Clearly, success is a hot topic.
Rather than spend thousands of hours – and dollars – on hit-or-miss advice from the gurus, I invite you to consider that the answer may be simpler than you think.
Success is fed by pronoia.
What is pronoia? It’s the belief that the universe is conspiring in your favor. It’s the opposite of paranoia; Pronoia is about abundance, possibility, connection, expansion, and release.
When we come from a place of possibility, success flows. When we operate from scarcity, success is blocked.
(Note: I’m using the word “universe” because it resonates with me; for you, it might be God, spirit, Earth, etc.)
This past weekend, I was a witness and participant in the largest pronoia experiment I’ve ever seen: the Word Domination Summit, the brilliant creation of author and Introvert Entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau.*
Speakers, participants, volunteers, and even curious non-summit-goers came together to weave a web of connection that captured the big dreams being shared. Everyone became a potential catalyst. The “Time Capsule” video project had participants sharing a vision of their reality in 2020. Attendee Stories brought main-stage attention to personal projects, large and small. And speakers of all ages and walks of life reminded us of important truths about creating the opportunity for the universe to conspire in our favor:
Say your dream aloud.
Take imperfect action.
Let go. Dream like a child who has no fear.
Be bold. Be adventurous. Be strategic about it.
Practice constant, radical gratitude.
Choose love over metrics.
Let your first spark of inspiration fly (rather than editing it).
One voice, when put with everyone else’s, becomes a roar.
All the courage we need is in our DNA.
Be an expert at the attempt.
Bold statements lead to offers of help.
Starting is the step that leads to all others.
Leap and the net will appear.
We heard it over and over again: say your dream aloud. You don’t have to shout it, but you do have to share it. This is not always the easiest thing for us introverts! We can tend to keep things to ourselves. It doesn’t inherently have to do with confidence; it’s more about processing through and internalizing the dream, then allowing ourselves to embody it fully, without outside interference.
There comes a time when we must move the dream from inside to out and let the universe start to do its work. We have to let the spark fly, unedited. When we believe that everything will work out for us, we start to notice the times that circumstances go in our favor, and we are more resilient when they don’t. Why? Because we experience the speed bumps as just that: something that slows us down but doesn’t stop us.
By sharing your dream with one, ten, fifty or a thousand people, you’re increasing the odds that someone who hears it will be in a position to help you. When I first started my business, I tried to embrace every opportunity to talk about it. It wasn’t easy; I felt a bit self-conscious and nervous that my ignorance would be revealed in some horribly embarrassing way. But I kept sharing and found that the more people who knew about my work, the more resources I created.
The same was true for writing my book. That was even more challenging than talking about my business! Saying “I’m writing a book,” leads to expectations and people asking “how’s the book going?,” often when I was feeling my most discouraged or unfocused.
But while it was often uncomfortable to say the dream aloud, it created pronoia. I started to believe the book was not an “if,” but “when.” I was attracting more people into my life who either shared a similar dream or could help make my dream happen. I did the work required to make the book happen, while also believing that the universe was supporting my dream, if only I was receptive to the opportunities it put in my path.**
My business tagline is “Success is an inside job.” It’s not just a pithy saying that appeals to the introvert in me. It’s a philosophy I deeply believe. Success starts from within.
It’s a mindset, not an outcome.
You choose it, it doesn’t just happen to you.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to embrace pronoia.
- Share your dream aloud so that the universe can start to conspire in your favor.
- Notice any fear, and be grateful for it. It means you care.
- Who besides you is waiting for your dream to manifest? Who are you doing this for?
- What’s one small thing you can do (or be) every day to keep moving forward?
- What’s one fear-based story you want to release to make room for possibility?
- What imperfect action can you take right now?
And if you really want to step it up, share your dream in the comments so we can cheer you on (introvert style, of course 😉 )!
* Stay tuned: Chris Guillebeau is a guest on an upcoming episode of The Introvert Entrepreneur podcast. Can’t wait to share it with you! Until then, enjoy my conversation with author Pamela Slim, featured in Episode 68.
** Good news! My book, “The Introvert Entrepreneur,” will be published by Perigee Books in November 2015! If you want to stay in touch with me about the book and other introverty goings-on, I invite you to subscribe to my soon-to-be-launched eNewsletter. Short, useful, and inspiring (and NO SPAM), this weekly email will brighten your day and build your introvert pride of ownership!