One of the most important distinctions you’ll ever learn, is to separate you as a person from the results you produce out there in the world.
Your results are not a direct reflection of YOU.
And yet, many people remain convinced that their results speak directly to who they are— or who they are not.
They figure, for example, that if they’ve tried things and have come up short, they are a failure.
Having failed does not make you a failure. Everyone fails.
The most successful people in the history of the world have failed more than most— in fact, their failures are often what contribute to them ultimately becoming successful.
Just like your failures are not a direct reflection of you, though…neither are your successes.
Your successes are positive and should be celebrated, definitely…but successfully completing projects or achieving goals may or may not directly reflect who you are as a person.
Many people have achieved plenty of “success” in their careers of various areas of their lives…and still wound up feeling empty and unfulfilled.
We need to grasp, very clearly, that our results are not a reflection of us.
Our results may be a reflection of a lot of things— work put in, luck, inherent talent, favorable circumstances, or a dozen other variables— but it’s a mistake to become over identified with either our failures OR our successes.
The fact is, we’re going to have a lot of results of various kinds in our lives.
We’ll have a lot of failures.
And we’ll probably have a lot of successes, big and small.
If we think that our results are a reflection of us, we’re constantly going to be jostled back and forth between feeling good and feeling lousy about ourselves— because, as long as we’re alive, we’re going to get varied results in our lives.
What IS a reflection of us, if not our results?
Our behavior is often a reflection of us.
What we choose to say and otherwise express is often a reflection of us.
How we treat people is often a reflection of us.
Those things may not be perfectly reflective of who we are as people…but the reason why they may be more accurate reflections of us than the results we produce in our lives is this: those are things that we have control over.
We often have control over what we do— or what we don’t do.
We often have control over what we say— or choose not to say.
And we definitely have control over how we choose to interact with and treat other people.
I think a lot of people buy into the “your results are a reflection of YOU” mentality because they’re in kind of an identity crisis.
They don’t know who they are. They don’t know what they’re all about. They haven’t thought deeply about their own values or goals— or maybe they’re afraid to think too deeply about their values and goals.
When somebody is hazy on who they are, OF COURSE they’re going to become over identified with their results in life. Because what else is there, right?
Resist this urge.
Remember that you are complex.
Remember that your life is long.
You’re going to have ups and downs, successes and failures…and none of them can comprehensively define you as a person.
You can only be truly defined by those things you affirmatively choose.
Subscribe to the Doc’s free weekly email newsletter, and never miss a blog or social media post!