I know, it’s your achievement driver that got you this far and you are about to keep scrolling on down the huge list of content you absolutely MUST to keep on top of, but please, just bear with me.
There is a lot to a successful life these days and we want it all now. We need to show up to everything on our ‘A’ game and being an achiever can really help with that! Your need to achieve has got you where you are now without doubt.
Unfortunately, though it can make life seem like one giant to do list – morphing us in to human doings not human beings. It makes us fill up our weeks, squeezing in as many activities as we can. It makes wear that ‘I’m so busy’ badge like a medal. It can cause us to spread ourselves so thinly that nothing we do ever meets our own standards. It causes us to prioritise what is next before we’ve acknowledged what we have now and creates a completely unsustainable pace.
Most of the time we don’t even take the time to stop and take stock of what we have already achieved and reward ourselves for the success. We no longer enjoy life, just achieve stuff and things that we are not even sure we wanted in the first place.
But what is the impact of this? I think it causes us to run too lean, to write to many things off to failure too quickly and can shorten our horizons. It can ironically cause us to aim for less for fear of failing, make us play it safe. It affects our relationships – the feeling that ‘I cannot be loved unless I am achieving’ can shape unfulfilling relationships with our family and a culture of self-flagellation towards ourselves.
It can force us down the inevitable road to stress and ultimately burn out – as no one can possibly run at such a relentless pace without end.
What’s your tell-tale sign that you’ve taken on too much? As someone both plagued and blessed by an aggressive strain of achievement driver, I often ignore mine until my brain pulls out the big guns….Vertigo. As soon as that hits its game over, check mate. Off to bed I go feeling very sorry for myself.
But something happens when I do this. I stop, and my brain starts. As soon as it has the space and my body gets the rest, I become my most creative, most able to solve problems and start thinking big. I forgive what I have not done and celebrate what I have. I notice what is important to me and what needs to be ditched in order for me to really experience and be present in them.
I challenge you to take an intentional timeout this week, a bit of an achievement driver MOT if you will, to clear the space and time all to yourself to consider these things:
- What have I achieved to date?
- How satisfied am I with what I have achieved from 1-10?
- What would I like to achieve in the next year?
- What must change for me to achieve that?
- What key milestones will I celebrate along the way?
- What time will I put aside to ensure I don’t burnout?
What could you achieve?