Encouragementology

Feeling Successful, Creating A New Definition

January 28, 2020

Whether you are hitting it out of the park or barely getting off the bench, this is the show for you. Webster defines success as, accomplishing an aim or purpose. Setting a goal and hitting a target. But what if you could feel successful in your everyday? Just living and breathing and having that feeling of success. Sounds ominous and over the rainbow but, what if? Would you search a little longer for that feeling? Go a little deeper to experience that on a daily basis? I think we need to redefine successful and look at ourselves in a new light.

So, how are you feeling today? Did you wake up on top of the world? The alarm goes off and you popped out of bed, “creator of your own destiny!” Onward and upward. Wouldn’t that be great? First of all to pop out of bed when the alarm goes off, forget all about the destiny stuff for a minute. Are any of us that eager to start the morning? That’s on the to-do, work on popping out of bed. 

Or does your morning look a little different? SNOOZE, snooze again, yet again. COFFEE...no talking….more COFFEE. UGH, the list is already a mile long with all the things I failed to accomplish yesterday. How will I ever feel successful when I can’t seem to accomplish anything?!?

WOW ok, if your morning looks like that, we need a redefinition STAT! 

Let’s start with expectations and potentially, unrealistic ones. 

Alexander Pope said: “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” 

Have you ever wondered why we set our expectations too high?  It’s great to challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone but what do we expect a big payoff every time?  Sometimes the expectations we have for ourselves were actually created by someone else.

Your parents expected you to sit up straight, be home early, get good grades, be quiet, clean your room, clean your plate, find a good partner, settle down, have a family, contribute to society, ….already I’m exhausted and those aren’t even my own! What happens when we pile all of ours on top? No wonder life can feel overwhelming and we can’t seem to get anything accomplished. 

What if we let go of all the expectations we’ve been drowning in and swim back to shore free from them all? What if we started over and created our own set of expectations specifically for us right now. How would they look? 

  • I expect to get enough sleep to re-energize my body and renew my mind
  • I expect kind words from myself and those around me
  • I expect challenges and will accept the outcome knowing I tried my hardest
  • I expect nothing but what I have to give at that moment
  • I expect to be loved and will start by loving myself

If we created our own expectations in this manner the feeling of success would come much easier because we are setting ourselves up for success instead of failure. 

Ok, you’ve done it, you‘ve accomplished your goal, you’ve hit your target now what? Why can we do everything right and yet we still don’t feel successful? What’s missing?  The feeling. 

When goals are expectations set by someone else or society in general then we don’t have an emotional connection to them and the feeling we are looking for won’t be as strong if even felt at all. We need to feel something for what we are trying to do or we won’t feel anything at all. 

Remember the swim back to shore and the re-engineering for expectations? It’s time to do the same before you take aim. Make sure where you are going is where you want to go so when you get there you can experience that feeling.  Life can’t just be one drudge after another always moving the carrot further away. Sometimes you are sprinting, sometimes walking, sometimes you are on your hands and knees crawling. 

Are you waiting for retirement before the fun begins? Did you buy into the concept of working your entire life, scrimping and saving so that you could do whatever you wanted to do?  Is that success? My visual of that is dragging my beat up and broken self across some fictitious finish line only to collapse on the other side.

What if…..you could have successful events and mini celebrations along the way? What if you could retire while you’re still working for what you want. 

Christopher D. Connors from Medium says it may actually improve our lives. Love what you do. Live for what you do. Pour your heart, soul and all you’ve got into it. But for goodness sake, celebrate yourself when it’s merited and deserved.

But by all means, celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Don’t get self-conscious. Don’t get into the whole false-humility thing. Celebrate yourself when you’ve done something great.

CHALLENGE: Celebrate YOU. Not for all your goals accomplished but for the fact that you are here, giving it all you got! Redefine success and find gratitude in the journey, not just the destination.

I Know YOU Can Do It!