business coaching · goal-setting · insurance · mastermind · mindset · sales · self-love · time management

Fighting the Trap of Unfulfilling Success

We have mice.

My husband found some mice in an outside storage shed a few weeks ago.  And he set up traps and got most of them over the course of one gruesome month.  The problem was that they had gotten at a ton of our things and we had to go through the cardboard boxes and start throwing things away.

I tackled my “medals and trophy” box.  This thing was full of signs of my success as a child.  I had kept all my band medals – 1st place at state, of course.  (I played the tuba in case you were wondering how cool I really am.)  My valedictorian medal.  My MVP trophies from track and cross country.  The FBLA project I did with a friend that won 1st place in WI and made it to nationals.  Guys, I even kept a 1st place trophy for Math from a Knights of Columbus contest.

All signs of unfulfilled success.

As children, some of us try to work our way towards validation and being accepted.  The only way this former perfectionist thought I was worthy was if I was successful.  The medals and records and trophies were all signs that I was “good enough.”  Those validation-seeking habits followed me through college, through my first jobs, and came crashing in when I had hit the high point of my professional career.

I had just finished 6th year in insurance and had the #2 team at a now billion-dollar company.  I got to speak in front of the entire sales force at our national sales meeting on how the team and I had achieved that.  I didn’t tell the truth.  I said what sounded good.  I didn’t mention how obsessed I had become with the short-term goal.  Didn’t talk about the people I had gotten into turf wars with.  Forgot to mention that it felt empty.

So many people deal with unfulfilled success.  Keep trophies and medals and act like everything they do will be included on an imaginary resume somewhere.  It wasn’t my former employer’s fault I didn’t feel fulfilled.  That was all on me.

Do you know anyone who deals with this?  Maybe feel that way yourself?  You reach a level of success and know you SHOULD feel happy, but you don’t?

At the We Wanna Win mastermind I facilitated a few weeks ago, I opened my part “Beyond the Board” about how you are being in the process and how present you are while working towards your goals determines how you feel about them.  This is what I’m a huge proponent of when working with my 1-on-1 clients. (You can reserve your spot at my free online workshop “Beyond the Board” on Nov 12th at 7:00 pm CST here if you are curious on the details about this.)

If you are grinding to your goal, it only feels good for a hot minute when you achieve it.  It’s not lasting, because you didn’t grow.  Didn’t become a better person in the process.  It didn’t validate you the way you thought it would.

Performance and sustainable success has a lot of components to it.  I had a lot of time to work on myself and recognize this need in me when I opted out of the work force for a few years.  I no longer subconsciously work to gain another person’s validation.  If I’m not getting better in the process, I won’t do it.  I have more fun in the journey than the end result, and it shows up in my life in so many ways.

I hope you are shooting for long-term success.  And that you work hard to get it.  If you feel like you might be missing a few pieces to make it more fulfilling to you, please reach out to me.  Helping my clients have fulfilling success that’s sustainable is what I’m all about.


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