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When Achieving Your Goals Gets in the Way of Self-Love

Because I work with high-achieving women, they always have goals…goals for their careers, personal goals, etc. By definition, high-achieving women tend to have a lot going on in their lives. And that’s good, right? Our culture values “doers.” We value people who achieve and earn their way. But what about when your goals keep you focused on what is up ahead in the future so you don’t have to focus on the right now? It’s easy to point out the negatives of using food or alcohol or shopping to self-soothe (or buffer), but what about when we use something those around us value, our ability to achieve and get things done?

Using our goals to avoid dealing with the things that are right in front of us is classic Imposter Syndrome (IS) behavior and something I see in the women I coach all the time. Women who struggle with IS aren’t confident in who they are. They often don’t really even know who they are because they are always chasing who they want to be or who they think they should be. Women with IS crave acceptance. Ironically, the acceptance they crave is from themselves, but in the absence of accepting themselves, they seek acceptance from others. And others value high-achievers, which brings us full circle to why IS sufferers are also high-achievers.

So how do you get off the hamster wheel of being a high achiever and learn to simply love present you? The first step is becoming aware of the game your brain is playing. If your goals are in any way tied to your feelings of self-worth or the value you place on yourself, then you are using your goals as a way to keep from facing your issues of self-worth. Self-love can only be achieved when we are present in the moment, so you have to find a way to get present in your life every day.

One good way to start is to sit in meditation for 5 minutes each day. When you try to clear your mind, what thoughts creep in? When you truly listen to the voice in your head, what is she saying to you? She’s probably rattling off all the things you need to do, but that’s future talk. Stop it and clear your mind again. What present talk comes up? It may take a few days to hear present you. She’s probably been silenced so often that she doesn’t verbalize much, but that doesn’t mean she’s not in there with her opinions. Gradually increase this meditation time until you can sit in the present for 15 minutes each day. Take 3-5 minutes after to write down the thoughts you saw zipping by.

Next week, I’m going to continue this topic by building on the awareness practice and moving on to the next step after you have created awareness. If you want to work with me on your Imposter Syndrome, schedule a free session to get the ball rolling. Finding the confidence inside you benefits everyone, so don’t put it off! Until then, much love!

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