Updated: Jun 30, 2021
Everyone has their own definition of success. For some, success is seeing a certain dollar amount in their checking account. For others, success is climbing the corporate ladder or receiving a specific title for their role such as a lawyer, banker or doctor. Some of us find success is raising a family or living a peaceful life. While neither of these versions of success are right or wrong, you will know when you feel your definition of success.
Unfortunately, too many people feel they are successful but lack fulfillment. Even top achievers can have a sense of accomplishment and may be very successful in their career, extremely skilled and have the desired traits for their career role, yet, some will admit they do not feel fulfilled and that something is "missing".
Here are some things to ask yourself as you are busy achieving that can help shed some light on being successful AND fulfilled.
Do you find you feel energized, excited and inspired while you are busy doing what you are doing, achieving your goals, even when obstacles appear? Or do you find you are constantly feeling burnt out, overwhelmed and drained?
Are you thriving? Or are you barely surviving?
Would you like to do things differently in your career or your life that would bring more meaning or purpose to you?
If you've answered yes to any of these, realize you are not alone. There is a solution and you really can have both success and fulfillment.
Being aware of why you are feeling like something is "missing" or lacking in your life is key. Once you are aware, then move on to creating some new and more intentional choices. Reflect on your true core values. It is important to realize if you really know yourself, your true identity, your authentic self. It is common to blur our identity with other "roles" we have in life. Most of us have roles such as our role at work, role as a parent, role as a sibling, role in our community, role as a friend. And these roles often have obligations or so called rules enforced or created by others and can often feel as if we've been assigned a label. It is easy to begin to define ourself to others (especially when meeting someone new) as the identity we've assigned to the role(s) in our life. "I'm an Advertising Executive and father of 3 grown children."
Bring more meaning into your career. Consider bringing more of your authentic self to work. Take some time to identify your strengths, traits and interests and consider different ways to use these or express them into your work. Reflecting on your values and interests can help you in understanding what makes work meaningful to you. Consider how you can integrate your strengths and talents into your work. A friend of mine, whom I really admire, Pat Dodge does this so remarkably. She is a department clothing stylist and her compassionate personality goes way beyond the sales counter as she truly cares and helps empower her customers to ensure they have a personable and unforgettable experience. You can read more about her unique, authentic approach in her book "Retail Reality".
Have you ever asked yourself what success feels like? So often, we can get caught up in a cycle of achievement, the rat race and feel we get to a certain mile stone and then quickly start to go after the next, thinking we will finally feel that joy, happiness, etc when we "get there". It can help to clarify why you want to get there. Why is this mile stone important to you? How do you think you will feel when you've reached your goal? In what ways can you begin to feel these emotions now? Waiting to experience emotions that are important to you could take a very long time. If success means feeling peaceful, joyful and secure, consider what other areas in your life can help you feel this way now? Or what smaller ways in your career can you feel these emotions now?
Lastly, try practicing gratitude. Each day, reflect on at least 3 things you are deeply grateful for. And write these down. But don't just jot them down in your journal, truly feel the emotion of gratitude for these 3 things. I find when I consistently practice gratitude, I receive more of what I am grateful for. And this is truly a feeling of success and fulfillment.
It is important to have both success and fulfillment. Knowing what your personal definition is of each, is key to having happiness in life, especially if there is a feeling of fulfillment and not just the obvious success symbols.
Do you feel stuck or frustrated and would like to feel fulfilled and successful? Contact me for coaching sessions and I will guide you through exploration, discovery and creating an action plan firstname.lastname@example.org visit my website to learn more about my coaching services.
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