You want to be strong? Protect yourself; fight off the competition

None of us like to appear weak; we feel we need to be better or at least equal to others in any area in which we feel insecure. We need the reassurance that we are worthy and not total failures. We hate thinking we look small in front of people so overcompensate by manipulating and augmenting the truth rather than simply admitting we’re human and it’s okay to have flaws. Today’s culture tells us that it is not only acceptable but desirable to ‘blag’ our way into everything from bars to jobs. It’s suddenly not a negative but a positive trait to show off, even if that means exaggerating or even fabricating the truth. Because our competitors are also playing this game, we have to constantly push back the parameter of wealth and exhibitionism until we become a ridiculous parody of something that was never even real in the first place; if none of us admit that we sometimes make mistakes, it puts us all under tremendous, unrealistic and unnecessary pressure. We are bringing our children into a world where possessions and status hold more importance than politeness and respect. We have reached a time when we are judged on the number of zeros in our salary, how large our house and how many, and what type of cars we own. Our media leads us to emulate the, much depicted, soulless, shallow, unempathic high flyers who flaunt their designer accessories and holiday destinations in lieu of an authentic personality. Pure and heaven forbid, compassionate souls who exhibit kindness, let alone, spirituality are snorted at derisively because…well because, it seems to me, that the baubles, number of staff, off shore bank accounts and fawning wannabes defines people who have lost so much connection with their inner selves that ostentation is all they have.

Vulnerability isn’t a weakness

In this culture of ‘more is more’, some of us believe we have no choice, if we want to succeed, than to join the growing throng of over achievers, whatever it takes.

We have grown to value the wrong things; who said we have to be bigger and better? That more followers on instagram make us more desirable? That I’m thought of as peculiar and ‘new age’ for caring more about kindness than tribe size.

We justify our thirst for status by telling ourselves that everybody else is stepping on others on their way to the top and it’s simply what needs to be done in order to be, not only noticed, but looked up to. In a sliding landscape we desperately grasp anything that even momentarily, makes us feel in control. We have allowed ourselves to be fooled into thinking we have to be the greatest and most fabulous and that our success has to be fairly instant to be worth it. It no longer cuts it, to work hard and hold ‘old-fashioned values’. Cultural norms are changing; in the days of the extended family, people used to value being part of a community and pulling together, the newest generation who never experienced that part of our history, believe that it is them against the world and that ‘the way to have power is to take it’.

See me roar

I know quite a few entrepreneurs as well as people who are high up in business. I see that they are all highly motivated and very active in their roles; they make their own luck, we could say. A lot of them are firm but gentle, ethical go-getters, but there are some who don’t seem to mind pushing people out of the way in order to attain their goals. I see Facebook memes saying things like

Life is a jungle and I am the tiger.

If you are in the way of my goals, I suggest you move.

I am who I am and I don’t care what you think of me.

As soon as we understand that our fear of showing our humaness is simply our subconscious protecting us from feeling foolish, and nothing we have to act on, we can rise to any level in society with grace and humility. Our brain’s job is to keep us alive but its over-protectiveness can hamper our progress. Once we can see that all our feelings, including those surrounding power, come from our thoughts in any moment, we gain access to our peaceful and wise inner selves and know that we need never blow out anyone’s candle in order to make ours burn more brightly,

Rewrite the rules

Cultural norms are just thoughts that people have got used to, and no longer see as thoughts; they are all made up or adopted by us. All of these norms, rules, facts and beliefs are simply made up of thoughts which is awesome news because if we were responsible for making up these rules, we can just as easily, change or remove them. We then have the power to choose which of our thoughts we want to involve ourselves; and that is our ultimate power.

It may feel odd, at first, ignoring what you thought you had to abide by, but you will soon find that you can forge your own way…and that the sky does not fall in!

I love focus, ambition and a wanting to succeed (I run several businesses myself) but I like how I no longer feel a need to either judge others or compete against them; I only want to be better than I was yesterday. I feel much softer…gentler. The interesting thing is that my businesses are doing better now I am not using up energy on worrying and needing to be the best at everything. If my businesses falter or fail, I’ll still be okay; I don’t rely on them or what they bring me to make me happy.

I know that our happiness can only ever come from within us.

Next week I’ll be blogging about so called toxic people. Until then, have a lovely week and don’t forget you are always welcome to comment or ask me questions.

Love, Catherine x

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