For the past 10 years, I’ve been a part of a career and company that aligns with my values. The culture within my organization is energizing and supportive. The energy and support come from individuals that have similar values, care for each other, and share a purpose.
If there is an organization to find meaning and fulfillment, I’ve found it. Even still there have been times in my career that have been unfulfilling. There were seasons of doing the work and doing what I knew I should be doing. But, nonetheless, the work wasn’t energizing.
I’m thankful for the people in my life who’ve helped me become more self-aware as to what within me was holding me back from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life at work and at home.
Through self-awareness and self-exploration, I’ve discovered many mental blocks keeping me from being my best: limiting beliefs, false assumptions, interpretations, and fear. There was an inner critic keeping me from being present and engaged along my journey.
What I learned is that there is a fulfillment fallacy in the minds of many that creates an unproductive paradigm in which we view the world.
Do More to Be More
Many people look to the outside world to provide the affirmations they need to be happy, joyful, energized, and content. The thought is: “I will be happy when I’m winning.”
Winning can mean different things to different people. For a parent, it may be getting through the day without the kids making a mess or arguing with their sibling. For a salesperson, it may be closing a sale. Or someone in customer service only speaking to happy customers.
When life meets my expectations, I will be happy. Read that sentence again: when life meets my expectations, I will be happy. –That’s crazy!
We operate from the thought that we have to do more to be more (insert whatever it may be here). This is a trap: an endless cycle of not being enough. This leads to guilt and apathy. We are never our best selves when we are experiencing these feelings.
When you are not at your best, how do you and others suffer because of it? Take one minute and think about a time in the past week you were far from your best self. What did that feel like and who suffered because of it?
We must learn to shift our paradigm in how we view the world if we want to pursue a vision of passion and fulfillment in our lives.
True power and impact in life come from embracing and maximizing who you are. Who you are is constantly evolving and your potential ever expanding as you engage in being your best.
Dr. Michael Gervais in his Finding Mastery Podcast says that we need stop following the belief of doing more to be more. He says, “We have to be more and let the doing flow from that.”
Be More and Let the Doing Flow
Outside circumstances such as the organization you work for, your career, or another individual cannot provide you fulfillment. It can only come from within. True sustainable fulfillment is intrinsic and never extrinsic. Sure, an outside victory will bring you short-term fulfillment. An inspirational speech you listen to will make you feel inspired—for a while.
No one can hand us purpose, meaning, or fulfillment. They may be able to inspire us and make us feel good. But they will never be able to hand us sustainable meaning and fulfillment. This we have to choose, and our environment may be a factor, but more often a debilitating excuse.
There is an opportunity here to face our fears that are causing us to merely survive within a system rather than lead and create the results we want. When we do we can live from our values and beliefs and be at peace with the risk of not being accepted or failing.
All of life’s greatest moments come from an uncertain beginning. Don’t trade in your power for the comfort of security and certainty.
Your Power is Found in Who You Are
Embracing uncertainty and living from your values is where power, presence, and fulfillment originate.
Don’t expect to step into a panacea that brings fulfillment. Start where you stand right now and begin to live from your values. Speak up. Initiate the creation of what you want. Commit to living from your values in a way that serves both: you and others.
As life moves into alignment with who we are, we begin to lead and engage with life at a different and higher level of meaning and fulfillment.
What are your values and are you living them? How does what you do serve those values? By serving your values how will others benefit from it? A great exercise would be to spend 15 minutes in front of a journal writing the answer to these questions.
Download my daily intentions planner and take 4-minutes every morning to set your intentions toward creating your purpose.