Best-selling author, #1 entrepreneur, Top 40 under 40, Best in Class. I was thinking about how we get so caught up in what we accomplish and how our self-worth can be intimately tied in with those successes. And when we do not achieve a goal as planned or when our goals change, it can be a difficult challenge to overcome.
Gratitude Tip: YOU are not the sum of your accomplishments and neither am I. We can list all of our rewards, titles and goals achieved in the bio of our website, but it’s not WHO WE ARE. This is a very clear distinction. Accomplishments are just that; things that we have accomplished. Who we are is built on our character and our values. Tying the two together can be dangerous to our self-esteem. Take pride in what you have accomplished! Be proud of those check marks on your goals list or bucket list. And do your best to remember that all of this doesn’t define the person you are in your heart and your soul.
I am a very goal-oriented person and I’ve accomplished a lot of things in the past 4 decades. And I am proud of my successes. I’ve also been caught up in attaching my accomplishments to my self-worth and it’s not a good feeling. Especially after having completed 3 full Ironman triathlons. Do I still consider myself an Ironman (woman)? No I don’t. In fact I use the term three-time Ironman finisher, as opposed to saying that I am an Iron(wo)man. Even being a best-selling author fades away. There are a handful of authors who stay at the top of the best-seller lists for weeks and months on end, but that is such a very minuscule percentage of all of the books written every year.
How do we separate the accomplishment from the person? One of my strategies is to look at the skills it took you to accomplish your goal. Completing an Ironman takes dedication, persistence, hard-work, belief, mental toughness, discipline, sacrifice and consistency. Instead of being attached to having completed the goal, we can focus on what skills were developed or honed during the process of achieving that goal and then use those skills again for our next chapter in life. I was able to use those skills when I started my business, and I still use many of those skills today.
Looking back on some of the major goals you have achieved in the past decade, what skills did you use to accomplish them? How can use tap into those skills again to achieve your current goal?
We can also look even closer at our accomplishments and see how they align with our values. Or maybe our values were shaped by what we accomplish. Physical activity and optimal health have been values of mine since I was a child. Even though training for an Ironman (or three) can actually be detrimental for our health (based on the volume of activity) is it still in line with my values. There is another side to this, what if we look back on something we have accomplished and realize that we did it in a way that is not aligned with our current values, or maybe wasn’t even aligned with our values at the time? All the more reason why it’s important that our accomplishments do not dictate who we are. If that’s the case, find gratitude in the lesson and move on. Let go of that accomplishment, perhaps even take it off your bio page or LinkedIn profile. Focus on being in alignment with your values as you work towards your future goals.
You are a wonderful, powerful and eternal spirit. You have the power to change your future by changing who you are and how you show up in the world today. Let go of past accomplishments with love. And focus on defining yourself through your skills and values instead.
Day 30 of the #40daysofgratitude challenge! We are 3/4 of the way through!! The winner of today’s random gift is Angie Fiorica! You’ve won a beautiful set of notecards to write & send gratitude messages. Congratulations! Did you know that we started this challenge on my 40th birthday? Which means I’ve been 40 for a month!! Whoo hoo!!40 is awesome.