05.10.13 Career & Finances

How to Stop Chasing Your Dreams and Let Success Come to You

How to Stop Chasing Your Dreams and Let Success Come to You

BY Emily Bennington

It’s been said that chasing success is like chasing a rabbit. The more you run after it, the more it runs away. How do you catch the rabbit, you ask?

Easy. You make it come to you.

Well, except that’s not so easy, because luring the rabbit means you have to be patient. You have to trust. And you have to sit there, perfectly still, confident that holding the carrot is enough.

Success is a lot like love in this way. Perhaps you’ve chased love at some point only to discover the more you pushed, the more it ran.

The more you wrap success in a tidy little box of WHATs (what job do you have, what goals have you achieved, what number is on the scale), the more you set yourself up for disappointment when it doesn’t show up the way you planned.

That’s because the “WHATs” are the rabbits of life. They are external and therefore outside your control.

Things like:

The job.
The title.
The money.
The partner.
The status.
The weight.

You may think you have full power here but don’t get too comfortable because life throws curve balls. Health can change overnight. Spouses die. The company “restructures.”

If your self worth is attached to things that fluctuate by nature, you will never feel whole because your happiness will go up and down with them.

Now here’s the flip side:

What if you simply focused on being your best in each moment?

This, of course, starts with defining what matters most to you and writing it down. But when you do, watch out, because then you’ll have a list of values that don’t change and, as a result, life’s curveballs are less likely to knock you down. So regardless of whether you’re in a performance review, a job interview, a contentious meeting or the doctor’s office… by turning away from the frantic energy of “rabbit chasing,” you begin to surrender to the energy of knowing.

Knowing there’s a lesson in this. Knowing growth comes from getting uncomfortable. And knowing that, no matter what happens, you’ll be fine.

That’s the carrot.

And, yes, that’s enough.

Emily Bennington is coauthor of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out and Move Up at Your First Real Job. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of career success and has been featured on Fox Business, CNN and ABC, as well as quoted in publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Washington Post Express. Emily is a contributing writer for Monster.com and a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, Forbes Woman and US News and World Report. Her second book, Who Says It’s a Man’s World: A Girls’ Guide to Corporate Domination, will be published in January 2013 by AMACOM. Emily can be reached online at emilybennington.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @EmilyBennington.

Comments

  • Thank you for sharing.

  • Love this – Thank you

  • Erica

    Wonderful perspective. Keeping this advice in mind during my job search.

  • jean

    This is refreshing to say the least.

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