I hope you are having an amazing week! Last week, I featured some truly inspirational people who were kind enough to share their Deeper Story and how it made them the successful people they are today!
Your story is powerful because it is your story. Most people never see your struggles. Sometimes that can feel isolating. It can be difficult to share your past, your mistakes, your lessons learned the hard way – all the things that make you who you are. But I have always found that the greatest relationships in my life, those founded upon love, trust, and respect, have been built on honesty and openness.
As such, it’s only fair that I practice what I preach. Here’s a brief excerpt from my story:
I struggled for years with many UPs and many DOWNs. I struggled with addiction. I struggled with my own behavior. I struggled with unhappiness over the path I was on. I have worked to embrace many of these things over the years, but this year I broke through – I hit rock bottom and then was officially diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I had no choice. I began managing it. I’m happier than ever and living my best life.
Knowing how deeply personal every individual’s story is, I am so grateful to those who came forward to share their own experiences along their path to success. Kaylee Houde, a Career Coach who is awe-inspiring in her dedication to helping people “cut through the chaos and define their direction,” shared how she left behind traditional definitions of success and lived her own:
While I was passionate about the people I was developing, coaching, influencing, and working with… something was missing! I did a lot of research on the topic of happiness, and ended up on my own coaching journey. After a lot of self discovery and a little nudge from my family and friends, in 2017 I woke up and realized I could live the life I used to only dream of. So now, here I am – Kaylee Houde, professionally trained Career Coach, at your service!
Kyle Elliott, an incredibly successful Career Coach whose life and career has centered around helping others, creatively shares a lesson from his own journey:
While the ensemble was good, the soloist is even more beautiful. He is able to shine without being drowned out by the other members of his orchestra. The conductor is in awe – he recognizes that he can slow down. That he can take a break. That he can pause. That he can breathe. So the conductor sets down his baton and enjoys the music. … “I’ve always had a difficult time slowing down, but as I have learned to slow down I’ve found I achieve more, not less.”
Jolene Rheault, a professional who courageously decided to start her own marketing consulting service, tells us about the tremendous obstacles she worked to overcome:
I was recently diagnosed with bipolar depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I also have a chronic pain disease, recently lost both my parents, struggled with infertility for five years, and our family crawled though EIGHT layoffs. Rather than knock me down, this inspired me to take the reins. Life is what you make of it; either feel sorry for yourself and the cards you’ve been dealt, or use them to your advantage. One thing is for sure: the choice is always yours.
Caren Cooper, a wellness consultant and “full-time mom,” someone for whom I have deep respect, shares the story of her decision to leave the corporate world and go out on her own:
After getting married 20 years ago, I went to college to get a degree and a job in advertising. I loved it, but as I grew older and had kids, I realized there must be something else for me. I plugged away in corporate America, trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. I joked that I should have been a therapist – people always came to me for advice, and that is an asset in what I do today. Now, I help people get healthy and wealthy! Since then, I have truly found my passion and purpose.
These stories, to me, highlight one undeniable truth: No matter where in their journey any successful person may be, the common thread in what makes them successful is their commitment to living a life of self-determination.
Success is not defined by the number in your bank account or the fiber count of your bedsheets. It’s not the performance of your stock portfolio or the top speed of your car. It’s not how many friends, views, or likes you have. It’s not the degree you may or may not have mounted on your wall.
Being truly successful is about accepting and enjoying all aspects of life. Success is the ability to comfortably live in the moment and in your own skin. Success is a product of the quality of your relationships. Success is being there for the people you love and knowing they will be there for you. Success is stumbling, skinning your knee, rolling your ankle, and running/walking/crawling ahead anyway. Success is doing what you know to be right – for yourself and for others – even when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable. Success is when your gratitude for the opportunities before you – and the ‘failures’ behind you – is overwhelming. Success is always moving toward the light, even when the darkness threatens to consume you.
Everyone has their own goals, their own challenges, their own varying circumstances, and their own path to walk. But when you can fully embrace your journey – your deeper storyof who you are and who you want to be – then you’re well on your way to living a successful life and being the best version of yourself you know you can be.
Listen – this is not just some motivational post to get your blood pumping. This is real. In everything – business, your career, relationships, everything – the key to success is in your hands. How else does anyone open the door?
If you don’t believe me or you don’t agree, let’s talk. But first, go ask any truly successful person what made them who they are today. Ask them if their success was given or earned. Ask them if it was just luck that they ended up living their dreams or if their success is a product of their unstoppable need to do what they wanted to do and live the life theywanted to live. You already know the answer. That’s why self-determination is the key to success in anything you do.
I’d love to know more about your own story. I’d love to hear how I can do better, what’s working, or what you’d like to see more of. Your feedback is my lifeblood.
With love and gratitude…
– Allen

You can view the full Deeper Story series hereThis article was originally published on LinkedIn.

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