IS THERE A WAY YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO FEEL AFTER A BIG SUCCESS
such as landing a dream job, getting married, or a major career accomplishment?
How will the Post Big-Success days compare to the day of the Big-Success?
I’m contemplating these questions myself because last week was one of the most successful of my career that found me speaking a total of 15 times in three different towns:
- Monday and Tuesday in Austin, Minnesota to 3,000 5th through 12th graders.
- Wednesday in Sioux Falls, SD, to 400 people in celebration of National Disability Awareness Month.
- Thursday and Friday in Vermillion, SD, to several groups of students at the University of South Dakota, with a Thursday evening presentation that was open to the public.
I was honored with repeat standing ovations, which I say not to boast but to illustrate that the presentations were successful.
SUCCESS! Sweet Success!!!! I’m getting paid well to impact audiences, speaking with the very same voice that I used to despise.
Not to mention, I used to be so stressed out that I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of actually being able to accomplish what I did last week.
HOWEVER as I write this–a mere three days after my big week of speaking–I’m aware that I don’t feel extraordinary.
Even though by all accounts I should:
- Be laughing with joy
- Thanking my lucky stars that I’ve gotten this far in my career
- Doing back flips (If my body liked doing back flips)
- Doing splits (If my body liked doing splits)
But I’m not doing any of these things.
WHY in the world wouldn’t I feel extraordinary, three short days after my extraordinary week? This question keeps bugging me.
The answer is I’m not entirely sure.
Do you ever not entirely understand why you are feeling the way you do?
Some possible explanations I’ve come up with are….
I wrote a list of possible explanations and omitted it. Yes, I am censoring content from my very own blog because I JUST REALIZED that I can come up with endless explanations to try and make sense of this feeling but that doesn’t make them the cause.
I don’t want to justify being in this Post Success Funk.
What I really want to do is move past it!
Maybe it’s enough to recognize that our moods change like the weather. I’m in Sioux Falls, SD as I write this. Two days ago it was an intensely beautiful fall day. Today it’s in the 40’s, windy, dark, rainy–basically, today the weather is intensely awful!
Did the weather change because anything went wrong?
No the weather changed because it’s fall in South Dakota and the weather simply changes.
Does the fact that I’m not feeling extraordinary three days after my big, successful week mean that anything is wrong?
No, it simply means that right now I don’t feel extraordinary.
These emotions will pass like the storm that is currently pummeling Sioux Falls. I don’t have to encourage them to stick around longer by building stories so my mind can attempt to rationalize their existence.
Being an adult and a professional doesn’t mean we are constantly on CLOUD 9.
As I type the final paragraphs of this blog, I’m reminded that we can use the wisdom of experience to realize that our funks won’t last, even when they seem as UNJUST as a Post Success Funk.
If life were perfect, we would feel great, consistently, for decades, if not centuries, after a big success.
An IMPERFECT BEST LIFE is realizing that we are human and thus subject to sometimes feeling happy and other times feeling funky, whatever the weather.
And that’s ok. As the Beatles sang, “Let it be.”
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.