How do you feel when you read this sentence: A Goal Is A Dream With Marching Orders!
Does it motivate you, or does it freeze you in your steps with feelings of fear? Does it cause you to want to work toward your dreams or does it melt you into a puddle of anxiety?
This is what I had to determine for my own life. Do I want to chase my dreams to the demand of marching orders? Or am I content to live out my dreams within the obscurity of my own quiet lifestyle? Demands and orders don’t motivate me – they only make me weary, anxious and non-productive. Whereas, my true energy and life come from merely living out my dreams.
Two years ago I joined a multi-level marketing company. I began that journey with the intention of freeing myself from the burden of financial stress and ‘living the dream’. I envisioned a life of fun, excitement and more money to enjoy life – if only I could become successful with this MLM. What I didn’t know then was that it would create a cycle of stress that would make my life miserable.
To be fair in sharing my experience I have to disclose that I fall into the category of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). I’m deeply affected by things that most people take into stride on a daily basis. HSPs can be described as having “hypersensitivity to external stimuli, a greater depth of cognitive processing, and high emotional reactivity.”
Joining this MLM was supposed to be a dream come true, an end to financial struggle. I envisioned myself expanding who I was as a person. Getting out of my comfort zone. Challenging myself to become more outgoing.
I was directed by my upline to tell everyone I knew about this wonderful gift I had found and that they too could share in it. I was urged to post on Facebook every day about the products and the business. I was constantly being told that to become successful I needed to get out of my comfort zone.
The women I joined under were really wonderful people. They were already extremely motivated people with successful careers, generous and kind, and really did have my best interest at heart. They taught me everything they knew about how they made this business work. Unfortunately, their style wasn’t a good fit for me and what followed was month after month of constant stress!
In all truthfulness, the products were a life changer for me in the way I look and feel about myself. The changes that occurred gave me a new sense of confidence in who I am. That was definitely the upside of the business.
Along with learning all I could about the MLM, I started listening to motivational speakers and attended a couple of conferences that encouraged me to look into my soul and find that person who could achieve success. The motivational speakers and those conferences changed my life. They changed my thinking and helped me to learn more about the real me. But they did not change the fact that working an MLM was making my life miserable.
Instead of living in the precious present moment, I was always thinking about what my next step would be. Who should I call? What should I post on Facebook? Who should I email or message? How could I set up another one of those super uncomfortable three-way calls? What kind of an event could I hold to attract people? I hadn’t anticipated the constant state of striving that I would be in.
The barrage of being told to “get after those fence sitters . . . they want this product . . . and they need this business to have the good life” slapped me in the face every day. I saw other women and men becoming successful doing those things, but I felt sick to my stomach every time I did them.
Being recognized for achievements was at the forefront of group messages and posts. For a person who is content sitting in the background applauding other peoples’ achievements, this was extremely uncomfortable for me. Seeking recognition is the polar opposite of living in obscurity. I am very comfortable in a state of being unknown and inconspicuous.
It wasn’t at all the lifestyle I wanted to live. I am not and never have been a goal oriented person. I’m motivated by the tugs at my heart and words of encouragement, not by setting goals and trying to fit into a mold that someone else has created for me. Living out my dreams of success has never had anything to do with attaining “things”. Things mean little to me. Things do not define me.
In Wayne Dyer’s translation of the 46th verse of the Tao Te Ching in his book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life he says: You’ll find that the experience of inner peace becomes our true gauge of accomplishment.
I’m no longer setting goals or striving to reach an end. I’m not in a constant state of needing to do one more thing before I feel successful. Are there things I would like to achieve in my life? Absolutely, but I don’t want to “strive” for any of it. I’m on a journey. Not running toward a goal.
The majority of a journey is the steps it takes to reach your destination. If that journey is leading you to your dreams, shouldn’t that be the part you enjoy the most?