You Are Not Your Achievements

By Dana Judeh, Life Coach

I consider myself a goal-oriented person. I have made great achievements, yet I feel unfulfilled and whatever I do is not enough. Why can’t I feel content?

There’s nothing wrong with how you feel. Humans always strive to be better, happier and more satisfied, but the truth is, no one can become fully satisfied. Whatever we do, we always want something better. In fact, there actually always is something better and bigger and, in a way, this is what makes societies grow and improve.     

On the other hand, this can be a double-edged sword. We live in a society that is obsessed with achievements and parents tend to reward their children for external achievements such as getting an A on a test or winning first place in a sporting match. As a result, children begin to link better performance to people being happy with them. Sometimes, though, it’s not about chasing higher goals.

What if your unfulfilled feeling has different reasons at its root?

Three ways to change the way you see things:

Maybe your “achievements” are not your personal achievements

Achievements are used as proof of validation for everyone in society. This is one of the reasons why some of the most successful humans in the world still feel like they haven’t done enough. The healthy need for achievement is not about becoming better than others but about becoming better than your previous self. People who achieve greatness professionally and personally follow their passion.


Identify your passion and turn it into a goal that you want to achieve


Remember that the chance to succeed with what you are passionate about is bigger and makes for long-lasting satisfaction

Maybe you are feeding your self-worth with personal achievements

Do you feel that you are just as good as your achievements? It’s a problematic social interaction: you need to validate your existence with contributions and productivity.

Achievement is not a bad thing; we all need to set and pursue goals for ourselves. But your self-worth should be the same regardless of whether you achieve your goals or not. Your work is important, but it’s not your whole life. Consider this: if you are defined by your accomplishments (in your career, family or relationships) and if you fail in one and succeeded in another, who are you? Do you consider yourself a loser or a success? How do you measure your self-worth?

Look at yourself, reevaluate your self-worth, shift your perspective and tell yourself: You are necessary to this life, you are lovable and you can add value to this world.


Spend more time with your family and your close friends. They are the people who will keep reminding you of your inherent worth


Do something good for someone who cannot pay you back

Maybe you are too attached to the goal rather than the process

This leads to the most important point, which is living in the moment. Remember, life is lived in the present, not the future, and happiness is a process, not a place, so focus on the process and the outcome will take care of itself. 


Slow down, enjoy the process and celebrate the small achievements – they are the proof that you are moving in the right direction


Pause every now and then to look back and see the improvements you’ve made

What separates the highest self-content achievers from everyone else is setting their own standards. So identify your standards, reflect them in your goals and use them as your daily motivation.

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