When we are aligned with our goals and desires, the universe has a way of bringing us what we need at exactly the right time. However, our fears, beliefs, emotions, choices, and actions can block us from receiving that abundance and living a fulfilling life.
One of the most common reasons clients come to see me is that, despite having achieved the American Dream of a successful career, a comfortable home, a spouse, a family, and easily met needs, they still feel unfulfilled.
Based on the hundreds of people I’ve worked with, this seems to be a widespread issue. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this epidemic has surfaced at the same time as the global pandemic we’ve all experienced.
Does this resonate with you?
If you’ve been feeling this phenomenon of empty success, the good news is that you aren’t alone. The not-so-good news is that there’s no easy way to transition from empty success to internal fulfillment. It’s not something that happens overnight; it can take years to get there.
Based on our society, I believe everyone will experience this empty success syndrome at some point. When I was a kid, it was referred to as “going through a midlife crisis.”
However, I’ve noticed that many people seem to be going through it at a younger age. In fact, there are many young people who realize that “The American Dream” we’ve been sold is a lie as early as high school or college.
In many ways, I consider myself fortunate for having realized early on that “The American Dream” isn’t everything. However, deconditioning those beliefs about success wasn’t easy.
Even in the business world, there are stories about ultimate success, perpetuating the idea that entrepreneurship is merely an extension of the American Dream. There are many stories and coaches who promote the notion of getting rich quickly, making six-figures in a month, and traveling the world while purchasing only luxury brands.
In self-help circles, the focus is often on putting yourself out there, being on stage, speaking to thousands of people, and helping them “wake up.” The implication is that if you’re not doing these things, you’re not good enough, and people are suffering because of it.
The world is full of manipulative marketing tactics that promote an ideal of ultimate success and the idea that achieving it will lead to happiness. Unfortunately, many who do reach that level do so inauthentically, while for others, the bar is set so high that they can never seem to meet it. In both situations, believing in ultimate success robs you of true happiness.
Clients often come to me because they’ve realized that their focus on external success has left them unhappy. However, they’re unsure of how to achieve happiness. This usually means they have neglected their own internal needs and desires.
Have you experienced this? Or have you taken the time to explore your passions and pursue your true purpose in life?
Realizing that you need to make a change can be a powerful realization, but it can also put you in a state of contemplation where you are simply thinking about making a change. It is easy to get trapped in this state, where you find yourself thinking about taking action but never quite getting there.
I have been there before, both when I left my first marriage and when I decided to pursue Reiki full-time. In both situations, I became absolutely miserable before finally making a change.
I have learned that when my intuition kicks in and I start contemplating and preparing for change, the more I resist it, the more miserable I become. It is important to take action and make changes when you feel that it is necessary, rather than allowing yourself to remain trapped in a state of contemplation.
I’ve seen it with my clients too, I’ve worked with some clients in my Intensive Healing Programs for months who spend the whole time contemplating and preparing to make a change.
What I’ve learned about these Intensive Healing Programs, is they always work best for the people who already are or who are ready to take action. It’s much easier to support someone when they are doing the work to modify their thoughts, beliefs, actions, and surroundings. When people ask me what makes someone get results when we work together, it’s when they take the action.
In order to overcome empty success, the only option is explore your passions and pursue your true purpose in life. This means working to modify your thoughts, beliefs, actions, and surroundings. Which is why the process can take months or even years.
According to health psychology researcher Philippa Lally, it takes more than two months on average for a new behavior to become automatic – specifically, 66 days. However, the time it takes to form a new habit can vary widely depending on various factors such as the behavior, the individual, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 to 254 days for people to form a new habit.
And that is for just one habit!
If you have come to the realization that you have achieved empty success and have decided to take action and go through this process, the best thing I can encourage you to do is to have compassion for yourself. Give yourself all the time that you need to work through the little changes that happen along the way.
I won’t pretend that choosing to explore your passions and pursue your true purpose in life is an easy decision. It’s easy to do what you love and be your authentic self, but it’s not easy to overcome the conditioning that tells you that the only version of success acceptable is the American dream.
It’s also not easy to stand up and be yourself when that means facing discrimination, lack of support, and societal stigma. The truth is that stepping outside the box of what society deems acceptable often leads to mental health struggles, such as anxiety and depression. It’s astounding how little support there is for individuals who choose to pursue their passions, purpose, and authenticity.
Personally, it makes me sad because nothing excites me more than seeing someone fully embrace their power and be their authentic self. My favorite stories are those where people choose to pursue their passions, and synchronicities start happening in their lives. For example, they may run into an old friend who has a job opportunity, or receive a surprise invitation to an event that perfectly aligns with their interests.
When you prioritize your own happiness and well-being, and live a life true to your values and desires, you will find true fulfillment and abundance. You are unique, and you have a unique path and purpose in life. You deserve to pursue it.
Trusting in your inner voice and the Universe, and taking action, will reveal the power of synchronicity in your life. Staying open and trusting in the Universe’s timing allows you to receive what you need at exactly the right time. It takes work to stay aligned with your goals and desires, but it is worth it, and that is what makes it easy.
Learn more in my next blog post “Six Steps to Overcoming Blocks to Receiving Abundance So That You Can Cultivate A Fulfilling Life”
In conclusion, achieving external success does not always lead to internal fulfillment. Many people experience what is commonly referred to as “empty success syndrome,” where they have achieved everything they thought they wanted, but still feel unfulfilled.
The key to overcoming this syndrome is to prioritize your own happiness and well-being, live a life true to your values and desires, trust in your inner voice and the Universe, take action towards your goals and desires, stay open and trust in the Universe’s timing, and work to stay aligned with your goals and desires.
This process may take time, but it is worth it to live a fulfilling and abundant life. Remember to have compassion for yourself along the way, and trust that the Universe will bring you what you need at exactly the right time.