Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is The Drive For Success Stealing Your Joy? by Rita A. Schulte

Rita A. Schulte
It's the end of February. How are those resolutions going? Are you meeting your goals? What drives you?

Rita A. Schulte will be sharing with us for the next three Tuesdays to help us determine if our goals are what we really need. ~ Angie

As writers we all want to be a success. We want to have our words touch people’s hearts; we want to somehow be immortalized through our work, and at the end of the day we want to sell books. That seems pretty normal---but percolating under the unconscious surface, could there be deeper reasons that being a success is so important to us? And, is the drive to “make it” stealing our joy?

Each one of us has attached meaning to what being a “success” is. To some, it may mean becoming well-known; to others it may mean finding value and worth through the praise and admiration of others, and maybe to some it’s about making money. Is that so terrible? It is if you’re placing your significance on it.

Drive States

How can we tell if our search for significance is riding on our achievements? Can we really discover what drives our need to be a success? Yes, by understanding what success means to us and discovering how it fulfills our needs.

Needs are essential to life. Without them, we won’t function in the way God has designed us to function. In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs that included physiological needs for food, air and water, as well as psychological needs like love, belonging, and self-actualization. Feeling a loss of any need creates tension. This tension creates a drive state to motivate us to meet the need.

Once our basic physiological needs are met, we are driven to meet higher level needs of love and belonging. Self-actualization is obtained when our full potential is realized. Higher level needs create the music of the heart. I call them “soulical” needs. Listed below are the five that I teach my clients along with their definitions.
  • Love---unconditional caring from another 
  • Acceptance---feeling full and complete as I am 
  • Value/worth---what gives me meaning and purpose in life 
  • Security---freedom from harm; safety 
  • Adequacy---the need to know I’m competent 
Our needs drive us to action, and the objects of their fulfillment (a book contract, notoriety, money) act as incentives to make us feel good about ourselves. If we value success it’s because success meets some, or all of the above mentioned needs. That’s why rejection is such a bitter pill to swallow. It causes us a loss of one, or all of our needs. We become discouraged because the message rejection gives us is that we aren’t cutting it, we’re failures, or we’re not good enough.

About the Author
Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider This. Her shows can be heard on 90.9FM in Lynchburg, Va. and 90.5 FM in NC, and on BlogTalk Radio, and the Womens Radio Network.

Rita writes for numerous publications and blogs. Her articles have appeared in Counseling Today Magazine, Thriving Family Magazine, Kyria and Living Better at 50. Her book on moving through the losses of life will be released in 2013. Follow her atwww.ritaschulte.com, on FB at http://www.facebook.com/RitaASchulte and twitter @heartlinepod. Her blog, Life Talk Today is www.ritaschulte.com/blog.