Blog Post

The Grief of Achieving

The Grief of Achieving

Following on from last weeks blog, New Year’s Resolutions, this week I wanted to take a moment to explore the grief of achieving and how this is potentially affecting us.

When I talk of the “grief of achieving”, I’m talking about how there has become a culture where we feel like we constantly need to be achieving.

If we are not consistently achieving or moving from one great thing to the next, we perceive ourselves as lesser than (or not worthy of) others. Especially with the way life and society are progressing, there is pressure for our achievements or success to be occurring in rapid succession.

Does this lead to an increase or fueling of the illusion of “being perfect”? The stress and pressure we place on ourselves to be perfect, to have it all… is this part of our innate desire as humans, fulfilling our basic needs of wanting to fit in and be part of a community/society?  Not wanting to be left out or “different”?

If we think about this in relation to social media, something that has really stood out for me over the last few months is that I will see one person share a quote and then over the next few days a large percentage of people on my news feed are sharing that same quote. It may perhaps have a different picture or different font, but it is the same thing.

Or if we think about live videos we can now do on social media. At first, we saw a handful of people using it, and now its almost a question of, who isn’t using it. I know I experienced feelings of FOMO because I haven’t used it yet, and at times it made me question myself by not using it – did it mean I wasn’t successful or a good entrepreneur for offering this to people?

I have also noticed this in workplaces when I have done part-time or full-time jobs, perhaps more so for generations older than me who are feeling the pressure with younger employees that are faster and more efficient with current technologies.

That constant feeling of inadequacy or not being enough.

Dare I say, could this be one of the reasons why we are experiencing increasing rates of depression and suicide? The increased pressure to feel we belong in the world and that we are enough? The struggle to find where we fit into all of this? Just as we are, without a list of degrees, awards, and accolades to our name?

What if we are not all meant to be (or even want to be) professional athletes and CEOs of companies?

Recently I read that we are called human beings, not human doings. We spend some much time trying to do and achieve – are we forgetting or losing the ability to just “be”?

Even in my own sessions (the lovely woman I go to see) at least twice it came up. Sometimes I try too hard, and maybe taking a chill pill and relaxing a bit would allow things to flow or happen more easily for me.

If you think about or look at your life, are there times or things where you feel there has been grief associated with achieving, either based on your own expectations of yourself or through culture/society? How has this impacted your life? I would love for you to share this with me.

If you enjoyed this blog, please recommend it or share it to help others find it, too. Also, click “respond” and let me know ways in which you can relate, or ways in which you have eased grief personally.