One of the best parts of being a Clinical Supervisor working with Masters Degree Students in Practicum is to offer them an opportunity to stretch themselves and step outside of their comfort zone. I encourage them to explore personal growth options within the Encouragers organization. One such student, Kameron Kaveh (Pepperdine University) offered to write this blog (his first) on the subject of Success:
What does success mean to you? When you see success do you picture a gold medal, always coming in 1st place, a big house in the suburbs, a fancy car, or a report card with straight A’s? Does the idea of success often coincide with a fear of failure? When you see failure does your heart say, "It's time to STOP!"
As a society there is an overwhelming sense that to be successful we must face a challenge and be “victorious” in all we set forth to do. By this logic, the man who applies over and over for a job and finally on the last application gets an interview but no job offer, is a failure. The person who wants to lose 30 pounds and goes to the gym daily, but steps on the scale and sees that they lost 15 pounds minimizes the challenges they overcame because they did not reach their goal. It is this negative mindset that often prevents people from attempting to better themselves. People are afraid, not of facing the challenge, but of what other people will say. They fear being labeled as coming short of success; that people will only view the failures and not the progress.
One of my favorite motivational speakers is Brenee Brown. One area that she has researched and presented on is the idea of vulnerability. In her book Daring Greatly, she talks about this idea that the process of reaching our goals is set forth by a series of failures and being willing to put ourselves out there,“...if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly…”
People are quick to judge. As a society we have been programmed to say, “Wow, you didn’t reach the finish line?” where we should instead be saying, “Look at how far you’ve come!” Our “failures” should be seen as a springboard to success. Our own negative thinking will welcome the criticisms of others and internalize it as truth adding to our own self-criticism that builds walls to personal growth. When we fail to acknowledge the steps it takes to reach a goal, we negate the complete story that has led us to where we currently are. As outsiders to another person’s narrative we may not be able to see the internal or past struggles that a person has overcome to step out of their comfort zone and to be present.
Appreciate the effort and feel encouraged while on the path toward success. Look introspectively and celebrate each victory along the way. Acknowledge the baby steps that YOU accomplish! Learn from your setbacks but don’t let them define your success as failure. When you see someone else moving towards a challenging goal-- acknowledge and encourage them to continue on their path.
A failure is not a stop sign, but a test of your will and determination to continue.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Day 16: GO!