On Success

Is it possible for you to dream and hold a vision without being attached to the outcome?

Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee
Nov 04, 2013
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I’ve been in my head over the last three days and the only way I can describe it is like being lost in a maze. From inside the maze, I imagine that the only way out is to try and find the right path, yet all paths lead back to the same place, stuck.

My husband Jonathan says to me, “I guessed where you were when I saw the Amazon deliveries arriving.”

Yes… that’s right, I took the old path of books, which have been recommended to me by people I value and trust. Yet those books kept me in the maze, grabbing at information and seeking outside of myself for answers.

I knew I had to get out in nature and ground myself.

Eventually I heeded the call.

The wind was blowing through the trees in the woods near us.

As it pushed the hair back off my face and I breathed in deeply, I felt a sense of peace and alignment.

The dog and I meandered along as acorns fell to the ground like hail stones. I stopped to collect a few and as I did was reminded by a quote I had just read by Martin Luther.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

In that moment I woke up and could see the exit from the maze marked clearly. I thought to myself, “what if an acorn only let go of the tree and fell to the ground when it was guaranteed that it would become an oak tree?”

It would never fall. The risk would probably seem too great. It would cling to the safety of the tree and that would create the self-defeating prophecy that it would never grow into an oak tree.

That’s what I was doing. I was clinging on to the need to have everything be wildly successful in order to prove my worth. It was driving me to take endless paths of trial and effort, only to have it all come back to the same point, stuck.

How often do we mortal beings try and control our outcomes?

In an attempt to know what’s on the other side of our edge, we explore and analyse, instead of taking the real steps we need to make progress.

The planning and information that we think we need is actually the very source of our procrastination. It’s a defence to keep us safe from the notion that whatever action we take will result in either success or failure.

Whenever I make success or failure mean something about me personally, I procrastinate. When I let that old story I heard in school of, “Tries hard but….” drive my behaviours in the present, I’ve lost before I’ve even started.

When I need success to prove that I am good enough, then I self-sabotage with very justifiable and endless preparations. There is one purpose with those sabotages and that is to avoid the pain of standing out, getting it wrong and failing.

The irony is that I create my reality. Of course I fail because I’m avoiding jumping in.

The Gift?

Next time you catch yourself in a similar maze to mine… why not ask yourself this question…

What would it be like to allow yourself to do the thing that you long for anyway without needing it to be a success?
Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee

Vanessa Anstee

Life Coach

I'm inspired by who you can be without apology and I want to help you let your real self shine. I've been a life coach for 10 years. I've always been a seeker trying to discover a way of being in life that feels soulful, authentic and aligned to what my heart wants not what my head thinks I should have, be or do. I spent 20+ year career in HR, OD, talent management and executive coaching. My kids were my biggest wake up. I saw the way I was working wasn't working anymore. I couldn't keep pushing myself harder. I had to accept I couldn't attain this perfected version of myself that I had strived most of my life to achieve. I had to find love not from accolades and other people's acceptance but from deep inside me. That's when I learnt to connect to my heart, heal my childhood wounds and fears of never being enough and set light to my passion in a completely new way. I want one thing for my clients. Be real. Be themselves, fall madly in love with that person and honour their soul's calling.

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