The journey of empowerment - preparing the mind for success

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful without too much stress. I invite you to take a look with me at authentic living. Success is measured by others', life satisfaction is how you feel within.


We are born into a world that conditions us from an early age that life is all about success. Yes, it should be but there is one fundamental fact that often gets overlooked. How do we define success? Do you view success as the latest trends on your social media account, an expensive pursuit of being seen to have the latest and best or do you define success as something much deeper? Inner contentment, happiness and peace.

Life is about celebrating our individuality rather than one approach of delivery that benefits all and woe betide you if you don’t conform. Everyone has a gift to bring to the table of life. From an early age, we attend school and are taught the same process. What if our natural talents were spotted and encouraged and we learnt from a strengths-based approach to use our natural talents in life. Research in positive psychology shows that people who know their strengths and use them daily tend to be happier and hold higher levels of self-esteem and confidence.  

If this was how we learnt, there would be no exclusion. Instead of some dragging themselves to educational establishments or worse skipping class, we would all be keen to start the day. Why? One word: passion. Doing what we love when we are encouraged to excel at what comes naturally, allows us to grow, and we grow without pressure to conform to the expectations of others.

The first point I am making is that happiness is an internal feeling that works outwards to the universe. If you try to fill your life with the material pursuit of reward it will look great on the outside but at the core of you, something may well feel missing, an emptiness of not being sure, confident or happy. The instant fix has no lasting effect before we seek the next one.

Did you know 50% of our happiness is determined by genetics, 10% by our circumstances and 40% by our internal state of mind? This means that, to a large extent, happiness is a choice and our overall satisfaction with our lives is influenced by how we think and develop our mindsets.

If we spend our time thinking about what could go wrong, we rob ourselves of opportunity – balance is the key. Positive thinking does not necessarily mean avoiding or pretending the bad aspects of life do not exist. Instead, it involves exploring ways to make the most of the potentially bad situations, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light. Seeking out the silver lining instead of helplessness and defeat.

So it is with life, we cannot find true happiness in living our life for other people. Our main motivation should be to become the best version of our natural selves. In doing this we attract to us what is meant for us. We are inclined to seek out positivity. There is no trying to fit in and as for faking it until you make it, well if your life depends on faking it what values do you hold? I am not speaking of what comes easy to us but the things that challenge us however we grow and feel achievement, joy and purpose from doing and completing them.

The question we all need to ask is 'who am I?' Have you ever asked yourself this? It's nothing to be ashamed of, the world has conditioned you in pleasing others from the day you were born. Remember how you were rewarded for pleasing behaviour. Did you suffer anxiety and depression and feel sad in your teens or early life? Have you ever stopped to question what caused it and how much not being yourself contributed to how you felt? 

Encouragement to be yourself should always take first place. I’m not for one minute proposing a lifestyle of pleasing ourselves and forgetting what others feel. What I am saying is let’s develop what we are good at to benefit others. Let’s live life as the person we are and not fit into others' expectations of us. Give to the universe and the universe gives back to you. The minute you begin to stand up for yourself, the negative aspects of your life start to fall away from you. You feel more in tune with yourself. The good news is you begin to draw the positivity we all need to thrive.

There is no big secret to happiness, it comes from living an authentic life. In a world that is driven by social media informing us what we need, it is about taking a step back. Ask yourself what your instincts truly say to you. Listen to your internal intuition. You might even want to start keeping a written record of your feelings. In doing this you are no longer accepting just the surface value of life but taking a journey of empowerment into the very essence of who you are.

There is not one part of our life that does not get put under pressure on how we should look, what we should drive or indeed how we should live, but conquering this takes getting to know what you value. Dare to become different instead of following the herd. If you want to be happier, odds are you need to start being true to yourself… but that’s something only you can determine.

By becoming authentic, you gain a higher sense of self-worth, a greater realisation of achieving goals and even boosted self-confidence and coping skills. It’s a powerful tool that we can utilise regularly in our lives once we know how, but it takes a little adventuring and understanding to get there. All of these things can be learnt during your journey to empowerment. Just think, you will be able to sidestep a lot of things that have led you down the cal de sac of unhappiness in the past in pursuit of that golden nugget or the thought 'I will do that when...' start planning it now. It does not have to be an everything or nothing approach.

There are many reasons that those who choose the authentic life become healthier and happier in life. Essentially it comes down to three things.

1. Living authentically does not require dependence on others to be happy.

2. Resilience becomes natural in overcoming obstacles.

3. Relationships are deeper and become more meaningful.

People who base life on being authentic steer their ship therefore they have a larger influence over the flow and control of life. They lead a life of taking action to help get them where they want to be.

When people live by their truths they feel more comfortable in their beliefs and freedom of independence. Resilience comes from strengths they develop, enabling them to overcome any obstacle that arises. The authentic person living constantly in their truth attracts others into life who are striving for the same values.

When you live by your standards you are no longer dependent on others to fulfil your dreams. More than that, because they tend to be better emotionally adjusted than those who are living within someone else’s ideals, they also are better able to open up, be vulnerable and connect. Something that comes from knowing the depth of their strength, and their ability to survive the things that can wound them. Remember every day presents a fresh opportunity to renew your life.

I hope you have enjoyed the article, if you wish to know more you can take two steps: save my profile here at Counselling Directory for my weekly contribution or make your way over to my website, journey of empowerment.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London W6 & E14
Written by David Pender, MBACP, Integrative Psychotherapy | Anxiety Specialist
London W6 & E14

My professional development in London has trained me how to support you in most challenges you are likely to face. I gained valuable experience working in divorce and bereavement counselling in London dealing with various aspects of personal relationships. My experience also includes experience working as a facilitator in London based addiction.

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