Observe your influencers: What are they trying to get you to be more of?
The experts, personalities, and “influencers” that you follow are always shaping your definition of success. They’re influencing you towards what’s worth pursuing, as you notice what they’re pursuing.
Notice the imagery in their content (lifestyles of the rich and famous?), notice what they celebrate and point out to you, and simply notice the way they are coming across to you. In what ways are you not (yet) like them?
It’s a good thing when they encourage our personal and professional growth. But I’d like for us to question the direction of growth that they encourage us towards.
Many of the business/marketing/success influencers tell us to:
Be more attractive.
Be more brilliant.
Be more persuasive.
Be more successful (looking) than others.
In the short-term, this set of “values” may create results in popularity or money, but then get stuck in the shallows. It creates competitive pressure, and eventually, burnout and mental illness.
There was a recent article on how Youtubers with millions of subscribers are burning out en masse…
Whenever we follow an external metric of success, comparing ourselves with (or even worshipping) those who have accumulated more money or followers, we are at risk of losing connection with our deeper, authentic selves.
This creates a pressure to #hustle… a deeply anxious grasping at some future success that must be achieved before we allow ourselves to be truly happy, or to deeply rest.
As you go about your internet surfing, email newsletter reading, video watching and podcast listening, I encourage you to notice what kind of values you’re being influenced by.
What are the experts you follow encouraging you to be more of?
Instead of attractiveness, brilliance, persuasiveness, success-image, this is what I try to cultivate within myself and hopefully in my content as well:
Connect again with authenticity.
Connect again with your source of well-being.
Connect again with our caring and compassion.
Connect again with virtue: in business, especially patience.
To keep coming back, again and again, to connect with the deepest and highest truths, “even” (or perhaps especially) in our business and marketing.
The world is constantly giving us a much shallower definition of success. Not everyone can be the most attractive, brilliant, successful. Most of us don’t get even get close to that level of external success.
But what every one of us can be, is to connect every day to our authenticity, our deepest source of well-being, and the highest calling within us.
If we each can define success in that kind of deep and spiritual way, then all of us can be lifted up. All of us can succeed.