Why Achievement Can Often Be Destructive, and What To Do Instead

From an early age, I bought into the standardized belief that my self-worth was solely based on my ability to achieve. Whether it was in sports, grades, appearance, or career, I defined myself according to how well I performed. Whenever I did well, I would ride that wave of success until, (God forbid), I didn’t perform well, allowing that wave to crash over me with every spec of failure flooding my being. Gasping for air in the next, big accomplishment, I would strive (often in misery) for the moment that I could perform well and seek redemption yet again.

Like me, society has done well to condition many others to this sort of deranged lifestyle. We are promoted when we sacrifice endless time and energy in our work, applauded when we purchase the expensive home and vehicle, swooned over with the perfect body, gushed over with a lavish outfit, idolized over a large Instagram following, and admired with a well-connected social status.

While these can be enjoyed, we put ourselves in dangerous territory when we seek validation from them, because we then have to rely on external means OUTSIDE of ourselves to define who we are, rather than defining it ourselves.

This is why achievement alone can be destructive with the wrong mindset.

Defining your worth from goal performance without a focus on inner transformation is a recipe for disaster, because it is not the goal that ultimately brings you what you desire: it is who you become in the process of obtaining your goal.

As a life coach, my goal is to balance the relationship between personal development, goal achievement, and fulfillment within my clients so that they can create the perfect harmony of inner fulfillment, external alignment, and authentic living.

The next time you look over your goals, ask yourself what it is that you truly hope to gain from achieving them, then decide to think and act in accordance of what you want TODAY, before your goal is ever reached. By embodying who you believe your future “goal-achieving” self will be now, you will not only see an immediate shift in your inner life, but you find that reaching your goals will become much easier as a byproduct.