Community//

The Toxic Side of Chasing Success

How external noise could be impacting your well-being

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

I was sitting in front of my computer starring at my depleted savings account and thinking “how could I let this happen?”

Ah life! The ups and downs that come with it are not very subtle at times. It took me over a year to realize the trap I had fallen into. That constant pursuit of success had me walking on a thin rope, very close to falling over to the burned-out side.

After a divorce and getting laid off I felt I was being pulled to show the world, despite those failures, that I could be successful, so I embarked on a quest to “make it” in life.

The problem was that while I was chasing success, listening to hundreds, if not thousands of motivational videos, podcasts, talks, I was pushing to the side one key component: understanding who I truly am.

There were a lot of times when I kept telling myself: I just need to push a little harder or maybe I just need to hire that one coach or mentor that has the key or has figured out the formula that I can follow to reach success.

Now I recognize two big flaws in my thinking process. The first one is that I had not taken the time to sit down and truly define what success meant for me. If you watch motivational videos on YouTube, they use people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey as inspiration.

What do they signify? Wealth, Power, Wisdom? Yes, while they all have those attributes, it took them YEARS to get there. The difference is that to me success meant impact and freedom, something that you cannot acquire by following a formula or listening to motivational messages.

The second flaw I kept finding was that everyone kept saying “you have to work hard and be consistent, that is the key”. I’ll be honest with you, I have seen people who work their butt off, who put endless hours at work and sacrifice so much that at the end have fallen so far into this trap that end up depleted and unmotivated because the paid back or return of time investment doesn’t have much to show for them.

I have also seen the other side of this coin, where people who work their butt off and put endless hours at work find a balance where they feel fulfilled and energized by the feedback they get from their work.

What is the difference between these two examples? The person that is burned out was following outside validation and expectations, while the person that feels fulfilled and energized has been honoring who they truly are all along.

After hiring that mentor who was going to “solve” my non-existent income stream from my business and depleting my savings paying for that service, I decided to stop chasing success. My physical and mental health needed to be a priority, without them, it didn’t matter what “impact and freedom” I was trying to get, at the end there is no freedom without good health.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Life Lessons Every 20-Something Should Learn
Community//

7 Life Lessons Every 20-Something Needs To Learn

by Kseniya Korneva
Community//

How a Lack of Boundaries Can Hold You Back

by Evonne Englezos
Community//

How My Addiction to Achievement Has Almost Destroyed Me

by Srinivas Rao

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.