Apologies in advance as this is a pretty long Letter as I have sooo much to comment on this, and have been invited to write on it by a friend. The mirage of success that people create on social media, combined with inauthentic storytelling, our own egos, and self-limiting beliefs and all our triggers around what we perceive as luck.
Now I don’t believe necessarily in luck, as it allows us to discount the hard work that goes into what seems like opportunity. The overnight success of a band that has actually been working at their craft since they were kids, in garages and at school concerts, sweating it out. The artist that ‘suddenly made it’ after a decade of intense doubt and hard work. The person making a fortune that has sacrificed time and money in building that fortune. I will always remember Zoe Foster Blake saying to me she found it crazy when people read one of her books and said casually ‘oh, I want to write a book’ because they had no idea that she had to sacrifice every weekend for a year to produce that book. She missed parties and fun times and so much, but in the end, had a book to launch and tour that led to other books. How many people are willing to make big sacrifices and focus on their project? Not that many. But we never hear from the ones that aren’t giving it a shot, unless they come out to criticise those who are. It’s no wonder it can all get bewildering.
What success takes is preparation and work. Not necessarily the intensely hard work that we might be programmed to believe, but willingness, risk, fear, sometimes terror and putting yourself out there. I was reminded of this recently as someone dear to me, a meditation teacher, was upset because they felt all the other meditation teachers seemed to make it happen seamlessly. Also, a limiting belief that if your intention to make a difference in others lives was there that you didn’t need to put in the work, and should effectively just be supported by the universe! Nothing could be further from the truth!
My friend referenced a few teachers in meditation, an executive coach they loved, and a spiritual mentor, as to why they believed everyone else was killing it and they were not, and we debunked a lot of it. One coach and speaker had a behind the scenes team of 6 and an immense advertising budget. Another might claim on Instagram that they just tapped into consciousness and manifested all their students but the truth was they sent newsletters, did facebook ads, were on Instagram and hustled hard with celebrities. Another was posting a glamorous life of success but was struggling financially. I love it when people keep it real, and are honest about how hard it is. I cannot even express how hard I have worked, passionately, with purpose and at times exhausting levels of effort to build The Broad Place. It did not happen overnight, it’s been over 6 years in the making. It has been Arran, and a small team of people, and the unending support from our students and followers who have helped also.
The challenge is we have too much access to people talking about their success, and our ego simply loves the opportunity to highlight this as a contrast to how poorly we might be doing. I know someone who is making a few thousand dollars a year part-time as a coach and is deep sighing over comparing themselves to a more successful corporate coach. I also know another making millions in self-development comparing themselves to Oprah as the goal! We all have our moments, our doubts and our challenges.
Rather than comparing, whining and having a melt, we need to get back to the grassroots work. Am I aligned to what I actually want? What am I prepared to do about it? What can I actually be doing rather than thinking about what I ‘should’ be doing? What can I do with what I have, rather than waiting for an imagined future?
Let’s roll our sleeves up.
Sent with love,