When I was a kid, I knew I’d do something amazing in future.
Maybe not as big as discovering that the world is round like Christopher Columbus (although you can’t rule it out). But, I envisioned being respected and known throughout my field.
I dreamt of how I’d look with satisfaction and pride at my work, whatever it would be, and know I had made a tiny difference in the world. But it just didn’t happen, and I wasn’t sure why.
I worked hard, really hard actually. But year after year goes by, and my next level of influence didn’t get any closer.
I thought of giving up on my dreams altogether.
Until I discovered the unexpected reasons, I wasn’t living up to my potential.
My mom, teachers, friends, and family always told me how great I would be someday. But with time, I discovered how hard it was to become great. My age-mates were successful in their respective fields.
The feeling made me anxious that I wasn’t living up to my potential. Day and night I wallowed in introspection asking questions such as; why wasn’t I a guru at anything yet? Why do I still feel ordinary and average with all the education and experience? Am I not supposed to be further up the professional ladder by now?
I felt I was behind where I was supposed to be in life.
I worked on finding my purpose, redefining success for myself, and creating a career I wanted.
But I was still struggling to achieve any goal.
Last month was a pivotal one in terms of my personal and professional growth.
I started getting a sense of direction in my business, allowing me to close on some pitches. I started contributing to family investments, saving more, and repaying long outstanding debts.
During the same month, I embarked on long-term healthy eating habits and exercising at least one hour every day.
I have never felt so good at what I am doing, how I am doing it, and the impact I am having. Financial goals are not what I want to see yet, but the anxiety and doubts that frustrated me are now quiet.
It feels like I’m stepping into my own greatness, a greatness that already existed, rather than trying to achieve it.
Are you facing a similar situation?
Here are 3 reasons holding you back and what you can do to (finally) arrive.
1. Focusing on the prize
From an early age, everyone expects nothing from us but success on our own merits. Yet, we know only one person can win. Our brains are hardwired to get pleasure from external rewards and to let validation our driving force.
It can be dangerous.
A recent study suggests that over-reliance on external motivation can have long-term adverse effects on your motivation, performance, and persistence- putting out the enjoyment from activities that you once enjoyed.
Pay attention to the activities that bring you the most joy and focus on them. You may not be an entrepreneur calling the shots, but you can spend more time-solving problems, analyzing data, and creating meaningful personal connections.
Whatever it is you do, make sure you get regular doses of work that lights your inner bulb.
It is the surest way to get both satisfaction and success.
2. Neglecting your most important asset- your health
I decided to make health and well-being my number one priority.
The decision came after two of my family members (Mom and Sister) were diagnosed with breast cancer. Now cancer victors.
With this kind of statistics in the family, I knew I had to make drastic changes to my eating and exercising habits.
While keeping away from potential risk factors of cancer, one thing surprised me. It increased my energy, grit, and resilience. My emotions became stable. Instead of worrying about life’s setbacks, I see them as opportunities to try again.
Nowadays, I frame my health and well-being as a duty and obligation rather than the general idea of health.
3. Replicating other people’s success
All of us have talents, but not everyone nurtures or uses them.
What’s the reason?
We tend to take our natural talents for granted, or don’t realize what we have in the first place.
For example, like many entrepreneurs, I thought I would create a successful freelance business (internet marketing and blogging) in the shortest time. I paid for several courses and read widely. For 2 years, I did just that, but with average results.
It turned out my real power wasn’t in hard sales copywriting, but my ability to connect with people through writing engaging content for blogs.
My business struggled because I thought I needed to replicate other people’s strategies for online success.
When I focused on my unique strengths- extensive research and sharing information to improve other people’s lives, progress toward my goals became inevitable. Now, I feel at peace, and more at ease with what I do.
My clients’ feedback confirms this position too.
Key take away
Creating the life, you are capable of isn’t easy, but with these 3 tips, it should never be a chore.
So, go ahead and step into your own greatness, a greatness that already exists, rather than trying to achieve it