There are times when we all feel like we want more, whether personally, professionally, emotionally —or even all the above. We all occasionally long for things like more money, success, connection, meaning, freedom…or maybe just another serving of our favorite unhealthy food!
Wanting more is natural. Yet, far too often, we feel inclined to judge ourselves harshly for not being happy with what we already have.
We’ve all heard the expression: “Money can’t buy happiness.” “Count your blessings.” “Be happy with what you have.” These sayings certainly hold some truth and are worth remembering. However, they also seem to discourage the urge to pursue something more or to feel dissatisfied with one’s current circumstances.
As I often tell my clients, it’s wise for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and professionals to interrogate their ambitions and strive to understand whether their goals are likely to make them truly happy.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, it is okay to want more, BUT you are enough.
Desires and goals are not bad things when they are positive and thoughtful, no matter what conventional wisdom may tell us. They can be harmful, however, if they are concealing a feeling that you, yourself, are not “enough.” Just as it is okay to strive for more, it is also imperative that goal-seekers also accept who they are, and understand that even if they are a work-in-progress, they are enough.
To explore the question of what it means to want more, and how to remember that you are enough even while pursuing your ambitions, continue reading.
Start with Honesty
It’s one of the most important things to keep in mind when seeking more: Your ambitions are only as healthy as the foundation upon which you build them. To put it another way, honest self-reflection is a good habit to develop in general, and a particularly impactful component of goal-setting and pursuit.
What’s more, if your goals don’t align with your values, fulfilling those goals is likely to be unfulfilling. So take a good, long look at whether your goals are truly coming from a place of authentic desire, or whether they are reflective of internal insecurities or external pressures.
Do you want more because it will feed your soul, or to fill a hole? Remember, more money, achievements, and status are unlikely to make you feel a deeper sense of self-love. That feeling can only come from within, and chasing your ambitions should also empower you to continue caring for yourself. Ultimately, a toxic goal may not be worth pursuing.
On the other hand, it is possible to be grateful for what you have and content with who you are but still want more. Again, that’s natural — in fact, it often simply means that you are growing and developing.
It sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but pursuing your ambitions in a healthy, constructive way, can be helpful to lower the personal stakes and separate your goal-oriented efforts from your personal needs.
As a first step, make an effort to…
Going after something you want can feel vulnerable due to the possibility of falling short. It’s easy to start thinking about failure or rejection, whether professional or personal, as reflective of some innate inadequacy within oneself.
Falling short of a goal can happen for all sorts of reasons. Maybe the goal was unrealistic, or maybe the timing or fit just wasn’t right. But even when rejection or failure is due to a personal or professional shortcoming, it’s critical to remember that this represents an opportunity for growth, not a sign that you are fundamentally not good enough, because you are enough.
Of course, this is not to say we are not all responsible for the impacts of our actions — we are.
Rather, the point I’m making is that by creating mental boundaries between our efforts to pursue more and our basic sense of self-worth, it is also possible to contain those feelings of vulnerability in such a way that personal or professional setbacks do not domino into the feeling that you are not worthy of acceptance and respect exactly how you are…that you are enough.
Think of it this way: When we say we want something more, what we’re talking about is a feeling that we don’t have enough. That is not the same thing as not being enough.
Wanting to have more is okay. But wanting to be more is usually counter-productive or even self-destructive, both when it comes to mental health, and, indeed, when it comes to achieving one’s goals.
On the other hand, when you act on wanting more from a place of being enough, you can grow and develop constructively, while also accepting that, even if you are a work-in-progress, you are already enough.
Are you stuck on how to pursue more while also remembering that you are enough? I’d love to assist you on your journey. Get in touch to schedule a meeting today.