Insecurity was alive and well at a conference recently; I was surrounded by really successful women.
It’s funny the way insecurity pops up in our lives. At this conference, no one looked particularly insecure. In fact, I thought everyone looked completely confident and happy. I would say they looked “normal.”
Not any smarter than I was.
Not any more pulled together than I was.
Not any better dressed than I was.
But in my mind, they were more successful than I was, because they were making a lot more money. I found it completely inspiring. My thought was, “they did it, so can I.”
When you think about the word “success”, what does it mean to you?
Webster’s Dictionary defines success as “a state of prosperity or fame.” “Prosperity” means “a successful, flourishing or thriving condition especially in financial respects; good fortune.”
I have done a lot of thinking about what success means to me. My personal definition has changed a bit over the years too. I used to think of success as the perfect combination of education and income. Now that I’m in my 50s, I think of it more as the perfect combination of flexibility, income and an awesome family life.
But at a female-oriented business conference that focused on sales and team-building, I found myself thinking about the meaning of success solely as income. These women came from all walks of life and were all different ages. In my mind, the ones winning awards had figured it all out. They had made it and they also made it happen for themselves. I was impressed. I was in awe. I couldn’t wait to get to know them better and learn from them.
At the end of the weekend, we had a breakout type session for our team. We were asked to go around the room and speak briefly about our “aha” moments from the conference. One by one, we each stood up and shared a little tidbit that blew us away. It was pretty easy to do because the conference was amazing and we all learned so much.
But… then something surprising happened.
Several of the super successful women started to cry when it was their turn to share.
One talked about her extreme insecurity in groups. Another shared that she questioned her ability to lead her team. Another explained how hard it was to come to the conference alone. It went on and on. And then one of the gals from the UK joked that her “stiff upper lip” prevented her from crying at all. But even some hard core “non criers” were sobbing.
I think I was standing there with my jaw actually on the floor. These women who were earning amazing incomes (way more than the national average) and had super successful businesses, were just scared little girls on the inside, full of insecurity…like the way we used to feel in junior high. They felt alone and unsure; but clearly, they were not alone. And they were doing a lot right.
These women were really struggling even though they appeared so successful and strong…to me and to most others in the room. We were looking at them with admiration throughout the conference. We wanted to do what they did to be where they were. They had no idea.
I watched silently as this all played out. Woman after woman, tissue after tissue.
Being a life coach, I eventually just had to say something.
“Ladies, I’m a life coach.”
Everyone cracked up and said I could make a lot of money with this group.
I continued. “I’m standing here listening to all of you fabulous women share your fears and insecurities and I’m just shocked at the disconnect between your success and what’s going on in your mind.”
Then I pointed out that much of what they were stating as absolute fact wasn’t factual at all. Instead, they were talking about thoughts that they believed were facts. There’s a big difference. I shared that when you understand the difference between circumstances (facts) and what we think ABOUT the facts, the picture is very different. We all have the power to change our thoughts. Thoughts create feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions produce results. They are all related and results prove your thoughts. If we’re not happy with the results we’re getting in our lives, we need to circle back to what we’re thinking. That’s where it all begins.
Even though I’m a woman myself, I was surprised at what I witnessed. My own thoughts about success are my own thoughts, created from the way I think about the circumstances in my life. My thoughts are what I make the facts in my life mean.
It’s so common to do this.
We respond to circumstances in our lives because of the thoughts we have about them. Not because of the actual circumstances.
This is HUGE and can be life changing.
As a midlife coach, I help you and women like you sort all of this out. We limit ourselves when we state our thoughts as facts. As older and wiser women in our 40s and 50s, we’ve often been living with and believing these thoughts for decades. Thoughts can be changed. It’s not always easy, but it can be done! How empowering is that?
My life coach practice is all about really living “midlife unplugged” and making your next decade or two more intentional. It’s time for us to finally get clarity and perspective on our minds. Shake things up. Figure things out. Take a close look at our limiting beliefs, which are just thoughts. We owe that to ourselves!
I have an awesome FREE download to help you regret-proof your life – click here: www.suzyrosenstein.com/dreamigniter. You can also check out the different ways to work together. Click here: https://suzyrosenstein.com/coachingwithsuzy/