Four Ways to Enjoy Your Success More in the Moment
For much of my career, I lived in a pretty constant reaction mode. Between customer needs, tight schedules and a long to-do list, there was always more to do than I could finish in a day.
On top of that, I had high goals and ideals. So I was motivated and constantly plowing ahead. And I managed teams and long-term projects where our targeted outcome was months if not years down the road.
And although I experienced a great deal of success, I rarely paused to acknowledge and truly appreciate successes – or lessons – along the way. This left me feeling a sense of dissatisfaction, of always being behind where I wanted to be.
This more or less constant sense of the gap between where I wanted to be and where I was made it tough to appreciate the good things happening each and every day. It was tough to be fully engaged in the present moment. And I wasn’t allowing myself to enjoy the great people, embrace the fun projects, or find peace with the process of life.
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It’s taken consistent, intentional effort to become more conscious of these patterns of thinking and ways of being. The good news is that with this consciousness (and through work with some incredible coaches and mentors), I’ve been able to shift long-held patterns.
I can truly say that my day-to-day experience of work and of life in general is dramatically different than it was just a few short years ago. There are still days where I get overwhelmed, but they are much fewer and farther between, and there are more days where I’m just enjoying all of life – my work as well as quality time for myself and with loved ones.
The Complexities of Success
As a business owner or leader in your organization, you naturally have goals. You want a certain amount of revenue growth, you’d like to reach a new target market, you want to pivot your operations and ensure you’re serving clients well.
The challenge for so many of us —especially when we have a big vision —is that we measure ourselves by our ideals. And while it’s important to have ideals, when we constantly measure ourselves by our idea of how things should be, this can make it difficult to see the very real progress we’ve made when our progress doesn’t measure up to our ideals.
When we measure ourselves by our idea of how things should be, this can make it difficult to see the very real progress we’ve made when our progress doesn’t measure up to our ideals.
The even greater risk is that we can fall into a state of constant lack instead of a mindset of abundance. It’s easy to do when we’re focused on the gap between our goals, ambitions and ideals – for ourselves and our work – versus where we actually are.
Mind the Gap
The reality is that this gap is always there. As we focus on it, it can make success feel further and further away – even when we are making perfectly good progress and succeeding in very real and what could be rewarding ways.
Over time, this tends to leave us feeling discontent. We miss out on acknowledging, appreciating or enjoying the very good things that are happening in our work and our lives each day. Meaning we risk missing out on much of what is sacred in life, much of what brings us joy, meaning, fulfillment.
If any of this sounds familiar, it may be time to engage a coach or seek a mentor you trust and respect. You can also try the following four steps to better mind the gap and find more peace in the present:
- Notice. Practice noticing when you’re feeling behind or overwhelmed. When you are in this state of lack, pause, take a deep breath and acknowledge 3 things that are going well for you in the moment.
- Accept What Is. There is only so much we can affect. What we cannot change, what we cannot influence no matter what, should not be a concern to us. And yet we often spend so much energy focusing on and trying to change those things we have no control over. Why worry about something that all the worrying in the world will not change? Why care so much about what other people think of us when we’re not even sure what it is they’re actually thinking? When you practice noticing and accepting what is that you cannot change, you can relieve yourself of a mountain of stress and anxiety. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted. Taking this path is a road towards more peace.
- Make a Mental Shift. Many clients, upon paying more attention to their thinking patterns, are surprised at the negativity they find. We can all be our own worst critics. And it can be easy to shift this judgment to others. But when we take notice of involuntary negative thoughts in a nonjudgmental way, we initiate a healing process. Over time, this allows us to replace intimidating or upsetting self-talk with more positive, empowering thoughts.
- Be Patient. Be patient with yourself and the process. Remember that it’s a journey and you’re never really finished. Practice appreciating and enjoying where you are – even as you look ahead and work toward your goals for the future.
This is not to say that you accept everything as it is and take no further action. Instead, use these steps to find a more empowering and enjoyable place to work from: One where you are accepting of where you are in the moment and also energized, motivated, even compelled by your goals and what lies ahead.
We all have the ability to become more aware of thoughts and patterns of behavior that are no longer serving us. And to intentionally work to shift those to more empowering attitudes and approaches to our lives.
If you enjoyed this post and would like help navigating the complexities of your success so that you enjoy success more, contact me directly to see if you qualify for a complimentary strategy session.
You can also learn more about me, read more blog posts, download free tips to create a business and a life you love, or check out the stories of people who have worked with me.