One of my favourite sayings has been “luck is the crossroads where opportunity and preparation meet”. Lucky has been a label I’ve given myself to reflect a habitual pattern of thinking optimistically. But of course, in reality life ebbs and flows.
We are never in control of what happens and so naturally there are times when life feels easy and times when it doesn’t. What does this say about ‘luck’?
Here’s an example that you might relate to. One day I had the job of my dreams working for a company I was committed to and the next day I didn’t. It was like hitting a brick wall at speed, I had no idea it was coming. My sense of ‘self’ was so closely aligned to my ideas of being confident, optimistic and positive that I felt completely unbalanced and insecure by this turn of events.
Initially, I had difficultly with basic functioning, such as sleeping, eating, and seeing the joy in life. It got very busy in my head as my personal thinking ran riot. And yet, on reflection I did two unusual things. Firstly, I felt a strong pull to hug trees, which is not something I had ever considered doing before, but brought me a sense of peace and connection with something deeper than myself. Secondly, I requested the opportunity to say a personal farewell to those people that I had worked so closely with over the last 15 years. The simple expressions of love and connection that I experienced on that farewell visit really helped me to move on.
Even so I struggled for years with insecure thinking. On reflection, I set out to be superwoman; an excellent mother, wife and daughter; a successful management consultant, leadership coach, and lecturer; a student of psychology, a committed self-developer and avid reader. It’s exhausting just thinking about it all.
Have you heard of ‘imposter syndrome’? It is the psychological term referring to a pattern of behaviour where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. I thought I had to keep proving myself as worthy and that being ‘busy’ was a sign of success. But who decides the standards against which we are measuring ourselves; who judges whether or not we are measuring up to those standards? The simple answer is – we each make it up for ourselves. No-one else! It’s not real! Via the power of thought, we create our own reality and impose standards of how we think it should look. All we are doing is creating feelings of insecurity because we never measure up!
All psychological suffering is a part of the ‘normal’ human condition. When I tell myself ‘I’m not good enough’ it’s not a reflection on who I am, rather it’s an indication of where my state of mind is in that moment. Thousands of thoughts come into our heads every day. We wake up and the thinking starts. 100% of our experience is created by what we think in the moment and the implications of this to our lives is simply staggering.
Luck is therefore just another label. I no longer see it as having any relevance to who I am. However, what I now see is that the quieter my mind is, the luckier I appear – it has everything to do with my state of mind in the moment.