Success coach, Emotional Resilience expert, and guest writer Suzanne Dudley-Schon is back, sharing her brilliance in this week’s Upside Thought.  

Suzanne understands that the beingness of leadership matters more than the doingness of leadership. You can take all of the tactical leadership actions that generate success and not be a leader worth following.  

This week, she’s written about business, achievement, and doing what you love.    

Happy Reading!  

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Slavery resides under marble and gold. ~ Seneca  

Upon reading Seneca’s quote this morning, I remembered—once upon a time, when I had a life that was marble and gold. A life that looked great from the outside and I was miserable on the inside, suffering alone—and extra alone because people were actually jealous and resentful of my “good fortune.”  

Thankfully today, I have a wonderful life—replete with tremendous freedom, joy, and abundance. And yet, there are still times, when I have to check myself because I get caught up in comparisons.   

What does this have to do with business, achievement, or goal setting?   

We drive ourselves hard for our work. We spend a majority of our waking hours doing it. We set goals to keep us on track. Sometimes the goals are even specifically around a dollar figure. The dollar figure dances beside the vision of a big house, fancy vacations, fame or today’s word, influence. And we decide how achieving this will make us happy, be our storybook ending and a place of relief.  

And we work relentlessly in pursuit of attaining the goal. Often to the point of exhaustion.  

Seneca would have us examine whether we are living in freedom with these goals and our business efforts. We need to continually ask ourselves, if this is the life we truly want.  

Because along with the big house, fancy vacations, and fame are many things we often fail to consider:   

~Can we be ourselves? Speak our minds?  

~Are we doing things we don’t really like or want to because we have to in order to maintain an image?  

~Are we being true to ourselves in the process/ or “progress towards the goal”?  

~Are we trading in one set of problems for the proverbial golden handcuffs?  

I recently swam for a good while in the cesspool of negative thinking and comparison. I slipped in there because I forgot that I am not the same kind of entrepreneur or business person that other people are. I had compared myself to a long list of friends and people who I regard as highly successful and virtuous.  

What I failed to remember when holding myself up in comparison is that these kinds of assessments are not scientific, nor accurate. They do not represent the truth.  

There are too many variables to quantify and determine quality or value.   

In my case for starters, these people have different businesses. One has a style and approach that is radically different than mine. Another’s home circumstances differ substantially.  

This is where my own faulty thinking gets exposed.  

How absurd is it for me to have hung my entire sense of self on whether I’m doing business the way it works for someone else? Or make life decisions when everyone’s situation is so unique.  

What’s more is, when I think about it, I don’t even want a different lifestyle. When I play it forward to what might seem alluring, the reality of what goes into that image is not what aligns with my values nor my commitments.  

My fondness for jeans and a t-shirt and life at a slower pace put me at odds with a dream that is about wall-to-wall appointments, sitting in traffic, and dressing the part at cocktail parties.  

When I hit those comparison cesspool moments, I realize it’s time to recalibrate—tap in—be who I really am, reconnect with what motivates me, and clarify what it is I truly want. And… surprise, surprise…  

…it pretty much looks like what I have: a life of joy and abundance; coaching, writing, volunteering, spending time with my family and friends. Oh yes, and almost always dressed for comfort J  

ACTION: TheUpside Challenge for the week… examine what you love.   

Make a list.   

And examine where you might be wearing proverbial “golden handcuffs,” enslaved by choices based on external measures, “shoulds,” or image.  

Renegotiate the agreement with yourself or others so that you experience greater freedom.  

As Lisa Marie says, the world needs you and your brilliance. 

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