Healthy Striving

Last week, I shared a story that recently emerged with one of my clients. Her story (If it’s not productive, there’s no value.) is a pretty common one. Most of us have a version of this.

We live in a world that glorifies accomplishments, achievements and stuff. We collect all of those things and keep striving for more, never even giving ourselves the courtesy of enjoying the accomplishment before we start reaching for the next.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good goal, but there’s a very fine nuance that’s critically important. Are you striving for a goal because you think you’ll feel worthy when you reach it, or are you working toward a goal because you feel good enough to accomplish it? 

Do you see the difference?

The vast majority of us are in the first category (striving for a goal because we think we’ll feel worthy/happy/fulfilled/complete/etc. when we reach it). Yes, I said vast majority. You are NOT alone in this feeling – I promise! What I also know is that this feeling leads to stress, burnout and feeling even less worthy/happy/fulfilled/complete.

Healthy striving looks very different and this is a big reason why I choose not to make New Year’s resolutions. My experience is that they very rarely are rooted in healthy striving.

Healthy striving is rooted in worth. It’s grounded in self-love and the path is paved with self-kindness. The marker of healthy striving is the belief that you already deserve to reach a goal and that’s why you set it.

As the first month of a new year winds down, don’t worry so much about your goals or resolutions. Think about why you’re setting them. How do you feel in this moment? Why do you want to achieve that goal? Do you think achieving this thing will make you feel differently? Those questions will provide the insight you need so you can practice healthy striving.

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