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How to Feel Accomplished in Life

The feeling of accomplishment can be fulfilling, motivating, and uplifting. On the other hand, perceiving ourselves to be unaccomplished for a prolonged time can make us miserable and set us on a downward spiral.

However, it may seem impossible to feel accomplished on demand. After all, we often read about successful people who seem to achieve everything they set their minds on as if they have some mystical power. And when comparing yourself to those people, your accomplishment “score” may seem less than flattering.

If you’re feeling unaccomplished and it’s bringing you down, the good news is your perception of yourself is probably wrong. There are plenty of reasons why you might not feel accomplished or worthy, but, in most cases, none of those reasons are facts. Instead, they result from unfavorable comparisons, negative preconceptions, and many other harmful factors.

To feel accomplished, you’ll need to learn to eliminate those negative influences first. And this article will help you along the way.

How to Stop Feeling Unaccomplished

Before you start building your self-confidence, you’ll need a clean slate. In other words, all of the false negative influences will need to be cleared out. Here are the steps you can take today to remove that feeling of being stuck.

Give Yourself Time

If you ever thought, “It’s too late for me to change things,” you’ve been misled by our instant-gratification culture.

Our world has focused on fulfilling our desires at a moment’s notice. While that concept is fine when applied to the retail and service industries, it has dire consequences. We constantly hear stories of instant success, teenage millionaires, and kids who shook the world with a particular talent.

Plus, with a large portion of modern life now relying on the aforementioned service industry, it seems like everything you want should be accessible immediately.

This mindset seeps into your subconscious and may easily wreak havoc. You may believe you aren’t accomplished if you haven’t experienced rapid success in your chosen endeavor.

That brings us to the perception we mentioned at the outset – that it’s too late to achieve anything. Of course, the truth is much different.

While we might not be bombarded by their stories, many people have achieved success later in life. For instance, Charles Darwin published his pivotal work, “On the Origin of Species,” when he was 50. Henry Ford managed to get his car company off the ground at 44. And Abraham Lincoln didn’t become president until he was 52. Grandma Moses didn’t begin painting in earnest until she was 78.

Simply put, you don’t have to rush it or feel like you’ve let yourself down if you’re not at the top of the world right away. Give yourself time to build your accomplishments.

Value the Journey

While keeping your mind set on a goal is essential, obsessing about how long it’s taking to reach it can become a detriment. Plus, always thinking about where you’re going can make you miss out on the beautiful things happening along the way.

Such a mindset will only make you feel more anxious and overpowered by obstacles.

While it may sound like a cliché, your accomplishments are all about the journey. These are the actual experiences that add value to our lives. Getting to your destination is fantastic, but you shouldn’t live for the scorecard at the end. The crucial part of the journey is what you go through – good and bad.

This mindset change is essential to help you stop measuring up yourself to a goal that’s still far off. And on a more practical side, living and acting in the moment will allow you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

Most importantly, you’ll start seeing the little accomplishments you might disregard if your sight focuses only on the larger goal. Pay attention to what’s right in front of you, and you might find happiness.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

One of the most common mistakes we make is comparing ourselves to people around us or, even worse, famous people.

If you habitually draw such comparisons, it’s easy to fall into the self-depreciation pit. You might think John from work is killing it daily while you struggle to keep pace. Or you may focus on the massive success of someone like Oprah Winfrey, which can leave you depressed.

But there’s a reason why your path in life differs from those people: You’re not them. And they aren’t you.

Each one of us carves our own way through life. Even if you’re in the same field of work as the person you admire, you don’t share the same circumstances. You can be inspired by other people, but you should only measure yourself against yourself and your unique life and circumstances.

But the issue with comparisons goes deeper.

In some cases, witnessing someone else’s success may cause us to want to do the same thing they did – even if that’s not who we are. That’s why you need to do some soul-searching and determine what you really want. Are you under the influence of a powerful role model whose success is shaping your personal goals?

Align your sense of achievement with who you are, and you may stop feeling unaccomplished.

Don’t Chase Perfection

Models of “perfect” behavior and performance get instilled into us from an early age. While many people leave those models behind at some point, their impact may linger subconsciously.

If you’ve ever felt like you did everything right but didn’t do it well enough, that might be the perfection model speaking. In actuality, no person does everything perfectly in their life. Even if you take a genius like Mozart into account, a closer look will reveal that not all of his music is genius-level.

Instead of chasing the unobtainable ideal of “perfect,” you could pursue a much more humane and achievable goal: “The best I could.”

Giving a task your best shot is an achievement in itself. It means you went as far as your resources and skills would take you, and that takes commitment and hard work. In a sense, doing your best is perfection simply because the job couldn’t have been done any better.

How to Feel Accomplished in Life

Don’t Fear Taking Control

Dwelling on the negative feeling of being unaccomplished can become the perfect excuse to give up control over your actions. But there’s absolutely no benefit from that attitude.

Even if you don’t feel accomplished, you’re still in complete control of how you approach that feeling and what you’ll do next.

The difference in attitude can be boiled down to a single three-letter word: Yet.

“I haven’t run a marathon” versus “I haven’t run a marathon yet.”

How you feel about your accomplishments can change instantly if you view your situation from a different vantage point. This doesn’t mean you have to practice forced positivity, though.

Simply consider what makes you feel unaccomplished and think how you could react to that feeling. All you need to change is already there – you just need to take control of it.

A Practical Guide to Feeling Accomplished

By now, you’ve learned to remove everything that makes you feel unaccomplished. But that’s not the complete answer to how to feel accomplished. The second part of that equation consists of several actionable steps you can implement now.

1. Create a Morning Routine

If you want to create a successful day, start in the morning. Create a routine that sets you up for the day ahead and fill it with activities that motivate and energize you.

For example, setting up the same wake-up time daily will do wonders for your physical and mental well-being. Experiment until you find the right time and stick to it, ensuring enough sleep during the night.

Determine what feels best once you get out of bed. Some people like to have breakfast immediately, others may have coffee before anything else, and others love to work out directly after getting up.

2. Keep a Journal

If you can’t convince yourself that your day was full of accomplishments, start writing your experiences down. Note where you went and what you did, and don’t leave out the “little things.” We often do many good things during the day but don’t even register them because we take them for granted.

At the end of the day, read your journal. And if the page still seems too empty, write down what you’ll do tomorrow to improve the next entry.

3. Define What “Accomplishment” Means to You

Understanding what accomplishment means to you is the best way to feel accomplished. We all value different aspects of life – some people might not even notice something that others may call a significant win.

Figure out what makes you feel accomplished. Note that this might not be the same as what you think accomplishment is, but an activity that leaves you feeling fulfilled. Once you define your values, start building on that foundation and doing what makes you feel worthy.

Accomplishment Is a State of Mind

Now that you understand how to feel accomplished, you’ve probably realized that it has nothing to do with keeping score. It has even less to do with competing with others or your preconceived ideas of accomplishment.

The key to how you feel about your life is inside your mind. Explore your thoughts and feelings and find the values that you hold dear. Most importantly, give yourself the time and space to grow. Do all that, and you’ll be on the right path to feeling true accomplishment.


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