The new way to be ambitious and feel truly fulfilled.
Are you a driven woman on a mission to create the most successful life you can?
Whether your definition of success is wealth creation, building a business you can leave as your legacy, or even investing your time and energy in serving others through philanthropic ventures, being ambitions is a given part of the process.
But is there a difference between being ambitious and striving for more, and feeling like what you do is never quite good enough?
I’m in my early 40’s now and many of the amazing women I hang with are, like me, go-getters. Always looking for new opportunities and ways to feel fulfilled in life is big on the agenda of ambitious women.
Yet what I notice in the coaching I do with many woman is that there is a blurred line between what they see as success, and attaching that to the feeling of being ‘good enough’.
I see a definite challenge in striving for more success when it’s driven by an underlying feeling that whatever you do is just not ‘quite enough’. Ambition is one thing. Continuing pushing because you never feel satisfied with the results is another.
This unconscious way of thinking isn’t just applicable to professional success. It’s just as much ingrained into the way we view our bodies as well.
Personally I spent many years punishing my body because I didn’t think it was good enough. My mantra was “I need to look perfect for women to want to train with me, and when this happens I will have a successful business and feel fulfilled in life”. You can probably see the flaws in that belief right away – LOL!
People would often say they admired my dedication, ambition and motivation and wished they could be the same way. Yet nothing I did – as ambitions as I was – really truly felt fulfilling to me.
I would often sabotage business ideas or opportunities because I didn’t feel good enough. It was like there was a hole deep down inside that never got filled up. Yet on the outside it appeared I had my shit together and life was great.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot to feel fulfilled about – a great husband, two awesome kids, beautiful friends and family and a lovely house. Yet because I put more emphasis on my body being the key to my success, I lost sight of those other things…and they were the parts of my life that would end up truly filling that empty hole.
How did I change the belief that unless I am perfect I don’t deserved to feel fulfilled?
You might think I wrote in a gratitude journal every day for a month, or said a mantra that changed my belief. Or you could assume that I went to a coach and had them ‘coach the belief out of me’. All of these tools can help…but they are not the entire solution.
In all honesty, it’s been a gradual journey and a series of events that helped me shift my thinking. A dear friend dying of mouth cancer this year despite being one of the healthiest people I knew; a personal health scare last year that was one of those sliding door moments for me; the appreciation that my kids are growing up fast and I’ m sometimes missing those special moments. These formed part of a shift in thinking that allowed me to ask myself this…
“What really matters most to me?”
My answer was somewhat simple – yet I had never asked myself that before. What matters to me most is helping people be the best version of themselves they choose to be. I love nothing more than seeing someone shine brightly – because let’s face it, to do that you have to push your way through the ‘tall poppy fog’ that seems to keep many people down.
Do I have to be perfect in order to help those I love and clients I work with? Actually I think being perfect may cause the opposite effect…it could intimidate people and create a similar sense of “not good enough’ in them (if it’s not already there!).
So my question has given me a real sense of purpose in the past 12 months…a purpose that is linked to teaching people how to tap into the power of their body and mind so they can experience life the way they see it in their dreams. This is a far more positive ambition that leads to self fulfilment, rather than continually pushing myself because of what I think I lack.
There is a real freedom in this shift.
Do you want to open your own mind up to shifting your perception of ambition, success an fulfilment?
If so, ask yourself that same question I did if you feel that your definition of ambition or a limiting belief still holds you hostage from feeling fulfilled.
Here are some other questions you might like to add to this process to help bring up the answers your soul already knows to be true:
- What if all I am now is enough?
- What would I have to give up to feel this way?
- What has my belief about ambition cost me in the last 5 years?
- What will I continue to miss out on if I choose to keep this belief?
- What lessons have I learnt in trying to be everything to everyone (or perfect so others will accept and love me)?
- How can I have both ambition AND acceptance?
- What or who do I need to help me manage the speed bumps as I transition to a more supportive belief?
- What will my future look like with this new belief?
- What is my true purpose – what lights me up and what matters to me the most?
The way to have both ambition and feel truly fulfilled will come from answering these questions.
Ambition can be a very powerful tool when used in a way that connects with what truly matters to you. I’m all for striving and being the best version of yourself you can be…and that’s the trick…being YOUR BEST SELF as opposed to feeling like what you do is never enough.
Honestly, this ‘not enough stuff’ comes from years of social pressure and unrealistic ideals, the environment you grew up in, and beliefs others you admired and loved gave you when you were little and impressionable.
None of this is YOUR stuff if you choose to let it go.
It doesn’t matter how far you are along in your life. You can make a decision right now to answer the questions I have given you and create your own path. A path that embraces ambition because it is driven from the question ‘What really matters to ME’.
I wish you all the best in this journey and want you to know that there are always people to help you navigate your way. You simply have to ask.
Two great resources I often give clients as homework to help them continue to challenge old beliefs are The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks (awesome as an audio book) and Playing Big by Tara Mohr.
PS…If you need some support to answer these questions, shoot me at email and we can connect via Skype. I reserve a special number of coaching spots for Sista Code readers because I truly believe that when we know ourselves more deeply we can be better Sistas to each other.