How to internalize success without grossing yourself out

Before we get started, can I just say that most talk about success turns me off, the way I suspect it does you.

I’m turned off when success is measured primarily in terms of power, profit, and prestige. I can smell those values at work even when success talk is dressed in spiritual clothing.

The primary definition of success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” When an aim or purpose is out of alignment with your own values, you’re going to resist succeeding at it. That’s an honorable, but limited, thing.

It’s limited because, if your primary relationship to success is to resist someone else’s definition, you are missing a key piece of your own calling. To fully embrace all that you can be, to engage your personal path of transformation, you need to internalize your personal definition of success.

Defining success is only a beginning

You may have created your own definition of success. Yet you may still be subject to and struggling against the definition that prevails in the culture around you.

When that happens, your definition of success and the culture’s definition fight each other-and your heart, mind, and business are battlefields.

The result is that, even when you feel you have a clear picture of what it will look like for you, success is elusive. And you may even blame yourself for not being able to attract success as you have lovingly defined it.

Internalizing success brings your definition to life

When you go a step farther and internalize your definition of success, you give it form and substance in the world. Your body, mind, and heart are tuned to your definition.

Everything in you will tend toward accomplishing your chosen aim or purpose.

And what opposes you will be your teacher, not your persecutor.

Internalize success and self-employment is your teacher

When you internalize your definition of self-employment success, your personal development is deeply connected to the development of your business.

The inner and outer obstacles on the path to success become exercises in a workshop perfectly tailored for your own growth and transformation.

Are you conflicted about charging for your work? An internalized definition of success will impel you to resolve the conflict rather than ducking or repressing it. It may not be easy, but you will find a way to reconcile doing good work with making a good living.

Are you conflicted about selling to people? An internalized definition of success will impel you to have heart-felt conversations with just-right clients that are engaging without being manipulative.

Every business challenge will be an opportunity for spiritual, emotional, and mental growth as you grapple with conflicting values and ways of being in the world. There’s still conflict, but the conflict seeks and finds a meaningful resolution.

How to internalize success through deliberate engagement

How do you internalize success? By engaging deeply with your own definition. Try these ways to deeply engage with your own definition of success.

Visualize success: What does success look like? What image(s) come to mind? What color is it? How large is it? What is its shape?

Pull out the paper and crayons (crayons bypass the critical adult) and draw the image, energy, and nature of success.

Sense success in your body: How does success show up as a sensation in your body? Where in your body do you feel it? What are the qualities of that sensation? (Temperature, intensity, direction, pressure, sharpness or dullness…)

Explore the movement of success: Stand still and go into a relaxed, half-dream state. Sense what success feels like in your body. Then notice what movement wants to happen. Let the smallest impulse to move develop.

You may follow this movement into a dance. Or you may be called to repeat the movement in small or large ways. Notice what impressions you gather from moving.

Listen to the sound of success: What music represents success to you? What tones or harmonies? What sounds in the natural or man-made world? Listen to them and absorb their essence.

Savor success: Is there a smell or a flavor you associate with success? Allow this to develop and intensify. Memorize what it is like to smell or taste success.

Verbalize success: Do a free write on success. Set a timer for 10 minutes and begin your writing with one of these sentence stems:

Success is…

I know I’m successful when…

I want success to mean or be….

Explore your primary ways of perceiving success

You will be naturally drawn to some of these practices and not to others. The practices you are drawn to are your primary ways of perceiving. They will give you one experience of internalized success.

But don’t pass up the less attractive or comfortable channels. When you use a less natural or secondary method of perceiving and engaging with success, you tap into unconscious impressions and energies. You will receive subtle guidance and insights into how success wants to live in and be expressed by you.

Internalizing success is a key to personal transformation

There is something in you that longs to be expressed. It is utterly unique. It is priceless.

This thing is subtle, and it is rarely expressed directly. Instead it shows up as intangible qualities of your life and work. When you internalize your definition of success, you infuse everything you do with these qualities.

I would love for these tools to help you to claim your definition of success and internalize it so that the world can experience what only you can bring to life.

Image credit: Joel Olives

About Molly Gordon

Molly Gordon is the owner of Shaboom Inc., a company devoted to helping Accidental Entrepreneurs who are allergic to business develop the skills they need to prosper. She’s an artist, writer, marketing consultant, and coach -- as well as a paddle-boarder, cyclist, singer, and grandmother. She lives in Suquamish, Washington with her husband, two hens, and Bolivia the Wonder Cat. Molly blogs at, where you can also sign up for her weekly ezine, Authentic Promotion.

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