Do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough? No matter how much you get done, no matter how much you work, no matter how productive you are; it’s just never enough. Do you feel guilty when you don’t want to do anything? Or maybe you’ve even been really productive, but you still somehow don’t feel like you’re allowed to be proud of your accomplishment? If this is you, today’s video contains the answer.
Do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough? No matter how much you get done, no matter how much you work, no matter how productive you are; it’s just never enough. Which also ties into feeling guilty if you, maybe, don’t want to do anything that day.
So, if you have this kind of guilt or shame response, and you feel like you’re always needing to push, and you’re never quite doing enough, then I’ve got some solutions for you today.
No matter how much we do, it’s not enough!
Today we’re talking about the feeling of guilt or shame that we get when we feel like we’re not doing enough. We have some beliefs that basically say, we have to keep doing more. No matter how much we do, it’s just never enough, we never feel quite proud of ourselves, or able to feel proud of ourselves at the end of the day. There’s always this low-grade disappointment with ourselves. And, God forbid, we don’t want to do anything one day; oh my gosh!! Then, we’re just horrible people!! We’re just lazy.
So, last week, I talked about the importance of letting yourself get bored, but that prompted a question from one of my students that asked, “You know, well, what if you feel – what if you have this pressure inside, and you feel like you’re always having to do more because you’re never doing enough.”
You can never win
So, if this is you, my big, grand solution for this is – which does require a little bit of work, it does require a little bit of introspection – but you want to create a better definition of success basically. Right now, you have a screwy definition of success that never lets you win. So, no matter what you do, it’s just never enough, which means, you’re never successful in your own eyes. You’re never successful for the day, basically, because your definition of success sets you up to fail. You cannot meet it.
What definition of success are you using?
So, you want to become aware of what definition of success you’re using, and it’s probably a really messed up one, that you just inherited from people around you, from your culture, your parents, the belief systems that you were born into. And so, it can take a little while. And, what you want to do is: You want to allow that discomfort to come up as you’re feeling like it’s not enough; it’s not enough. Sit with that for a minute, and ask yourself, really concrete, “What is it that I think I should have done, and why? Why is that required? After the 20 things I did today, why am I deciding that I’m not good enough, or I haven’t done enough because I didn’t do this one thing. Why, what is it about, this one thing?”
And, generally, that one thing isn’t important. You just decided arbitrarily that it is, but if you really take a look at it, for just a couple of minutes, often you’ll see it in a different light, and you start to see that it actually is not important at all.
Creating a definition of success that works for you
So, you want to create a definition for success that works for you, personally. It doesn’t have to work for anyone else; just work for you. One that is easy to achieve. You want to set yourself up for a win that makes you feel really, really good (we’ll talk a little bit about how to do that), and that doesn’t just follow other people’s definition. It’s not an inherited definition; it’s a definition that you deliberately came up with.
Work out what your priority is
So, let me give you some examples. For example, for a long time, one of my definitions of success was that I had to work at least 8 hours a day. Now, I didn’t know I had this until I bumped up against it. And that was when I started working for myself. And even then, I didn’t hit it right away. It was when I tried to slow down a little bit, tried to back off a little bit, tried to not work so much anymore, that I started to feel bad at the end of day if I’d only put in, say, 6 hours. No matter what I accomplished in those 6 hours, I had a belief that was based on how much time I was spending. And that came back from my employee days, when how much time you spent in your chair was more important than what you actually produced in that time.
So, I looked at: “Oh, I have to work at least 8 hours to feel like I’ve had a productive day, to even have a chance to feel like I had a productive day.” And, what I couldn’t do was just simply decide: “Well, I don’t have to work 8 hours,” because it didn’t shift any energy; it didn’t feel truly good. And, just by deciding that at the end of the day, I didn’t feel a whole lot better. So, I had to come up with a whole definition that worked for me, that allowed me to work less. Basically, I had to figure out what else was the priority? Working 8 hours was not a good priority; I had to create a different priority. I couldn’t just say, “Not that!” So, I’ll give you some of my examples, things that I’ve come up with that are a definition for success.
Don’t do something you don’t really want to do
So, one of the definitions for success that I have is that I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do. I don’t force myself to do something that doesn’t feel good, where it’s not flowing. I know from experience now that, that’s actually not really productive time when I do that. I’m not as creative, I don’t come up with great solutions, I make more mistakes, and in the end, by the time I get it all fixed up to the level where I actually want it to be, I’ve spent far more time doing that. I’ve been really unproductive; it wasn’t a really productive way to use my time. Whereas, if I wait for that inspiration, I can get it done in a fraction of the time, at a much higher level of quality. I don’t make any mistakes; there’s not much to clean up. So, it’s actually better to wait for that inspiration. So, when I really don’t want to do something, I don’t force myself to do it anymore. I used to, but I don’t anymore.
Follow your intuition
So, at the end of the day, I can feel good about it if I followed my intuition, even if my intuition was to not do anything. Which is another one of my rules for success; it had to be ok for me to not do anything. So, if I’m not inspired to do anything that day, that has to be ok. I’m not going to feel bad and beat up on myself at the end of the day because I didn’t get, whatever, done. I define my definition of success deliberately.
And so, if at the end of the day, I was following my intuition, and I didn’t do anything because I didn’t want to do anything, I can feel good about that because that’s a definition of success that I can meet. I set myself up for easy, easy goals.
Give yourself a small to-do-list each day
I did a video a while back on how I reduced my working hours from 18 hours a day, down to 8 hours a day, and became even more successful, more productive. And, one of the tips I give you in that video, is that you set yourself a very small to-do-list for the next day. 1, 2 – possibly 3 items – they need to be easy for you to do, they need to be things that you can achieve quite quickly. And, that’s all you need to do. So, really, I like to have one thing to do for the next day. Then, I do that thing, and that’s been a productive day. No matter what else I might be inspired to do that day, even if it’s nothing else, I get to feel productive that day because I’ve had an easy win. And, I explained to you in that video, how often that easy win leads to a whole lot more productivity, that you weren’t even planning on because you get on that winning streak, and you want to win some more. So, you start doing more, and winning more. Instead of setting yourself up for that failure, you set yourself up for a win. And that’s really, really important.
Define success as what is important to you
You want to pick easy targets to get good momentum going, and you want to set a very deliberate definition of success based on what is actually important to you. So, you want to look at the things that you are deciding that you have to do, and actually question that. “Why do I have to do that? Why is that important?” Particularly with us going into the holiday season now, there’s going to be a lot of those kinds of things where you feel obligated to do certain things because – well, that’s just what you do during the holidays, during Christmas, during Thanksgiving, during New Year’s. But, if they’re things you don’t really want to do, you want to question that and go, “Why are we doing this? Why do we keep doing this tradition that nobody gives a crap about; that I don’t enjoy, that nobody else seems to care about, and I’m killing myself over the holidays trying to get this done, when maybe I can just drop it.” This tends to get triggered really heavily during the holiday time, so, I think it’s a really timely video to make, and subject to discuss!
Hopefully this has been beneficial on giving you some tips to help you to reprioritize, and figure out what is your personal definition of success? And, if you’d like to share what you’ve come up with, and put that in the comments either on YouTube, or on my blog, that’s fantastic. If I see anything in there where I’m like – Oooh, you’re not on track – I might just jump in there and give you a little bit of coaching, to get you back on track. To create a definition that really, really works for you, and feels good all around. The litmus test is: Try it – Use it – Apply it, and see if you actually do feel better. If you don’t – keep re-working it, and if you do, you’ve got a great new definition of success.
So, hopefully this was helpful for you. I wish you a wonderful, wonderful week, and I thank you, for bringing your light to the world. Bye.