Success often looks like an ideal in our head. Because we made it up. Maybe we're trying to live up to someone else's definition of success.
Despite overcoming problems and challenges, stacking wins and experiencing some pretty cool achievements...we still feel like we're not measuring up.
And it affects our mood. Man, does it ever!
It affects how we treat others. Our relationships. Heck, it affects everything.
So why do we beat ourselves up over this fleeting feeling of success and happiness?
I think there are 2 reasons why we don't feel successful despite having success:
1. We have not really taken the time to think about what true success looks like.
...And therefore are using someone else's version of it or a made up ideal.
2. We compare up instead of down.
If we stop for a second and compare where we are now to where we were at some point in the past, I'm pretty sure we'd feel a sense of satisfaction.
If we did that, we'd be measuring against our own PROGRESS.
**did you know...one of the keys to growth and happiness is the feeling that you are making progress? That's according to Stanford behavior Scientist, Dr. Fogg.
This is an area I'm leaning into right now too.
Let's work on it together. This will take but a few minutes.
Take out a piece of paper.
Answer these questions...
Go back about 5 years:
1. What things were you focused on (what was important at the time)?
2. How did you measure success at that point?
3. Write down how your situation has changed (new job, location, kids, etc)
4. Write down 3-5 big lessons you've learned since then.
5. What have been your biggest accomplishments in the last 5 years?
Bonus question: What would you tell the version of you 5 years ago?
This is an area of focus for me too.
In fact, journaling is one of my new habits for this year and I'm doubling down on it.
I had a podcast episode with Ewan Bain (he's got an awesome accent) that released this week and he's a mental health advocate and coach. And developed his own journal.
We talked about what stops people from journaling and how to pick it up. You can check that episode out here on iTunes ep 246 Harness the Power of Journaling
BTW...every Saturday morning I write to a few hundred driven men on how they can show up as better husbands, fathers and leaders. Want to be on a winning team? Join us!