Getting Through Dark Times Using Past Success Patterns

by DeAnna Murphy, Lisa Gregory, and Steve Jeffs

The future – especially right now – looks mostly uncertain and dark.  Given that uncertainty is a universal negativity trigger, having a strategy for navigating it is not just nice, but critical to surviving the stress of these times.  If you’re looking for one, you don’t have to search any farther than the success patterns and wisdom found in your own life.  These are revealed by merely asking yourself a handful of simple questions: When have I had success getting through tough times?  How did I do it?  What did I learn from it?  Find your stories, and you’ll find your success patterns.

Asking these questions helped me distill ten nuggets of insight that changed the entire course of my life.  Consider what your own list would include as you read them.

    1. You can increase your feeling of being valued by serving others, but you never increase your actual value.  It is constant and unconditional – and does not equal your performance or your approval rating from others.
    2. You have a combination of strengths that is amazingly unique – so much so that the statistical probability of finding it in someone else is 1 in 476 trillion (this is based on 34 strengths and knowing that you have 10 strengths you call on most or some of the time).
    3. You have a purpose for being on this planet, a work to do that your strengths position you for.  A gaping hole in the world’s puzzle will be left if you don’t fill it.
    4. When you focus on living from purpose, you will live with joy, confidence, and energy every day and leave a legacy that extends far beyond your line of sight.
    5. Your identity is not defined by your weakness, nor by your mistakes, or failures.  But your wisdom is – if you will let these gifts inspire and shape your future growth.
    6. Your strengths don’t make you good, and your weaknesses don’t make you bad.  They simply make you human.  Both are gifts if you let them be.
    7. Honestly acknowledging your weakness and strengths leaves others less inclined to criticize you and more inclined trust you and help you work effectively together.
    8. Listening with curiosity and truly hearing others inspires and positively influences others more than all the wisdom and knowledge you could ever share.  Ask more than tell.
    9. People who judge you deserve your most heartfelt compassion because their judgement is an outward mirror of their own harsh inside critic.  Their own “not enough” belief is the reason for their insensitive behavior – not your personal failure.
    10. When you hold yourself and others without judgment, you have found the biggest secret to rewarding, rich relationships, to fulfilling contribution, and to endless high energy and performance.  You have activated the key to joyful interdependence.

Knowing and living from these truths has brought me peace, even in the midst of chaos.  It has led to the richest, most authentic relationships of my life, with cherished people all over the globe.  These insights have preserved my marriage for thirty-six years, when statistically, given the challenges we faced, we had a 90% chance it would fail.  Our children learned wisdom earlier – not because these things were spoken, but because they were lived.  In the end, hindsight is 20-20 for all of us, and can offer a bright light to guide us through an uncertain future.  Success patterns are the best kind of hindsight because they springboard you toward all kinds of future possibilities.

What are your success patterns?

This article has been written by DeAnna Murphy – the founder and CEO of People Acuity and principal author of Shift Up! Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living and Choose to See You and the soon-to-be released Interdependent Leadership – in collaboration with co-thought leaders, Lisa Gregory and Steve Jeffs. If you need guidance to find your strengths, purpose, or success patterns, People Acuity’s Self-Leadership program will guide you to find your own answers (click here for more information).  DeAnna is a Top 100 Global Coaching Leader who has provided keynotes and leadership development experiences in 32 countries.  For a free coaching conversation, sign up for 30 minutes with DeAnna here.

Photo credit: Photographs by Tom Hussey – see