Finding fulfillment beyond achievement.
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
5 steps to feel happier and increase your fulfillment today!
Photograph by Donald Giannatti, courtesy of Unsplashed.
As high-achievers, we thrive and feel at our best when constantly adding new goals and challenges or reaching new heights in our careers or personal lives. Being able to accomplish goals, get that promotion or run a profitable and thriving business fuels us, gives us purpose, and proves our worth to others; for most professional women, it is how we show that we deserve a seat at the table.
In some cases, high-achievers measure their self-worth by their list of accomplishments and therefore have a hard time facing career challenges or transitions that can impact their self-esteem and confidence. Because if your self-worth is measured by achievement or career, you can lose your sense of self when something goes wrong. There's nothing wrong with being a go-getter and a high-achiever; the challenge is when the scale tilts too far, and it causes you to be overwhelmed and overworked. Also, when the only way to find fulfillment is by constantly achieving, it can cause you to be stressed and unable to enjoy life because you neglect other areas of your life.
I have had first-hand experience with this; as a high-achiever, I used to believe that as long as everything was going great with my career, I could put out fires in other areas of my life. Unfortunately, this mentality cost me a lot, a few failed relationships, a lack of self-care, and constantly struggling financially; I had difficulty balancing it all.
So how do you find fulfillment beyond achievement? It is not easy to change behaviors overnight, and it does not necessarily mean that you have to stop being ambitious and a go-getter. It just takes conscious awareness about how you are approaching life and finding the balance between performance and enjoyment.
Finding fulfillment feels and looks different for each of us because we are all unique. But it starts with aligning yourself with your values and purpose so that you can live fully, be engaged and present and feel joy every day.
Here are five steps you can practice to fill happier and increase your fulfillment today, but remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Small, conscious actions can help you shift your mindset and form new lasting habits because it is a marathon, not a sprint.
1) Find your purpose and define what you are passionate about. Start with understanding your values and what you love doing, then take inventory of how your current job, relationships, social life, or environment stacks up to what you value.
I recommend doing a values exercise, list 10-15 values that are important to you, then circle the top five. Then see how your values show up in your life and compared to your current situation; an example could be if trust is in your top five, and you realize that at work, the current environment lacks trust, and you feel like you always have to watch your back then this is not aligned with you and with your values. Therefore you will feel unsatisfied and unhappy at work.
This awareness can help you decide how to address this at work or if it's time to start looking for a more trusting environment.
Keeping your top values list handy is a great tool to make decisions and initiate essential changes in your life that will help you get closer to feeling more fulfilled and less dependent on constant achievement to be happy.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly sastisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
2) Distinguish your WHO from what you do for a living. For most people, who they are is defined by what they do, and you see that when you meet new people and hear the list of accolades or job descriptions following an introduction. Nothing wrong with that if you are in a networking event or work function, but it's essential to learn to define and separate who you are from what you do.
Let's say you lose your job or get sick and can no longer work. What happens to your self-esteem, confidence, and your sense of worth? It all goes out the window with your career. But most importantly, that's not who you are.
Who you are is your true essence, the qualities, and the personality you have developed since childhood. To help you get back in touch with who you are, think about your innate qualities and what makes you unique. If you are at a loss for words, reach out to a few friends and ask them to tell you why they are your friends. This will give you a great perspective and remind you how wonderful and unique you are.
3) Be present in the moment; instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, focus on the present moment. So much stress and unhappiness come from thoughts about the future or past regrets. These negative thoughts prevent you from enjoying the present, and they get in the way of enjoyment and hinder your ability to be happy with what's in front of you. So often, you hear people say, "I'll be happy when" I have the house, or get married or get the dream job," but what happens to be happy today? Enjoying the present company or the current place you are in life. Start living today without worrying about yesterday, and take every moment as if it were your last.
The art of fulfillment is the ability to experience the thrill of the chase and the magic of the moment, the unbridled joy of feeling truly alive.
4) Nurture spirituality: whatever you believe in, take time to nurture it. Maybe it is God, the Universe, etc.; taking time for prayer, meditation, or reflection is essential. This allows you to tap into your intuition or higher self, and it helps you cultivate positive emotions and release stress; it also creates a sense of connection to others. The more time you dedicate to your spiritual practices, the more peace, and joy you'll get to experience. You'll also be to access creativity and train your brain to operate from a state of flow versus survival mode.
5) If you really want something, make space for it: making space for what's important to you can be difficult, especially when you play many roles in life and have a demanding career. I encounter clients who often struggle to find the time for a new hobby, a volunteer opportunity, or just some "me" time. I get it; I have been there myself. Trying to please others or putting responsibilities before play makes sense and can make you feel selfish. But guess what? You cannot take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself, and trust me when I say that you would be much nicer when you take the time to do something nice for yourself!
I wish for you to walk away with some great insights and actions you can take to get closer to finding fulfillment and know that you are much more than what you can accomplish;
I believe that!
As a Coach, my specialty is partnering with high-performing individuals like you to help you reassess your life, align with your values and purpose and help you design the lifestyle you've always dreamed of! Click here to learn more about my "Find your fulfillment" coaching package and to learn more about me.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
What high performer tendencies are keeping you from filling fulfilled?
Comment below or send me a message.