What story do you tell yourself about your success?


We all create a narrative around ourselves and the world we live in. This narrative is not always consciously known to us but nevertheless very influential.

Thanks to the fact that mental health, spirituality, and everything with the prefix “Neuro…” became mainstream topics available in more or less relevant and informed dosages via all sorts of channels, we’ve learned a lot about our narratives. What a trigger is, for example. That we have dysfunctional beliefs. How deep trauma can affect your entire system … and so forth.

But a very important part of our narrative is not that often considered:

Why do you think you are successful?

In a conversation, you might look away now. Blush a little and say something like “But am I successful though?” Luckily, we are not in a face-to-face conversation, so let’s skip that part.

Because even if you don’t believe (or want to admit) that you are successful in terms of money, fame, status, impact, [insert your criteria here], each of us has figured out a way to get along in this life and to meet the world’s requirements. (If not, you would not read this.) And for most of the people reading this text, these are requirements related to work.

If you work any kind of job, you have an idea in your head what brought you to the point where you are right now. Was it your intellect / rational mind, creativity, energy, operational excellence, or people skills? If you look closely, you’ll find something you rely on to get you through this world.

And although it sometimes might feel weird thinking or talking about this, it is incredibly important to find out what skill/mindset/trait you’re building your life on. Because this is where one of the most fundamental shadows of your personality is born.

For example, if you are building your life on your rational mind and its capacity, subconsciously you’ll do everything to avoid losing this aspect of who you are. Emotions become a threat and need to be suppressed or compartmentalized.

If your vitality and energy are what helped you go “the extra mile”, losing this physical energy for example through aging or illness, becomes not acceptable.

As a human being, it’s almost impossible to avoid creating such a narrative that includes some parts and excludes others. But if we want to grow and become more resilient (especially in times like these), we need to understand not only what hurts and triggers us but also what makes us feel strong and successful.
Not to rely on it even more, but ideally to rely on it … less.

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