Where’s the champagne?! Where are the balloons?!
(Why outside validation can’t be the driver.)
Have you ever achieved something that felt like a really big deal—like at any moment, confetti would fly from the ceiling and your friends would all cheer—and instead, it just ended up being like any other “day in the life”?
We’ve all been there. Brought in the big project, ahead of schedule and under budget. Landed the dream role or launched our startup. Successfully resolved a sticky interpersonal conflict that has the team humming harmoniously again.
And then… the world keeps turning.
In my own business, I recently took on a large, ambitious project.
The whole thing was incredibly successful… AND it took a lot to get there. It stretched my comfort zone and required so much help along the way.
By the time it was done, I was exhausted but also incredibly proud.
And expecting something more… dramatic to happen, to mark the occasion. Like, “Where’s the surprise party? Where’s the crowd going wild?” Why aren’t people stopping me on the street saying, “OMG I saw what you did! You. Are. Amazing!”
It was just another day in the life: see clients, manage my team, hang with the family.
This is when we have our existential crises. After working so hard to push a big rock past the finish line.
You’re tired. You have no idea where you’ll find the energy for the next project. And you find yourself wondering, I worked so hard to get here…Is this it?
You got this massive rock past the finish line, looked up, and someone had moved the finish line.
As you look for the applause or recognition, you have to ask: WHO exactly am I doing this for?
Or more aptly, WHY am I doing this, again?
And here lies the heart of the matter (and the crux of the solution).
Because the reality is, no matter how hard you’ve worked or how big the achievement, the world keeps turning.
Meaning: that big dramatic moment that’s all about celebrating YOU . . . is not gonna happen.
And yet we still seek that extrinsic reward, to provide the sense of fulfillment we expect from achieving the goal.
The thing is, if you forget WHY it was important to you to achieve the goal or lose the connection to your purpose (the BIG why behind all that you do in your work), the experience can become really disappointing. Actually, you lose energy and end up feeling depleted.
Sometimes cliches have some truth to them: the journey, the process, has to be its own reward. The connection with your why is where the profound sense of achievement and fulfillment truly comes from.
What was I looking for from my recent major project?
When the disappointment of the lack of a parade and the utter depletion of energy showed up, I needed to pause and reflect.
Being able to look at the internal shifts I made to achieve that goal, and witness how that journey is bearing fruit in other areas of my business, allows me to reclaim any energy lost. By reconnecting with MY big why.
And if your path doesn’t offer you its own rewards, what’s not working for you? Why are you doing it?
And what needs to change in order for the journey to feel like its own reward?
These are exactly the kinds of questions we tackle with our clients. MettaWorks’ coaching method transforms leaders like you from the inside out. Are you ready to become the kind of leader you’ve always admired? Take the first step today by scheduling a complimentary discovery call.