Personal Achievement

Personal Achievement is a state of conditioning where we use a track record or resume to demand esteem regarding our thoughts and the ability to manifest results. In Personal Achievement we assert independent achievements as a way of justifying the demands that others follow our lead. In the motive of Personal Achievement we believe we are best suited to establish the goals of others because we see ourselves as unique problem-solvers who can get things done. Anyone who resists our efforts challenges the established status quo, which leads to both overt and covert power struggles. On the intellectual level every motive reflects the need for others to agree with us. When we do Personal Achievement, we require that everyone agree with our capability to solve the current problem. Ironically, in doing Personal Achievement we cannot see the solutions offered by others and we end up ignoring the initiatives they take to make things happen. As a result, we see ourselves as the center of any progress being made, where an activity is only legitimate if we have sanctioned it. What we want most is the ongoing admiration that others see us as capable contributors and therefore allows us to take independent action whenever we wish.

In the motive of Personal Achievement the context is that we need to prove our capability by meeting or exceeding the goals we set for ourselves. We believe that striving to accomplish a larger goal is labor that will be noticed and compensated. We operate from the fear that others will or do not esteem us so we always have to be doing more than is expected. What we seek to do is to be intentional by willfully distinguishing our actions in an attempt to be seen as outwardly powerful. It is ironic that with the fears we have, we want others to believe that our path is superior so that we can influence them in ways we wish. Personal Achievement also increases the sense of competition we experience with others, creating a distinction between personal and group good. Individuals operating in Personal Achievement tend to believe that what is good for ourselves is good for others. It is paradoxical that organizations encourage Personal Achievement, when in fact it tends to compromise the larger group good. The problem is that Personal Achievement is motivated by taking charge and establishing your pre-emptive control of the situation. This personal “directive-ness” makes it difficult to listen and operate as partners or a team. We tend to amplify our personal results and diminish the contributions of others as a way of staking our claim on the rewards.

The hidden belief of Personal Achievement is that since my thoughts are separate from those of others, I can and should use thoughts to manipulate others for my good. Semi-consciously, we get caught up in the belief that we know what is right for others. We believe that since we are someone who gets things done, this distinguishes us from others who are a failure and cannot produce. We use this covert superiority game to cover up our own fears of not being powerful enough. We also get caught up in acting logically and using reasoning to assert our personal desires, hiding our personality self-interest by ridiculing opposing views or ignoring contradictory evidence. All this covers up our lack of inner value and self-assurance, which we hide by our outward confidence and apparent self-esteem. Anyone who needs to have their esteem validated is not accepting that they are esteemed as they are. This is why we are driven to deliver what others need as a way of proving and demonstrating our competence.

Now we will address how to heal our Personal Achievement conditioning. Let us release our attachment to the idea that knowledge is power, by seeing the limits of how our attachment to our positions distances from others. The more we need to prove that our plans are better than others’ plans, the less able we are able to include their ideas and perspectives into our own. Instead of demanding the esteem we feel we have earned through our track record, let us open the door to creating new ways to connect based upon being available to grow and learn together. Can we release our idea of our self long enough to consider the ideas of others? How could we see explicitly that our ideas are merely partial expressions of who we are and do not reflect our true Wisdom? Can we step into the possibility that Personal Achievement is merely a larger step toward Mutual Accomplishment, and not a destination in itself? To engage this possibility, we need to let go of our need to prove how right we are or so defend our current positions.

Let us step into the possibility that when others demand our résumé or require us to demonstrate our knowledge, it does not reflect a lack of Self-esteem. Instead of becoming defensive, let us engage others by honoring their esteem and by acknowledging their insights and perspectives. Imagine how we can honor our own greater knowing by seeing our Self as only a part of a greater knowing that extends beyond us. Let us imagine how our ideas can awaken and unlock the potential in the ideas of others so that a greater synthesis can emerge. Instead of being set in our positions, let us learn how to dance so that the acknowledgements of others do not become bars on our internal prison. Instead of becoming self-satisfied in our current thinking, let us strive to think in new ways that release us from pre-existing patterns and perceptions. When we are fluid in our ability to respond to the thoughts of others without personalizing their comments, we will know we have arrived in a state of Personal Achievement. This achievement reflects understanding that we are the Knower behind our thoughts.

Personal Achievement is a perspective that is not easily integrated with the concepts of others because of its competitive separateness. Since Personal Achievement still arises from a personal effort, it does not easily incorporate the effort of others around us. We primarily experience this disconnection when we make commitments to accomplish things beyond our personal needs. In this situation we need to esteem others to integrate our perspectives and accomplish larger mutual goals. This means we do not even fully perceive our truth without a commitment to go beyond our truth. Instead of being caught up in our self-perceptions of how right we are, let us consider how the very nature of our thoughts can be undermining our ability to see beyond our personal viewpoint. The paradox is that we need to make the effort to transcend our self without being attached to whether or not we are effectively accomplishing this. In other words, we need to aspire to higher connections without trying to personalize our perceptions when we do. This is effectively accomplished by neutralizing the beliefs in our certainty about our perspective. By embracing the larger unknown Wisdom and letting it emerge moment-to-moment, comes a greater freedom and an ability to attract whatever information is needed to make our contributions in life.

The three belief structures of Romance, Motives, and Love particularly support Personal Achievement because they promote an attachment to what we believe we know so as to justify our actions. With Directive Love, we assume we know better than others what they need from us. We bristle when they complain about how we are loving or serving them. It feels to us like they do not appreciate the effort and sacrifice we are making. While our intentions may be good, the means by which we implement it actually distances us from those whom we love. What throws us off balance is our attachment to taking care of our self at the cost of others. The more we are attached to fulfilling our own wants and desires, the less we are able to see the needs of others around us and effectively fulfill them. Personal achievement reflects a bias where we seek affirmation for what we accomplish and the way we do it for others.

To truly express love, we must operate in Unity with others. Personal achievement diverts our attention from seeking to fulfill the needs of others to being affirmed for our own contribution. As long as we are attached to being seen for what we give, it is hard to give it fully. In some situations, when we are not recognized or valued for our contributions, we have stop giving at all. This reflects how our beliefs about our contribution are keeping us from naturally holding ourselves in high esteem for our contributions. In other words, if we are unwilling to acknowledge our labor and contribution, we use the objections of others to invalidate us, when may really be in full alignment with what we are contributing.

When we have a broader consciousness about the difference between personal and group good, we can see how the group good is our personal good. The more we are attached to doing things in a particular way, the more likely it is we have a distorted motive within us to take care of ourselves at the cost of the group. This indicates we have not been seen or honored by others for previous contributions in a way that we wanted to be. It also shows up as a feeling of malice or anger that can be evoked in us when others make demands of us we do not want to fulfill. When we have been unable to accept our contribution, we often are vengeful and want others to honor our contribution first. The irony is that often our anger can drive us to heroic expressions where we transcend old preconceptions and contribute in ways that awaken to our potential greatness. In this way, competition has been glorified because it forces a discipline on us that has a positive impact on society.

The distortion of Personal Achievement occurs because we need others to validate our contribution in a way that we cannot validate it ourselves. This indicates how we were wounded by other’s demands that we meet their expectations at the cost of our own. It reveals a paradox where we were taught to be unselfish and yet felt taken advantage of when we were unselfish. As a result, we try to get our needs taken care of first, which reduces our ability to see how we can contribute to the greater good. Personal Achievement is, therefore, an over-attachment to being seen as heroic and right in what we do, based on our supposed superior knowledge. In the process, we over-emphasis our efforts and accomplishments and glorify our process at the cost of the greater good. What makes this so challenging is that, by choosing to reinforce our need to be seen, it actually attracts to us others who will unconsciously compete with us rather than cooperate.

Personal Achievement is seen as the process of connecting an intention with an action that distinguishes our personality self from other people. It emphasizes our cleverness rather than a mutual understanding or wisdom this reflects that we are incomplete with accepting that our natural contribution will be made in a way that supports and serves others. We believe we must force the issue to get others to recognize us, when merely making contribution would be enough. Sometimes the need to demonstrate Personal Achievement is really about how we are insecure about expressing ourselves. The feeling that we need leverage to convince others of our rightness comes from an inherent sense of weakness or inferiority. When this happens, we become more interested in building an image of success than in actually being successful. In this way, our pride in our accomplishments becomes the way to demand that others defer to us and the path we have blazed. This is why getting the esteem of others becomes so important to us.

Personal Achievement is a dualistic lower motive. Since it requires others to hold us in high esteem before we can see ourselves in that way, there is always the fear that we will lose their esteem. So we get caught up in performance or the appearance of it, so others will believe we are doing more than they are and cause them to want to imitate us. We fear we will lose our position of prominence once we have attained it. We are caught in a self-judgment framework where we have to constantly produce or we could be seen as a loser no one would want to associate with. The more we produce, the more we can use the disparity between our results and those of others around us to secretly shame them into honoring our achievements. Ironically, establishing this cycle perpetuates a need to constantly prove ourselves better. This is a motivating force in the world that, unfortunately, does not take into account the larger, common good.

The dark side of Personal Achievement is the need to prove how much better we are than others at a cost to them. This keeps us from working effectively with others because we become the critic, evaluator, and judge of other’s performance in a way that distances us from them. We use the willingness of people who admire us because they want to be like us to justify the abuse we heap on them trying to improve them for their own good. We think they should endure this abuse in order to learn the secrets to our success. We are not happy in this position because it isolates us from others. Sometimes we can bridge this gap by becoming a mentor to particular people who we think have the potential to carry on our legacy. This becomes one of the few ways we can to build an intimacy with others. Unfortunately, it usually requires those who we mentor to unquestioning follow our directions and make us “right”, even at the cost of their own intuitive knowing.

Being a mentor to some “great” individual often means we need to accept them and their faults unconditionally, be patient about their impatience with us, and recognize and reinforce their sense of superiority, otherwise they feel betrayed. This need for deference reinforces an unequal relationship where the outer growth only can occur in one direction. The cost to the mentor in any mentoring relationship is that, when they are accepted completely where they are, they have no need to grow further. The only way out of this dilemma is to acknowledge our need to grow and engage our fears directly without projecting them onto others. We have to stop needing to perform in a superior way so we can find our natural Truth and deal with others as equals. We need to recognize that our self-perceptions of past great achievements only create obstacles to current great achievement. The more we believe the story of our own history, the less able we are to step beyond it to serve and contribute in new ways. Only in this way will we discover that “goal fitness” is how we honor our creative knowing and come into alignment with Universal Intent. Goal fitness is where we are not blinded by our self-perceptions and can effectively see what is needed and apply ourselves to fulfilling that need. Goal fitness occurs whenever we make an authentic contribution and it is received.

The hidden denied belief is the default assumption we operate from when we are unconscious. This reflects the worst-case scenario where we are self-identified with our positions and perspectives and are unable to consider the experience of others because it may superficially clash with ours. Our fears of being superseded drive us to control others using intensity and conviction to cut down and diminish the ability of others to influence us. To the degree we are caught up in our thought process, we seek others to acknowledge and accept our thoughts as they are. This is usually because we do not want to make the effort to adjust our thoughts to meet the complexity of changing circumstances. When we are forced to adjust to others, our need to feel superior drives us to find ways they must adjust to meet us. This leads to defensive interactions that get progressively more difficult and distancing.

The more we become a legend in our own minds, the easier it is to distance our self from the contrary beliefs of others. The more we covertly believe we are a failure, the more unconsciously we distance ourselves from this perspective by projecting a larger façade that reveals how we believe we are greater than others. In this way we artificially amplify every little molehill achievement into a gigantic mountain of an achievement. We seek to be accepted in this magnified view of ourselves and, in return, are willing to accept others magnified view of themselves. As long as there is a balance and proportionality between these perceptions, others are willing to live with our fantasy perceptions. The problems arise when we are hurt and we make cutting remarks to others that cause them to reevaluate their need for the relationship. We do not want to be with someone who does not hold us in at least as high esteem as we hold ourselves. For some of us, this may not be much.

The more others ask us to be logical and act in a reasonable way, the more likely it is they are trying to change our viewpoint about ourselves. It has become common to evaluate our position relative to that of others and to use our logical strengths against their logical weaknesses. In this way, we can come to a rationalized framework for dealing with our issues. Unfortunately, most of the differences we have are not on the intellectual level, but rather reflect denials of the emotional, feeling, or physical factors that may be going on in the relationship. It is ironic that many of us try to address situations on an intellectual level, when our differences really occur on these other levels. This particularly occurs the more we believe in our own Personal Achievement and how it provides a position of power to which others must conform. We currently see this in many business environments where leaders use intellectual reasoning to try to change behavior. It is not usually very successful.

Beliefs about Personal Achievement are a primary means for many people to differentiate themselves from others. Typically, this means they use their differences in background to substantiate their own views over others. By background we mean the “resume” of your experience that allows you to justify what you believe you contribute in the world. In other words, we can fall into the trap of defining ourselves in terms of our past to the degree that we can only see our solution and our direction. When we continue to operate with this limited perception, it keeps us from seeing, not only aspects of our own contribution, but how others can contribute to the process to expand the total contribution. Instead of getting locked into a position, we need to continue to accept the reality and experience of others without necessarily defining ourselves in limited frameworks.

To transcend Personal Achievement, we need to stop trying to substantiate our success and compare it to that of others. We need to accept that each person has their unique contribution and, if we define ourselves in terms of others, we really undermine both our contributions. Instead, let us unite our labors with those of others in a spontaneous and heartfelt way so that all the creative possibilities in the co-creative process emerge. We call this Mutual Accomplishment because it generates a greater synergy and expression that transcends each individual’s contribution. One of the best ways to manifest this is to learn how to learn together so that our personal focus becomes a transpersonal one.

It is helpful to recognize where we are distancing ourselves from our own internal wisdom by identifying where our apparent weaknesses compromise our self-acceptance. By sharing our weaknesses with others, it creates a larger, more unified context in which the truth can be told. In this way, we learn how to turn our weaknesses into strengths so that our Personal Achievements become Mutual Accomplishments. It is in Mutual Accomplishments that we no longer question or prove our self-esteem. As a result, our mutual esteem for each other allows us transcend any preoccupations with personal ownership or acknowledgement. Whereas with Personal Achievement, knowledge is power, Mutual Accomplishment teaches us that unified wisdom is even more powerful.

Personal Achievement is one step up from Arrogance on the Path of Autonomy and will naturally lead us to Idealized Unity, which is one step above Personal Achievement. With each of these steps, the quality of our labor improves because we have a deeper, truer, more authentic connection with our Self. With each of these steps, the illusion of the separateness of thought diminishes. The striving that is behind our contributions can be expressed in ever more inclusive ways and be accepted in ever deeper ways to the point where we become an agent of Universal Intent. Pursuing this path with focused intent allows our growth to accelerate with the completion of each step. Eventually, we will reach a place of serendipitous Mutual Accomplishment where we what we contribute seamlessly and effortlessly integrates with the contributions of others.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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