You’ve Succeeded, Now What?

Optimal Mental Health and Well-Being

You’ve Succeeded, Now What?

It’s easy to focus on all the challenges involved when trying to reach our goals. Somehow, trying to reach a goal while coming up short, can feel satisfying.

Why is this you might ask? Why would anyone feel satisfied when the failed to reach a goal? Actually, it’s not all that surprising. The status quo, no matter how miserable, is a known commodity and staying stuck in it provides a very powerful feeling of security. That is why, for example, someone addicted to drugs will continue to use rather than venture into the world of sobriety as the latter is an unknown commodity and can be pretty scary to think about.

This doesn’t mean the person doesn’t want something better in their lives. It surely doesn’t mean they want to stay stuck. All it means is that they don’t understand the powerful hold the status quo can have on us.

But what happens when someone ventures into the unknown by leaving the security of the status quo and creates a new reality such as getting sober or going to school to get a degree? They become a new person as their identity changes. They open up more to the process of growth. That’s one of the reasons why people who get sober can go on to make change after change in their lives.

So now that you have succeeded in achieving one of your goals? First of all, give yourself a big pat on the back. Leaving the security of the status quo and growing as a person is a big deal. But it’s only the start. Life is meant to be lived to its fullest. That means being the greatest expression of who and what we really are. Keep the momentum going. Work toward another goal, perhaps one you never thought possible.

As I write this post, I think back many years ago when I was first getting sober. I desperately wanted to get a college degree, but thought that was impossible. Still, I got the energy moving by taking my first community college class. Within a couple of years I was a full-time student working toward an undergraduate degree and then a graduate degree. I finally ended up earning a doctorate. Pretty cool for someone who thought she was not smart enough. They key is that I wanted to believe it was possible to get a college education, even though I had no idea how, and once I accomplished my first goal I kept the momentum going.

Those successes transformed me from an insecure person who felt unworthy of success to a very intelligent and accomplished woman who believes she can accomplish just about anything.

Is is easy? No. Is it possible? Yes. As the Nike commercials say, “Just Do It!”

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