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Success, what does it really mean?

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The word success is coming up a lot lately.  Everywhere I turn I seem to find something to read about it.  At times I start reading about one thing and low and behold it becomes about success.  I suppose with our anthology getting close and the fact that I promised myself the novel will follow, and my website now a modest reality, the word has become implanted in my eyeballs and my brain.  Connected somehow to all of this is the post I did on having people’s backs. It keeps playing a tune in my head whilst I am trying to do other things. It’s always the same tune – there is more here to say. 


I think success and having someone’s back goes together.  Without people backing you it is a hard lonely road just living never mind starting a new venture.  That venture could take the form of a new career, a new job, a new relationship, a new town, a new anything; in fact it can take any form.  The common thread is without support around you success becomes singularly lonely and that isn’t any fun at least not by my measure of success.  Sometimes that support has been as little as asking, just asking how it is going, it being me or my work or my pot plants or these days reading the occasional post and letting me know. 
  
I am currently overwhelmed. (Yes again!!!) Time is drawing near to publishing the scribbling of the last five years after too many years to mention of day dreaming instead.   I am not afraid that perhaps people may not like my work.  That might sound strange but I respect that right on their behalf.  It is the reader’s right to choose to like or not and a right I engage in constantly so denying it to others makes no sense. This is not about writing best sellers no matter the wishing and hoping but about people trying to do more in life, or taking on something new and succeeding because those around them offer their support.  The same principles apply in whatever endeavour people choose. To stay buoyant and confident by yourself is very difficult, not impossible but difficult.  Certainly there are traits we need to develop to become more confident and I do believe strongly that we need the courage within ourselves but with the support of family and friends and surprisingly quite often strangers the journey is so much better.  Better again when we in turn do the same for others.

As a writer, a budding writer with a new website (hint to go visit, well maybe not just yet as there is still work to be done but just in case www.brstrickland.com ) I always write reviews.  It is a small thing but I know it helps authors to forge ahead.  I comment on people’s posts where I can but I have said all this before and the truth is there is so much more I can be doing.  One thing however I do whole-heartedly whenever I can is to support indie authors.  These days it is almost all I read.  I know how hard it is to find the courage to forge ahead when conventional avenues are not there.  I know how hard it is to continue to believe in yourself but this conversation isn’t just about the writing world.  Trying something new is terrifying.  It took so much courage to put my website up especially since I have yet to publish.  By doing that my vulnerability was exposed. I may fail but I then think about all those indie authors who took that chance and put their work up there.  I think of people I have known who entered into a new area and I think it is so simple to give a nod, a thumbs up, some words of encouragement and wonder why more people don’t do it. 


By success I don’t mean admiration, the acceptance of your brilliance, the kudos of fame and money but rather about the willingness to go for your dreams. Are they afraid you may not succeed or are they afraid you may?  Do they want to protect you or prevent you? I prefer to think there is no hidden agenda but that leaves me wondering is supporting others really so time consuming that people would let you go it alone?  Everybody is so busy these days, so caught in their lives that they assume you know their thoughts.  It makes me so sad. Perhaps we do know their thoughts but does it mean we don’t want to hear it said? Silence is deadly; it undermines confidence.  Sometimes life is so difficult that without those words to remind us why we keep going we falter.  I know I do.  I live a long way from my family, I struggle in the Townsville heat and humidity,  work is so often not found up here and can become a problem, I write a blog and dream of publishing and wonder am I crazy and now I have a website and no book and know I probably am crazy.  When someone takes the time to encourage it is everything because it builds my confidence.  Confidence is my definition of real success and confidence comes as much from what others give you as the need to develop your innate belief in the self.

Jeff Hayden says some very interesting things about confident people.  They take responsibility and never blame others.  They crave progress knowing constant improvement is better than perfection.  There is no gossip because it is all about the next step, a new idea or a new plan so that positivity is never far away.  These people don’t over-promise, say no when they need to because they are constantly surrounded with people wanting to help because they help others.  Confidence comes from looking after your mind and body and having a purpose.  If you know you can ask for help and get it then you remain keen and passionate about your venture.  Failure is just a learning moment and only the beginning of the journey not the end. Confident people are the kind of people you want to know.

I may be overwhelmed but I can do this because I have a lot of people watching my back.  Thank you for going to my skeleton website and for reading my blog when I know how busy you are and for thinking she has a point and if we are patient enough she will get to it and actually wait. 

Ciao

Barb

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