No pain no gain. We’ve all heard this saying and we’ve been sold on the idea that it is true.
Is it really true that you cannot achieve success without sacrifice?
This is something that most people go through in their lives without ever finding any answers on how to make success easier, and less painful.
Why? Because the narrative of self-sacrifice is pervasive in our society. The truth is that you can be successful without compromising your quality of life. A lot of people around the world struggle with this.
Most people think that they have to give up something or make sacrifices in order to achieve success. There are a lot of people who ardently believe that and in turn, give up very important parts of their life for something that they think they want.
Are you one of those people? I most certainly was for many years, until I discovered otherwise. Here is how you can make sure that you enjoy all the most important parts of your life without having to ever give up on something that means a lot to you.
Let’s review some of the ways to be successful without having to sacrifice important aspects of your life
Gratification Does Not Require Validation
When you have an idea of what success is for yourself across all aspects of your life, you need to make sure that the idea you have is one best suited to you, not based on what someone else described is “the ideal successful life”.
“The idea of what success is, should naturally suit your needs and aspirations and not the needs and aspirations of your friends, family or society.”
Personal gratification that comes from success is greatly important. In fact, it is the only thing that you should look for.
My recent guest on the Rant & Grow podcast, Terry McDougall, a mom, an executive, a career coach and author of the book, “Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms.” remarked during our conversation:
“High achieving people are often addicted to external validation.”
Chasing validation is like chasing the wind, you’ll never catch it. You can feel it, you can hear it, you can see the effects of it, but you cannot hold on to it.
When you set personal and professional boundaries with your friends, family and colleagues, you make sure that you put yourself and your success first and everything else later.
This might sound selfish but it’s actually the only way you can truly care about others. You can’t give to your friends or family anything you don’t possess yourself. Taking care of you first is like putting on the oxygen mask on an airplane that lost cabin pressure first, before helping others.
As an example, you can make it a rule to not work over the weekends or not reply to work emails over the weekend and just have that time to yourself, dedicated to whatever you want.
“You don’t have to keep striving for the brass ring, in order to experience success.”
Make Biases Work for You
There are a lot of internal subconscious thoughts and conflicts inside us that do not let us achieve our fullest potential. Much more than the judgement of society or the people around you, the tiny negative self-loathing inner voice inside your head is responsible for most of the failures you have gone through in your life.
When you find a way to recognize the presence of the negative inner voice, make sure to not listen to it. Mastering this simple, yet most difficult step will empower you to work towards and achieve your goals to your fullest potential.
Shutting up that self-judging inner voice and preventing it from popping up whenever you’re trying to take time for yourself for example, will give you the strength to keep going ahead and achieve success without having to sacrifice anything.
We all live a life of three stories. We have the aspirational truth of what we aspire to be and who we sell ourselves to be to the public. Then there’s the lies we tell ourselves based on the masks we have to wear to hide the traumas we haven’t healed yet. Finally there is the truth of who we really are in the present.
“Living in your truth is the most liberating experience you will ever have. That kind of freedom is the ultimate success of life.”
Give Yourself Credit
Remember the little child who wanted to achieve everything in life, who didn’t know limitations or the concept of sacrifice?
Give yourself credit for how far you’ve come since you were that child. You must give yourself credit for going through what you have gone through and still achieving what you already have.
After you acknowledge how much you’ve achieved and/or overcome, reawaken that inner child’s ability to dream and wonder.
Start to see the world through the playful eyes of a child who knows nothing about sacrifice.
“Embrace your inner child and start to love it’s curious ability to pursue joy without the concept of sacrifice.”
It takes strength to validate yourself. Once you start doing that, there is nobody who can stop you. That’s when you will start rejecting validation from the outside world. It is then that you can truly focus on your success and make it in life without having to give up the good things.
“Have some empathy for yourself and love yourself and give yourself credit for getting you to where you are today.” ~ Terry McDougall
The key to achieving the best of yourself is self-awareness. The key to success is finding out as much as you can about yourself and spending time with yourself.
Everything is temporary, but your consciousness stays with you forever. Hence, honing that consciousness is the key to the success in every aspect of your life.
Once you get self-awareness going on for you, you won’t have to sacrifice everything that is beautiful in your life to achieve success.
In my recent Rant & Grow podcast, I spend some time with Terry Boyle McDougall. Terry was a long-time corporate marketing executive where she led teams, developed strategies and advised senior leaders to drive business results. She is the author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms. We explored how to be successful without sacrificing the quality of your life.
Just click on the play button to listen to the podcast right here.