“When I’ve made $200k, then I’ll feel successful.”
“As soon as I’ve won that award, then I’ll feel accomplished.”
“In one month from now, when things have slowed down, I’ll feel calm.”
When ________ (fill in the blank) happens, then I will feel ________ (fill in the blank).
This is what my clients tell me. This is how we humans think.
The problem is, it’s a thought error.
Money, awards, schedules…none of them can make you feel things. They don’t magically get into your head and create emotions. They are just facts and objects. They are not good, bad or anything in between. They just are.
What we think about them, what we make them mean, is what makes us feel things.
“Well, but if I make $200k I will have a better work life balance, I can buy what I want and travel more. That would feel like success to me” you might say.
Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t, either way the feeling of success comes from what you think.
If you think: “Making $200k feels like success to me because I will have a better work life balance, I can buy what I want and travel more” that will feel like success to you.
If you think: “I won’t be able to feel successful until I make $200k and have a better work life balance, I can buy what I want and travel more”, you won’t be able to feel successful until you get there, because that’s what you have told your brain.
Are you following me?
Learn to Feel the Feeling Ahead of Time
I’m not saying don’t strive for those goals, no, go get them! Goals are great. BUT when you put your emotional life in the hands of things like money, awards and schedules, you are giving your power away.
The paradox is, that if you can learn to generate feelings of success, accomplishment and calm before you have reached your goals, you’ll most likely take actions that will get you there faster.
Just think about it.
If you would feel successful now, how would you show up for yourself and your clients each day? Confident, focused, generous?
How do you show up when you don’t feel successful?
Also, imagine how you would experience the journey towards your goal differently if you already felt successful vs. not successful.
Start asking yourself:
What do I have to think to feel successful today?
What do I have to think to already feel accomplished?
What do I have to think to feel calm now?
When You Get There
The interesting thing is that, unless you have learned to create the feeling you want to feel ahead of time, when you make that $200k, win that award or the schedule “slows down” the feeling you anticipated you would feel oftentimes doesn’t happen.
Because you will quickly be on to the next thing and it was never the money, awards or schedules that would give you the feeling in the first place. Your new thought might be: “This is good but if I could make a little bit more money/get featured in that magazine/get just a few more hours a week, then…”
Our feelings are always created by our thoughts.
This is great news, because that means all those feelings you want to feel are available to you right now. All you have to do is choose thoughts that create them.
Need help to work on this? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll jump on the phone for a free coaching consultation.