Success and the fear of not being good enough
Have you ever asked yourself why we feel shame and a sense of not being good enough?
Some people are so busy glorifying their personal success and running a business teaching this glorification as "empowerment" to others. I regard this as an old issue, particularly as we live in a world where humanity still has so much to learn to live peacefully with one another and not be destructive of its own environment.
Our minds create a trip, where we justify self-aggrandizement by saying: I am just not willing to live a small life, out of being ashamed. In this mindset, shame is still an all punishing entity which I need to be defiant of. To escape that sense of punishment, I create an exaggerated sense of permission for myself and swing to the opposite side, where I justify the thriving to become some kind of super being, super powerful, super achiever.
This has been a common male domain, but it happens amongst women too. It is an ambitiousness and self-exaltation to be a great businessman, sales or empowerment guru.
There is a glorification of greed in this mentality. Greed is a fear that there is not enough, "I am not enough," so I need to push and gather quick and hard. This greed is driven by cowardice, as you avoid your shame and your feelings of inadequacy.
I was a child when my grandmother said, "you will never be good enough..."
and then I decided to prove everybody wrong.
Don't we all have a story that somehow sounds similar? This brings a feeling of insignificance to one's awareness, that one is very small and unimportant.
This "problem" of feeling insignificant is usually solved in two ways. Either I believe it, and I become a broken helpless victim, then I might look for someone who is more powerful than I, who I can join to feel better, like;
A movement, a group, a sect, religion, a job in a company, etc. Or, I go off creating my own ambitious path of success and power and I build a muscle, read all kinds of self-help books (all more or less obvious religious), wake up every day at 5 am and workout and spend my time brainstorming how to strategically build myself a castle.
Having a job or creating something in and of itself isn't wrong. In and of themselves, none of these things are wrong. The question is whether you are using something as a means of increasing your power to escape from the feeling of powerlessness. I am talking about spending a lifetime running away from feeling this, and calling it a career.
I personally spent years chasing a dream to become a successful photographer. I envisioned to become somebody in the arts whose name is in the big magazines. I managed to become the leading assistant to a great photographer and collaborated in some prestigious magazines.
My nose was very high up in pride, and I thought I was doing a great job.
Everything I did was intended to do the best I could, to make every shoot a success for the people involved. I was focused, sharp and precise. But what I didn't see was how this was all about me. I did all of this, to be at the top and to stand out. Obviously, I didn't have many friends among the other assistants. I treated them like I was better, maybe trying to pretend I was nice and practice small-talk to pamper them, but even that is a way to keep the growing competition "befriended."
So, if you haven't checked out in a state of resentment from what I have been saying so far, I want to go into what I think is available instead.
Have you ever felt anything like insignificance, shame or the sense that your little personality and life is absolutely meaningless in this vast big world?
You have spent day in and day out working on creating something, you have a car that you drive around to "get more stuff done," you are obsessed with increasing the number of digits on your bank account and buying things. Are you running a calculation on how long it will take to reach a certain number? Eventually, you will die. All these things will be gone and you will be forgotten.
Are you in revolt about this? Are you getting defensive and telling yourself that you know all this?
Have you ever watched the things you do every day and noticed where you fight to be of importance? Haven't you been running away from feeling insignificant? I have! I have created all sorts of things to distract myself from feeling that, including moving to another country and ending relationships.
When I create my life's purpose in order to escape the feeling of insignificance, I opt into an endless repetitive struggle to be at the top.
But even being at the top is a short-lived experience that can not be maintained. Any person that may step too close to what I do inevitably becomes a threat. You have picked the path of the hamster wheel and success won't get you off the wheel. Even those that have "made it" in this world are not free from conflict. Everybody struggles to protect who they are. You might never have thought about this. Observe your everyday actions and the feelings of jealousy, hatred and conflict in yourself and you will see this for yourself. Do not believe my word but try to look into it yourself as my word has no significance.
Have you ever just looked at your shame when you are right in it, without doing anything about it? When your boss or your wife says something to you, and you feel you are not valued, have you ever watched how your mind and body start to buzz before your urge to fight comes in, and you just stood still and kept listening? Have you noticed how you talk yourself up or judged the other person to be this or that, in order to compensate for this feeling of worthlessness?
This is really hard and requires a lot of attention. And notice how you are asking here; "what should I do instead?" This question is another way to get away from the feeling of being powerless.
Have you ever allowed yourself to live inside powerlessness? Are you assuming there will be supernatural natural powers instead? Maye some spiritual magic that puts you above others. It is not different from the businessman who gains power through wealth.
When one surrenders to powerlessness, a human being emerges that is not trying to change its environment or the people around. Think about it, there can not be another way that leads one to connect with others, but to be completely defeated.
One has to watch one's own ambitions critically at all times, only then is there a chance to understand one's own motives and be free of this self-centred cycle. This is not something that happens over time, but it happens in the moment you see that you are fighting the fight of escaping your own feelings. It happens in an instant moment. You are escaping your humanity and you are thinking that you have to do it alone.
A free human being is never too little and never too much. This man is not in conflict with the law, because such man is in touch with an internal sense of right action. He will feel where the law is made to serve those in power, and that will result in such intrinsic compassion that leads him to find a purpose that serves Mankind but not the man himself.