Have you wondered about that question lately? Maybe it was after your latest performance review which left you wondering if this career is worth it. Or during a job for a demanding client who kept making changes and you felt you weren’t paid enough to put up with it. Or perhaps you gave away tons of free advice to a potential customer, only to discover he hired someone else and you ended up with zilch.
Without warning and for no obvious reason, I recently felt the need to retreat to my girl cave. I couldn’t explain why. I mean, I love my job of helping women improve their leadership skills, and I feel great satisfaction when I assist creative Entrepreneurs to build their businesses. I am in a wonderful relationship with a loving man. My daughter, who I raised by myself, is kind, strong, and talented. I even sold a company to Bill Gates!
Seriously—what could I possibly want that I don’t already have?
The truth is that no matter what we have, we always want more. In my book Happy Woman Happy World I call it the Goal Paradox. We step into this paradox when we have achieved something meaningful and then we immediately move onto the next goal. It’s almost as though we dismiss what we have just accomplished and, without missing a beat, we’re looking for another challenge. Sure, we got the promotion, but we still don’t have the body we want, the relationship we desire, etc.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to stop and gain clarity. Let’s release ourselves from the paradox by starting with one question: What do I want? And this is exactly where I begin my Uncovery Sessions.
The answers I hear most often are along the lines of more money, a better life, fulfilling relationships, a job that matters, a boss who appreciates you…
But what do these desires actually mean? Let’s think about that for a moment.
Exactly how much more money would it take to make you happy? What comprises the better life you want so badly? I ask my clients to be more specific, to describe it to me in detail leaving nothing out. What does it look like and how does it feel when your boss appreciates you more, or your client is ecstatic over the results from your last gig?
In my experience, the discomfort that causes dissatisfaction in a perfectly good life almost always goes back to the same issue: You are growing; you are being asked to take bigger steps and to leave your comfort zone. Because to be comfortable means you will continue to stay where you are. And stagnation, although seemingly linear, results in a slow, downward spiral as people around move upwards and onwards while you remain the same.
Instead, let’s stop and think. What do I want? Where is the cause of this discomfort and could it be an opportunity to push through to the next level?
Success comes when we have clear idea of the outcome we want and we make it happen. When we switch our approach from reactive to proactive, we can move forward. Stagnant no more. And once we do get that $5000 raise or commendation from our boss that makes us feel appreciated, let’s allow ourselves to enjoy it before moving onto the next goal.
The answer is to clearly define our image of success. Otherwise, we float rudderless and end up in a cave slightly confused as to how we got here in the first place. Time to sit with the discomfort and listen to the voice inside that wants to tell us something.
I’m working on listening to mine. What is yours telling you?