Once upon a time this notion was a HUGE impediment to my career, and I didn’t even realize that I was experiencing it. For one reason or another, many, if not most of us, through environmental programming or influence, have problems with the notion of being successful. I wanted it. I pursued it. I just didn’t think I deserved it.
“I’m just not one of them”.
If your definition of success includes a financial component, and pretty much everyone’s does, then the problem multiplies.
If you follow lottery winners, a significant number of them are just as broke as they were before they won within a shockingly short period of time.
Why? Why on earth would someone want to be broke?!
Well Grasshopper, it isn’t that cut and dried. It ties into self-image psychology which is beyond the scope of this article, but in essence, we all tend to behave in ways consistent with whom we think and believe we are.
If you’re accepted the label that you’re a drunk, or a smoker, or a loser, or anti social, or whatever…the job of changing that is waaaaayyyyyyy harder than if you didn’t identify yourself in that way.
There’s a world of difference between “I drink too much”, and “I’m a drunk”. The latter implies character and identity, the former is a poor behavior or decision…which is a heck of a lot easier to change (just don’t do it again). The belief is lasting, the behavior can change in an instant. ‘The Secret’ tended to leave people with the impression that ‘good thoughts will bring me success’. Nope. Pleasant expectation doesn’t, and can’t, bring long term success. As Robert Ringer once said “Fortune soon tires of carrying anyone too long”.
You behave your way to success; you have to DO the right things.
“Okay there Sigmund, we’ve all seen Dr. Phil. Where’re you going with this?”
I have to take the story down an uncomfortable route for a moment. In 2003, Karla and I lost our Firstborn Son, Jackson, very suddenly. Without going too far down this path, one of the things I was surprised to learn as a bereaved parent was how many of us there were. If you’re one of us or if someone very close to you has lost a child, then you’ll recognize this next observation…and that is: it’s virtually impossible to lose a child and NOT think that you’re being punished for something.
Religion notwithstanding, even the non-believers in the world usually have some of the ‘everything happens for a reason’ philosophy. What possible reason could The Universe have for taking your little boy away from you?
Intellectually we know better, but it sure feels like you must’ve done something to deserve this: it’s the only way that makes any sense (when you’re grabbing for a lifeline, you don’t always have the wherewithal to keep things rational).
To be honest, I’m still wrestling with this, but my point is that there’s an analogy between grief and fear of success/having money.
If you’re broke and it’s caused a large amount of stress in your life, it’s very common for your emotional mind to run around looking for a cause to all of the pain. An awful lot of us inadvertently grab on to the same line of thought that bereaved parents do: “I must’ve deserved this, somehow”.
Deserving money and success has nothing to do with attracting it, any more than ‘needing’ moisture attracts rain.
Success is earned, not deserved…
And to that end, a lot of people think that they can fix their financial problems by being “better” and “more deserving”.
- If I were only a better person, things would come together for me.
- If I were only more loving, things would come together for me.
- If I were only kinder, things would come together for me.
- If I were only more patient, things would come together for me.
- If I were only more giving, things would come together for me.
- If I were only smarter, things would come together for me.
- If I only worked harder, things would come together for me.
Here’s the thing about money; it doesn’t care. It just doesn’t. Money is completely neutral and does not care one iota about how you may or may not have conducted yourself in the past – or how your environment did or didn’t help you along.
If money cared about morality and only going to the deserving, then:
- How would criminals have any money?
- How would pornographers make any money?
- Drug dealers?
Now don’t go thinking that “money must be bad because it seems the bad guys are the ones who make it.” No No NO!!! Don’t swing the pendulum too far the other way!!!
Money doesn’t care about right or wrong. You can be the lowest form of scum and do well, or you could be among the most pious and make nothing. Money is indifferent.
Here’s how you make money, period.
You do things that are likely to generate money, in an environment that has a good chance of helping it pay off.
You ‘deserve’ money and success only to the extent that you actively prepare for and pursue it. Rescuing puppies doesn’t get you money anymore than being a war criminal repels it, and vice verse.
So please, stop tying yourself in knots and going through gyrations trying to “deserve” money, and do something that’ll earn you some money, okay?
The REAL Secret? Attract people who’re able and willing to exchange their money for something of value from you, and offer them something compelling.
Deserving money and success has nothing to do with attracting it any more than ‘needing’ moisture attracts rain.
Success is earned, not deserved…
This may be a good time to check out The Fast Start Art Marketing Primer!
Check out the Fast Start Art Marketing Primer!
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