you, inner peace is not found through a chase, and our past cannot be shattered by distance. It sits with us like some pesky little child poking our shame at who we are today.
Finding peace with it is essential and, at times, treacherous work.
There is that beautiful saying ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great fight’ (attributed to Plato however this is also disputed) and I don’t know about you, it is a fight I have fully engaged in most of my life.
The fight with ourselves and that gap that exists between who we believe we are and who it is we wish to be.
It is fraught with the intensity of trying to find the sweet spot of self-acceptance & unconditional love.
The idea that we are not enough haunts many of us which can lead to behaviour to justify our existence.
It is an empty hole, and I doubt that it can be filled by the constant seeking of achievement.
It is certainly not filled by moving faster into our lives.
When you operate from that deep, dark cavern, it is a bit like trying to satisfy a need for love with promiscuity and a desire for wealth with over-spending. It doesn’t work and more often leave us sad and depleted while attempting to mend the damage behaviours like this ultimately create.
What is one to do?
How do we fill that void, stop that voice?
Do we ever reach the liberty that is given when we finally believe deep within our soul we are indeed, enough?
I believe we can as long as we understand it is a journey that requires courage, vulnerability and raw honesty.
Acceptance is vital – not treating ourselves like we are the enemy. Like we are to blame for it all and need to be punished for our inadequacies.
We can get caught into that pattern of thinking negatively about ourselves then berating ourselves because we are thinking negatively about ourselves. Doesn’t make sense on paper let alone in reality.
Forgiveness is crucial, and a deep understanding that perfection is bullshit and not to be found. By anyone. Those that live under the guise of being perfect stand on the edge of a cliff toying with the fall below.
And the power of kindness and grace cannot be overlooked. Beginning with ourselves.
When we cannot find kindness in our heart towards who we are, it is nigh on impossible to find it towards those around us. And others do not deserve the king hits that come from people who feel ugly inside.
You, like me, are managing through your life in the hope that you will love, you will learn, and you will leave a legacy of some level of greatness.
And you, like me, can only begin with yourself and understanding that you are here and for that reason alone, you are enough.