A number of years ago I was an executive coach to a client who felt dissatisfied with her life and her career. To the outside world she seemed to have it all: a happy marriage, healthy, happy kids and an employer who offered interesting and flexible work to suit her circumstances.
Despite all this, she didn’t feel it was ‘enough’. More recently I have been working with another client, who has successfully climbed the senior management ladder, achieved his career growth goals, achieved financial security and leads a challenging and interesting life. He didn’t feel he was ‘enough’.
The theme of ‘enough’ comes up often in coaching sessions. Topics around clients wondering if they are enough, have enough, achieve enough, succeed enough, give enough or get enough. So, why do we never feel it’s enough?
Is it because humans are innately somehow built to be dissatisfied? We are always striving for and wanting more. We receive the pay rise, and research shows it motivates us for about 10 minutes (OK research finds 3 months, but you get my point) and then it’s not enough. We want more.
We get the promotion and climb the corporate ladder, only to find the view from higher up the ladder isn’t that much different from the rung below. So we climb the next one only to find – yep, you got it – it’s the same damn view again, just from a slightly higher vantage point! We climb but it never feels enough.
Is it because we are constantly bombarded by advertising, social media and the nightly soaps suggesting that there is more to be had, more to look like, more to act like, and therefore we haven’t yet quite got or are enough?
Has capitalism indoctrinated us into the world of comparison so much so that we will never feel enough? We want what the Joneses have (or seem to have anyway). Without this comparison group we might actually feel enough?
Capitalism without labour equals a disaster. Fortunately for Mr. Capitalist, we see the great car our colleague has, or the prestige he receives from his latest promotion, and we think: “I’ve got to get myself some of that”.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us coming to terms with the fact that the world will always be sending us the message that we are never enough. We may never be the right weight, the right fit, healthy enough, attractive enough, tall or short enough.
Do we have enough self-confidence? Are we friendly enough to others? Are we smart enough, wealthy enough and have we achieved enough? These thoughts and self-doubts can plague our existence.
So what to do about this modern day malaise of not enough?
The Executive Coach in me sees two choices here. The first is to buy into these messages and spend our lives feeling that we will never be completely satisfied with things or ourselves. Or we can recognise that we are being inundated with messaging every day and start deciding what truly matters.
This is where personal values identification comes in useful. Identifying the values that matter to you (not anyone else) helps you self-select what you need to be ‘enough’. Identifying your core personal values removes 90 percent of the ‘enoughs’, leaving you to concentrate on the 10 percent that is deeply important to you. Not anyone else. You.
Spending your time and energy focusing on being enough in the areas that matter most to you is life changing. The perception of life as being too complex and overwhelming dissipates, allowing you to take control over the things that matter to you most.
If you would like to work with an Executive Coach to help identify what your strongest personal values are, then give us a call today.
If you would like the support of a professional executive coach to better understand what would is enough for you give us a call and book an appointment today – (03) 8686 9102 or email us at here – https://www.letstalkcareer.com/contact-us/. Let’s Talk Career work nationally across Australia and have career counsellors and executive coaches in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Far North Queensland.