Sunday, April 10, 2016

On Success: Kill Your Shame

I've made no bones that I've watched and followed people whom I know to be successful in their life.

Here's what I've seen so far in terms on common elements:
  • They define what "success" is, and then pursue what it takes to get it.
  • They seek outcomes that aren't dependent on fragile means (e.g. employment) to get it.
  • They have plans and procedures--systems--in place to negate the fear of failure.
  • They have no shame.
That last one--"I don't care."--is the cornerstone that enables the rest to work. They don't care because they realize that this pursuit of success is about them first and foremost; everyone else is along for the ride.

That's huge. That one shift in your mindset eliminates the power of embarrassment to wreck you. It opens the power of embarrassment to be your tool, and many successful people do wield embarrassment as a tool (even a weapon) to get what they want done. (Starting with your mother.)

If you can be shamed, then you can be shamed into another's definition of success.

If you can be shamed, then you can be made dependent upon another and rendered fragile thereby.

If you can be shamed, then you can be compelled to abandon your own plans and procedures in favor of another's and thus always be in thrall to the fear of failure.

Shame is the source for others' control over you.

If you want to succeed, then you have to shut this off. Shame is weaponized empathy. Learning how to shut off shame means learning how to control your empathy, much as you learn to control your fear lest it overwhelm you and compel you to irrationally act. Same thing, same reason, so same solution.

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