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Rianna has been a fiercely aggressive girl throughout her school life. Though her level of intelligence outperformed many of her peers, she was antsy during every test of her school life. Her zeal for the perfect score augmented with each passing day. Even if she got one answer wrong she would feel worthless.
Her striving for achievement followed her to college as well. Despite all her capabilities and exceptional qualities she graduated with below average marks. Though she had an impressive Curriculum Vitae filled with awards, extra curricular activities and other ancillary achievements , every time she added an activity to her list of achievements she felt rush of adrenaline which made her feel on top of the world!
Rianna’s insatiable quest for making an interminable list of her achievements took a devastating toll on her health, obliterating all her BIG dreams which she was capable of.
The incessantly brewing anxiety led her to having Panic attacks which eventually developed into debilitating panic disorder. The panic attacks were infact her body’s and mind’s way of screaming out for help. Their way of saying, “I’ll make you stop since you won’t listen”!
During those anxiety-ridden days, the panic made it impossible for her to live a successful life garnished with achievements. Suddenly, her biggest accomplishment was simply making it through the day or going to the grocery store alone. She felt worthless without academics or a steady job.
Suddenly she was forced to redefine the ideas of self-worth. She realized that chasing her worth based on one accomplishment after another was making her feel dud.
In our mundane lives, we all need to understand that self-worth runs so much deeper than what we can prove through achievements. We have to learn that “ I am worthy simply because I exist, and nothing more”.
In such cases, Redefining the word success really helps:
We all need to stop and ask ourselves what a successful life would be like. For me, a successful life would be spending the day doing things I love. It would be having loving relationships that teach me and help me grow. It would be making a positive impact, however small, with my work. Success doesn’t have to mean money or recognizable accomplishment.
After I defined what success looks like to me, I realized I’m already living that life.
As Rianna was busy chasing some unattainable dream of success, she didn’t realize she had it all along.
When you find yourself gripped with unworthiness, ask yourself what success would look like to you, and you alone. Are there ways in which you’re already living a successful life, based on your definition? The answers might surprise you.