Is Your Drive To Succeed Ruining Your Relationships?

Can we really have it all?


The pursuit of success in business is very close to my heart. For many years, that was my primary goal in life and it was for my husband too. However, pursuing success in your career can put a lot of strain on your relationships — especially if you believe that the success of your business defines who you are and says something about you as a person.

The problem with defining who you are in terms of your business means that when you don't reach your goals or your expectations of success, you will see yourself as a failure and beat yourself up in the interim.


This, once again, can have enormous implications on those around you. You stop being present, eat and sleep less, and are generally not as focused on the people you love.

I have gone through this and so have many of my clients and my husband. This has put a lot of strain on our relationship. As our work came first, our relationship was coming second and with that the time we spent stressing about our work would come between us.

So how do you create more of a balance? How do you let go of the stresses of work so that you can make time to be in the relationship versus elsewhere?

What has really worked for me and for my clients is to be mindful of the beliefs that will be driving your behavior and lack of presence. Once you are aware of the following five recommendations, then it will be easier to be in your relationship.

  1. Get really clear on what success means to you — make it about the path not the destination. Success is NOT a destination. It's a path you can create for yourself every day. For example, my definition of success is to have as much fun and enjoy each day as much as I can. If you can break down what success means to you on a daily basis, then it becomes easier.
  2. Remember that you are NOT the result of your business! Feeling like a failure based on the results of the business makes no sense. Who you are is SO much more than the results of your business. Whether you achieve the sales or don't, this is no reflection on who you are. I am who I am, whether my business is doing well or not. Now I realize that seeing this truth allows me to not take it personally when potential clients say "no."
  3. Know that your value doesn't come from how many clients you have or sales you make. When I realized this, it really turned my life around. My security and well-being is not based on how much money I make or how many clients I have. Knowing this allows me to not feel like a failure when things don't go according to plan. The irony is that I have generated more money this year than I ever did before. Once you realize that you need nothing outside of you, you are free to have it all.
  4. Realize that your stress actually comes from the thought pattern, not the reality of your job. Last year, my friend asked me how I would feel if I never got to create or have the impact I wanted in the world. At the time, I had poured over £60,000 into my business over two years to make it work. When I was asked this question, I certainly wasn't ready to answer it and had a bit of a teary melt down. Two days later, I realized that if I didn't have these thoughts, life would be fine. In fact, life was fine — it was my thoughts such as "I don't have enough sales, which means..." or "I don't have enough clients, which means...." that were holding me back. With this thought pattern, you will never have enough.
  5. Be aware of the horizon effect  things can always be better. I have heard a lot of my clients say, "work can always be better." However better is like walking to the horizon. You never reach it. As long as you do not have a clear definition of what better really means, then you will never know whether you have achieved your goals. Once I realized this, my stress faded away.

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