Freedom from Hierarchical Paradigms

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I was in the top 15% of all my classes through grade school, high school, AND undergrad university. My writing was being published every time I submitted it to contests and publications,

I had access to an honour society (that came with a high-balance credit card) just from being so academically successful as a first-year student,

I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Thesis and English Literature with distinction,

I had a 4.0 GPA when I was working toward my Master’s degree in counselling psychology,

I had a reputation in every job EVER for being the best customer service employee, receiving promotions at every turn.

Success was my game. I knew how to rock it.

… and then I crashed and burned. Again and again. My success took temporary hits throughout the years between age 18 and now (almost age 28). The crashes? They were the results of mental health problems, particularly major depressive disorder.

Every time my mental illness flared up, I wiped out, burned out, and fell down. All the success that I was working toward would temporarily CRASH. Being one of the only people I knew who maintained her entrance scholarship in her first year of university, it broke my heart to lose it as a result of a crippling depression attack. Falls like this happened again and again. My grades would drop as low as 53% only to rise as high as 98%. It was like living a real-life roller coaster.

What was wrong with me?

Every time I crashed, I recovered. But each time I recovered, I carried a little more shame than before. How did I let this happen? Why couldn’t I keep this going? Something needed to change.

The same pattern happened in my business. In the first year of my life coaching business, my sales sky-rocketed as high as $20K in a month and dropped as low as $0 for 4 months. It was the same pattern as university, but this time, it was my finances being impacted by this pattern. The game was getting serious. And I NEEDED to make a change before my mental health dropped off the edge for good. What if I hit the point of no return?

It came close… That point of no return was getting closer and closer like being neck-deep in water

In the first year of my business, the extreme UP and DOWN pattern of my finances combined with my insatiable craving for material wealth almost killed me. Literally. It’s hard to really talk about this, but I went through an extreme suicidal low in January of 2018. Success was killing me. Yet, if I wasn’t chasing success, who even was I?

My Views of Success Needed a Make-Over (INSIDE and then OUT)

I was seeing success the way that the world taught me to view it: hustle, hustle, push, push, and then push some more.

This meant that “self-care” was a joke to me; I didn’t have time for that! I had promotions, grades, and money to earn.

It was not my intention, but I assigned my self-worth to my success. My accomplishments became the source of my confidence and self-love. Can you relate to this? It feels like you cannot breathe. Nothing fills that void in your chest or your stomach. Nothing is EVER enough. It’s a game and a hamster wheel where you NEVER win, even when you make the impossible happen.

Hierarchical Paradigms

The core issue of my success mindset was the fact that I saw it in terms of hierarchy. I was either “winning” or “losing.”

I was either “on top of my game” or “on the rock bottom of life.”

I was always comparing myself and my success to other people to make sure that I was “ahead” of someone else. I needed to be smarter, faster, quicker, and harder working than everyone else. As soon as I felt like I was on the bottom, the panic inside my body would take over my brain. This led to more hustle in order to remove the pressure of being “on the bottom” of this imaginary hierarchy that my brain was trained to believe in.

The idea of feminine success did not exist: you work hard and win or you fall between the cracks

Slowing down was “weak".” Self-care was “lazy.” So as my feminine body screamed for attention, care, and nurturing, I shoved her into submission. This led to weight gain from high cortisol life and comfort binge eating. As my body suffered, my depression relapsed and my anxiety took over full-force.

My body screamed and begged for recognition. My soul patiently waited for me, whispering encouragement into my ear: “you are enough, my dear.”

I had to put an end to my hierarchical views of success… or else risk losing myself in the endless chase

When I first learned about feminine energy, I was shocked! It felt so familiar and so true to listen to my intuition, slow down, and honour the cycles of my mind/body/soul.

And yet, I resisted the transition with every fibre of my being. It was like taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back as my nervous system kicked in with a panic: “what are you doing?! This is going to fail you!”

But I remain committed to this work in every way, and now, I help people from around the world to create their own success in this way. It feels rebellious to branch away from the hierarchy and patriarchy; it feels like I walked right off that hamster wheel with my middle finger in the air (which is one of my favourite feelings).

One of the biggest things that I help my clients to do is end the hierarchy-based views behind success so that they can access their inner guidance system instead.

This is the basic outline of how I create my own success in a way that honours my well-being every step of the way. My clients follow this process too, and when we work together, we go into this process in more depth and detail. However, I am sharing the basic process with you today.

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Plug into your intuition, take care of your energy, and FEEL yourself

Before you do anything in your life/business, you have to be WHERE YOU ARE. You cannot move forward without rooting yourself into the present moment. How are you feeling right now? What does your body need right now? How can you honour and celebrate yourself right now? The hierarchical view of success states that this comes AFTER the work is done. I say “fuck that.” Did you come to this life to be a work horse? Or have you come here to advance your consciousness, impacting the rest of the world with your power?

Before you can live a purpose-filled life, you have to ground yourself in your truth. You need to know yourself, feel yourself, and honour yourself. Otherwise, you WILL sabotage yourself every step of the way, making the whole process of success more difficult than it needs to be. Often, when you are struggling in life, it is because you are creating the struggle through your own consciousness, but you don’t realize this because your self-awareness is dulled by the stress and hustle.

Step one to creating your own long-lasting success is to tune into your body, nurture yourself, and listen to your personal needs. Your energy and well-being are #1.

Set Intentions

The reason why the hustle does not work as well as we think it does is because you are not taking the time to even be clear with yourself about what you WANT. What are you doing all of this for? What are you working toward? What do you want to experience and why? What role is your current work playing toward your dreams?

Once you have looked after yourself, you have the mental clarity and self-connection to start setting intentions for your life and business. This means stating exactly what you want to call into your life for the weeks and months to come.

Setting intentions is an emotional experience. It is more than affirmations and writing down your desires; you also want to FEEL into what you are calling in. What does it feel like to know that your intention is already done? What does it feel like in your body to already have hit your goal? Bring those feelings into everything that you do as you set your clear intentions.

Detach from the Outcome

The reason why the outcome-based, hierarchical approach to success creates so much stress is that you are spending the whole time waiting for an outcome to “make you” feel good. It is important that, once you have set your intentions, that you release your attachment. I can be the QUEEN of obsessing over an outcome if I don’t keep myself in check. I find a lot of guided meditations and energy work help me to remain detached from my desired outcomes (something that I bring into my own work as well).

Mindfulness and being presently aware of your surroundings in each moment allows you to release attachments. How can you enjoy the PROCESS of co-creating your intentions? This is way more fun than stressing yourself out between goals. When you are detached from the outcome in this way, you start to ENJOY your life again.

I LOVE the feeling of having deep, meaningful connections with my friends and my family as a result of relaxing my need for control. The more at peace I become with the process, the smoother the manifestation process becomes and the easier it becomes to reach my goals. The truth is that, when you release the outcome, you begin to see how you really do not need to do as much as you think you need to do in order to reach your goals in life.

Listen to intuitive nudges and external hints

Something magical happens when you follow the steps above: the universe begins to offer copious amounts of support and guidance. This works for me (and my clients) every single time. As soon as the intentions are set from a place of clear energy, and I have detached from my desired outcome, I begin to experience intuitive flashes, images, hints, and nudges that guide me to my goals.

Pay attention to how your intuition is speaking to you (something I help my clients to understand for themselves). Listen to the hints and follow them; I call this inspired action. Take the inspired action steps that are coming to your mind through your intuition.

The other fun part of this process is watching the external hints along the way. Since your external reality is always a projection of your internal reality, you will find that hints start to appear all around you, almost like the universe is conspiring WITH you. You aren’t going crazy; this just means that you are beginning to co-create your reality. Feel into each external hint and take inspired action as prompted.

Trust that each inspired action, no matter how small, is taking you to your intentions/goal. This part is crucial to the process. You have to believe in yourself and the intentions that you are following in order for co-creation to work.

Get ready to receive

The #1 place that a lot of my clients (and MYSELF) often self-sabotage is this final step: receiving. The hierarchical paradigm for success prevents you from really receiving. Even when you DO hit your goal, you are already planning for your next goal without enjoying the recent accomplishment. This is why this stage feels so unnatural and often brings up a lot of shadows for a lot of people: get ready to receive.

This means ALLOWING yourself to be energetically available to new clients. This means letting someone help you where you need aid. This means allowing yourself to ask for the prices that serve your business goals. This means being okay with pressure being taken off your shoulders. This means letting other people take care of themselves so that you don’t have to take care of them anymore. Get ready to receive.

The areas in your life where you allow yourself to receive pleasure are the areas where you empower yourself to receive financially. Again, I find that guided energy work helps me to relax and release stored energy from my body so that this receiving stage isn’t so challenging. Always check in with your body when given the opportunity to receive: how are you feeling? Are your muscles tense? How are you breathing? What are you afraid will happen if you stop giving for a moment and receive a little instead?

The more you get used to receiving in other areas of your life, the easier it becomes to receive for your work as well. This means that attracting clients and income becomes easier for you as you begin to practice the energy of receiving.

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Success gets to be a soulful, holistic process

I am not saying that it is easy to release the hierarchical approach to success, especially with it being so carved into our society.

I am saying that practicing this process is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Trying to practice this on your own might be really challenging, which is why I am here to offer support as an intuitive guide and soul success coach.

My e-mail newsletter is a free resource for empaths, thought leaders, and spiritual/intuitive entrepreneurs. It’s called Beyond, and it’s a low-key newsletter (in other words, you’re not getting an email every single day). I share guided meditations, written wisdom, words of encouragement, plus my own insight/wisdom behind the journey of a thought leader.

Sign up for Beyond here if you’re ready to receive more of the healing medicine shared in this post.

I hope this blog post served you, and please share this blog post with your loved ones who need a little inspirational boost.

For more inspiration, you can also join my free community here for thought leaders and spiritual seekers.

Talk soon xox

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Quinn Downie