Do you ever feel the need to strive harder and perform more? Once you achieve something, do you fail to appreciate the accomplishment and move quickly to the next goal? Are you puzzled why you feel so pressured? Most of us live in cultures that are engulfed in a drama-filled relationship with constantly achieving.
We are writing about this topic because we know the feeling all too well and often find ourselves in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ with our own work!
As independent professionals, we can feel persecuted by the cycle of too much work and overwhelm, only to be followed by a calendar that looks bare. We then look to the next contract to be a Rescuer from the ups and downs of consulting and coaching. There are many times we can feel victimized by our own drive and need to create.
We both have the determination and desire to succeed. In our early years it was getting those degrees. We both married young and wanted the big home and career as measures of achievement.
Now in our later years, remarried and leading our own business, our work is totally dependent on our own initiative. It is so easy to work the weekends, or lie awake in the night worrying about a project or that email we didn’t write.
We hear this same story, though, from most of the business and government leaders we work with. They may not be running their own business, but feel similar pressure and obsession to achieve.
Where and how can we break the drama-cycle of over achieving?
Donna has three young adults and conversations about what defines success and achievement is common. In previous decades, success was attached to a wide range of clear professional choices—doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse or small business owner to name a few. The path to success was fairly clear because the job and role was clear.
Many members of younger generations are taking a different approach. They are more likely to reflect on what taps their passion and sense of purpose. Their focus is more on what they want to create and be about in the whole of their lives.
Shifting from the DDT to TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™ often begins by asking ourselves: “What do I really want?” This simple, but powerful, question helps to focus on the work we want to create and share, balanced with a life of ease, joy and fun.
Rather than engaging in the drama of over-achievement, we make choices that align with the answer(s) to this deep question. In this way, achievement is redefined by what has “heart and meaning” for your work and life and then taking Baby Steps to move, however slowly or quickly, toward that centering vision.
Your heart knows when you are over-achieving and it can guide you back to more balance and perspective – and a Creator life. What does your heart really want?