August 4

Waiting for success? Don’t do this.


Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m turning 31, which feels like hardly enough time has passed to encompass the lifetime of lessons I’ve learned and, yet, at the very same moment, feels like I’ve scarcely begun. Some days, I feel like I’m still waiting for success.

But one lesson continues to hit me over the head, again and again.

Sometimes, you have to decide to stop, look back, and see how far you’ve come.

Who else here is a high achiever? Yep, I thought you might be. We’re cut from the same cloth, you and me. We’re visionaries. We love big ideas, even when they’re a bit scary. We love to stretch ourselves, and often stretch just a bit too thin. We want to accomplish so much, and we often feel disappointed that we haven’t done more.

So, I’m talking to you, as much as I’m talking to myself, here.

Let’s stop waiting for success.

If you’re looking for that perfect moment in life, the one where you reach that outrageous goal, and you can look around you and say, “This! This is the moment I’ve been working towards. I’ve arrived at success”—if you’re waiting for that moment, then you’re setting yourself up for a lot of years of frustration.

And no one else is going to give the props, snaps, and kudos needed to make you feel like you’ve arrived at success. No matter what client you land, how much revenue you bring in, how many books you sell, how many speaking gigs you land, or what major milestone you reach, if you’re waiting for anyone else to tell you that you have “arrived” at success, you’ll be waiting a very long time.

But there is good news.

At any moment in time, it is completely within your choice and power to stop what you’re doing, look back at how far you’ve come, and say, “Yes, I have made so much progress, and I’m proud of myself.”

So, high-achieving friend, I have a challenge for you.

Right here, right now, I challenge you to pause. Less than two minutes, that’s all I’m asking for. Even a busy person like you can spare two minutes.

List 10 things that you are proud of yourself for accomplishing.

There are no limits. This could be a big accomplishment or a small one, from when you were young or from today, from a business perspective or a personal perspective.

Start each statement with, “I’m proud of myself for…”

And, since it’s my birthday, I’ll go first.

1. I’m proud of myself for being brave enough to raise three (soon to be four!) kids in this crazy, uncertain, wildly unpredictable world.

2. I’m proud of myself for being devoted to deepening my relationship with my husband, as we both grow and change.

3. I’m proud of myself for taking the leap with my husband and going off on a six-month trip through Europe with our kids.

4. I’m proud of myself for attempting homeschooling while we were traveling, even though I was terrible at it!

5. I’m proud of myself for not losing, strangling, or (I hope!) emotionally scarring any of the children while living out of suitcases together for months on end.

6. I’m proud of myself for having my highest grossing revenue month, and it happened while traveling abroad.

7. I’m proud of myself for continuing to expand my business, even as we expand our family, and believing that growing both is possible.

8. I’m proud of myself for supporting more than 25 authors to start or finish their books this year alone.

9. I’m proud of myself for building a business I love.

10. I’m proud of myself for setting aside time for my own personal growth, especially for investing time/energy/money in courses, books, and coaching because all of these continually demonstrate to myself that I am worth investing in.

I have to admit…that was awkward.

Typing out “I’m proud of myself” 10 different times and knowing that I was planning to publish this on the blog was a little embarrassing! But I have to ask myself, “Why is that embarrassing?”

I think it’s because we’re taught that we shouldn’t be proud of ourselves. We should wait for someone else to be proud of us—a parent, a teacher, a co-worker, a client, a boss, a peer. We should be waiting for success to be bestowed upon us.

But is that actually a good plan? Do we want our own satisfaction with our life’s progress to be tied down to something so fickle as someone else’s approval?

I say that it’s time for us high-achievers to take back our own lives. We can choose when to stop and appreciate how far we’ve come. We can choose to be proud of ourselves. We can choose to define success however we want to define success.

So, start the challenge with me, right now. What’s ONE thing you’re proud of yourself for? And start your comment below with, “I’m proud of myself for…” I can’t wait to read it. :)


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