Are you seeking fulfillment in the wrong place?


Are you measuring your success in a way that is creating fulfillment in your life? Fulfillment and self-actualization have become front and center in this new paradigm of business and success building, and I’m actually quite grateful that this shift has come to pass. There are still a lot of coaches, business mentors, leaders that work from the old paradigm, the overcommitment, overgiving, time and life sacrificing style of success. As with anything, it takes time for these things to pass. They do not happen overnight, but for some of you, you might be bringing those old beliefs, unknowingly into your business. If you’re making career changes and pivots and have decided to create something for yourself, then even without your awareness, if this is something that you’ve chosen to abandon as a way of being in your business, in your life,  it can show up in some surprising ways. To lead a life. to live a life where we feel fulfilled, that is what we are here to do. 

[00:02:37] Now, that doesn’t look the same for everyone. For some people it’s going to be very different. Some people, their purpose and their fulfillment in life comes from being a stay at home mom or a stay at home dad. It may come from being a physician, an attorney, a nurse, even a nursing assistant. In my years in healthcare, I worked with people who worked as nursing assistants and as hard, physically hard as that work is and physically demanding for such low compensation, that is what fulfills those people. It doesn’t make the work any less valuable, any less meaningful, any less important. It’s about finding that path that is uniquely yours. That fulfillment comes from the inside out. And it’s interesting in some of the reading that I’ve been doing, how so much importance is placed upon achievement. And I can’t help but wonder sometimes if this achievement and the feelings that we get associated with that success is not often confused with fulfillment. 

[00:04:12] When we are fulfilled in our lives, not only do we have everything that we need, we have the things that we desire, and we’re living in this place of service. Whatever that uniquely looks like for you, where you are content. You’re in a balance of giving and receiving. You’re in a place where, yes, you live for you, you’re living your life for you, but you’re not living your life just for you. If I can draw that distinction. It’s not a selfish, egotistical for you. It’s following your passion, your emotions, your love, your dreams in creating the impact that you desire in the world.

[00:05:07] When we get caught up in mistaking achievement and the feelings that go with it for fulfillment, we can inadvertently get caught in this loop of always having to chase the next goal. And hey, I get it. You can’t measure if you’re a good parent. You can’t measure if you’re a good partner in a relationship, whether that’s a business relationship, an intimate relationship. You just can’t measure those things. There is not a scale for happiness. What we can measure is the number of zeros in the bank account. We can measure the size of the house, the price tag on the car, the paintings, the antiques, whatever it is that you like to invest in and collect. The revenue goals in the business. Those are things that we can measure. We can see them and we can say, “Okay, yes, I did better this year than I did last year. Yes, I did better this quarter than I did last quarter. The market adjusted here. We had to make some adjustments and we’re still on target to meet our goals.” Those are things that have metrics and they’re tangible. They can also give us dopamine hits. So when you’re someone who’s lived your entire life achieving setting goals, hitting those goals in using those as measures of success, our brain can put the importance in the wrong place and it can happen without us even recognizing it. And then we feel like we need those numbers to prove that we’re still doing well. 

[00:07:12] Now, all that being said, we cannot stagnate in business. If we stagnate in business, our business will die. We have to always be looking at things, adjusting, maneuvering, looking at how we can grow, how can we serve differently. Maybe that involves scaling down, not scaling up. So it’s important to take a step back if you feel that your fulfillment waxes and wanes, or that sometimes you’re disconnected from that feeling, take a moment and reflect. Where are you drawing that sense of fulfillment from? Is it from metrics and goals met and achievements, or is that fulfillment coming from reflecting deep inside and knowing that you are making an impact, that you are doing your best, that you’re showing up, you’re serving in whatever way it is in the world that you serve others in, that you’re having that positive impact that you desire. That’s where fulfillment comes from. And if we are honest with ourselves, because this is one of the hardest things to do, is look inside yourself and be brutally honest with what you see inside. I know it has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, is to be brutally honest with myself. Are you judging yourself? When you were looking to seek that fulfillment, are you telling yourself that what you’ve done isn’t good enough? It could be more. It could be better. Are you comparing it to other people? Because if that’s the case, then the things standing between you and fulfillment is not another goal. It’s not another achievement. It’s your own inner voice. 

[00:09:16] And when you know that, then you can begin to take some action to shift that. Because if your inner voice is antagonizing you, or it’s contradicting you when it comes to these moments of feeling fulfilled or desiring to be fulfilled with all that you’re putting in the world, then you have to ask yourself, “Where did that come from? Where does that come from?”

And it may not always be something that we’re consciously aware of. This is where those glass ceilings, the invisible blocks, the hidden imposter, it’s where all of this stuff comes in. And the first step is taming that inner voice because until you tame that inner voice, it doesn’t matter how many charities you fund, how many philanthropic efforts you dive into, that voice will always be there. Is it enough? Could you do more? What more could you do? And there’s always more that we can do, but it’s not our responsibility to do everything out there that needs to be done. If you find yourself in this place where you’ve achieved a lot, you’re really successful, and it seems like you always have to keep going, I want you to know, it doesn’t have to be that way. Most likely, there’s something simply subconscious that needs to be unraveled, that needs to be released in order for you to, one, be able to feel fulfilled without that inner voice coming after you. And two, so that you can continue to achieve. But to do it at a healthy pace instead of this type A corporate hustle, hustle, hustle, 13, 14, 16 hours, work my fingers to the bone mentality because some of those habits and traits are still being taught by coaches. , Yes, you have to show up and do what you have to do. Yes, there are moments in business where you’re gonna have to commit a whole hell of a lot more hours than you want to commit, but it’s not sustainable to do it month after month, year after year with no end in sight. Because if you’re like most people, you’ve gone into business because you wanna make a difference and because you want freedom. Financial freedom and time freedom. And if you’ve gotten yourself caught up in this loop, it is time for you to explore a better way and to break that loop.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. I would love to know your thoughts as you reflect back to really take a look at where you’re seeking fulfillment in your life, whether it’s your business, your personal life, actually, your life is your life and your business is just something that serves you. But you know what I’m saying? Are you seeking that fulfillment from. or are you seeking that fulfillment from external achievements? Because if you’re seeking it from external achievements, it will never be long lasting. I’ll see you next week.

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