“Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of the progress towards a successful and ultimately happy life.” — unknown
This quote came across my desk today, sent to me from a dear friend. I took a pause as I read it because it is in direct alignment with my overarching intention for 2019, which is to remove the word “hard” from my vocabulary as it relates to work.
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I believe that words hold potent energy. When I caught myself saying “I’m working hard” one day, I called myself out.
Was I creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? As I continued to “work hard” and use these words, was I only creating an environment of more hard work? Did I truly believe that “hard work” was the path to success? Maybe in the past, I did, but then I got to thinking, are these outdated beliefs?
So at the beginning of the year, I choose to reframe how I described my work life. I decided to strike the word “hard” from my lexicon, and replace it with other words like alignment, flow, or progress.
“I’m working in alignment with my intentions and goals.”
“My work is in flow with what I am envisioning.”
“I’m making good progress on the work at hand.”
And then the most amazing thing happened. I stopped working hard. I began to have more wiggle room. I made time for more of the things I enjoy. I cleared my calendar and went to the beach. My work didn’t fall apart because I wasn’t “working hard”, instead it continued to flow in alignment with my intentions and goals. Wow!
So today I wanted to share 5 Reasons Why Hard Work Doesn’t Guarantee Success.
1. FEAR: Ask yourself what you fear will happen if you don’t work hard. Do you use the words “work hard” as a way to stay in procrastination, afraid that if you loosen the reins you might actually be successful? As silly as that sounds, the fear of success is one of the biggest reasons my clients spin in the procrastination that appears to be “hard work”.
2. FAILURE: Ask yourself if you associate working hard with success, and in contrast, not working hard with failure. If you said yes, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking so. However, limitations are a part of being human and failure can actually help us succeed. Embracing both rest and reflection together with inspired action is one way to step away from the worry of failure.
3. BURNOUT: It’s been proven that performance and success decline when you reach the tipping point of burnout. Your health suffers, you become emotionally exhausted, and your relationships suffer. If you burn out, it’s unlikely that you find the success you seek.
4. SACRIFICE: Have you ever thought you have to sacrifice something in order to be successful? Here’s the thing about sacrifice, it only leads to resentment and frustration. So even if you do achieve success after you’ve sacrificed the things you love, chances are you’ll be miserable.
5. ANXIETY: When you push yourself hard, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. The common misconception goes like this… “If I only work harder then I’ll be successful.” But usually, this only leads to anxiety and disappointment. At the end of the day, your happiness matters. If “working hard” is causing overwhelm, worry, or irritation, it’s hard to feel happy.
In 2018 I was this person I’m describing here. I was working hard to grow my business. I became overwhelmed by all the doing, and I sacrificed my wellbeing as a result. Now, 4 months into 2019 I’ve retired the phrase “hard work” and as a result, I’m witnessing significant, positive shifts in my life. And best of all, I’m in alignment and flow with those things that matter most to me, including my work.
I hope the next time you say your “working hard” you’ll take pause and give yourself a break. How could you shift those words to something else? I always love reading your thoughts and comments, so go ahead and share them.
Infinite ∞ Love,