A Peer’s Perspective: Express Your Success
By Jill Davis
“A little progress each day adds up to big results.” –unknown
When you hear the word ‘success’ what first comes to your mind? For some, success may be defined by wealth and power. For others, notoriety and prestige and still others, accomplishments galore to best all in their path. While all of these may be the epitome of the word for some and rightly so, here’s another possibility to throw into the mix.
What if the very core of success means managing your anxiety well enough to ace a job interview? Facing a day without taking a drink? Getting out of bed in the morning? Why, if this is the case, success can mean taking a refreshing walk after struggling with depression, or even just letting someone go ahead of you at the grocery store. These concepts make each of us a success!
As a teenager I wanted to learn to play guitar. I loved music and dreamed of being in a band. I remember saving my money to buy my first guitar. As a product of the 80s (long live MTV!), I had countless favorite musicians that I couldn’t wait to emulate and I thought that soon, I’d be right there with them on the radio and touring on stages everywhere. I taught myself to play because neither my parents nor I could afford lessons and soon I had a few chords and songs under my belt. It seemed only fitting that my next step would be to take my bright red sunburst acoustic six-string with the wide rainbow strap (yes, I know you have the visual!) and attempt to play along with my favorite rock station to master my craft. I was headed for the big leagues indeed! As my calluses grew bigger, my confidence grew smaller as I compared myself to the successful stylings of Nancy Wilson and Jimmy Page. Well, I still enjoy picking up a guitar now and again, except now I understand the words of George Bernard Shaw when he said, “youth is wasted on the young.” At that time, I didn’t realize that success didn’t need to be having huge talent and being on Billboard’s charts; it could be having a goal such as wanting to play guitar and teaching myself how to do it.
In this world we live in, it isn’t always easy to notice our successes though they are nestled there waiting to be celebrated. I’m not discounting being successful in the areas that are typically thought of when it comes to “making it big” and I am thankful that you can look with me through a different lens for a few moments. Did you find the strength to make it through your challenging day when you didn’t think you could? Way to go! Were you able to make a positive decision that you couldn’t even think to make before? You’re a rock star! My hope for you today, my friend, is that you can see how you have truly succeeded, and celebrate your wonderful accomplishments. They are reasons to be proud of yourself and to remember that in the times when you aren’t feeling successful, that you truly are!
Jill Davis is Peer Services Coordinator for Mind Springs Health and still plays a mean Bob Seger ‘Night Moves’. Drop her a line about your successes at Peers@MindSpringsHealth.org