27 September 2023

The satisfaction of amazing ourselves

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Amanda Setili* believes there is far greater satisfaction in pushing our own personal boundaries rather than always comparing ourselves to what others are doing.

A few days ago, when I was engaged in my favourite leisure activity of kiteboarding, the wind picked up and it started to pour.

At first, I wondered if I was foolish to be out there in such conditions.

Then I saw all the locals rigging their kites and coming out, which reassured me it wasn’t terribly unsafe to keep going.

It turned out to be super fun.

The torrential rain and dense clouds all around didn’t bother me at all, and the gusts made for really exciting jumps, with a boost that would take me higher than I expected.

Years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be so comfortable and happy in conditions like these.

In short, I was amazed at what I’d achieved.

I’d like to suggest that we all invest time and effort in amazing ourselves more often.

You might be amazed that you:

Presented to a very high-level group of senior executives and against all the odds managed to win them over to your point of view.

Got people who have been fighting for months to suddenly agree and to welcome the opportunity to move forward while working together.

Built a powerful relationship with a top leader.

Internal pride is a much better metric than external validation. Comparing ourselves to others — or competing with them — seldom leads to a fulfilling life.

However, when we reach past our own perceived limits, that is special.

There is often a difference between what we say to others versus how we actually feel.

We put on a brave face, do our best to appear confident, and try to tell others what we think they want to hear.

Deep inside, we know what scares us, what’s particularly difficult for us, and when we start to feel nervous.

In those moments when we can exceed these boundaries, we are truly alive.

This is true whether you are an Olympian setting a world record or a 97-year-old who manages to walk around the block for the first time in two years.

Amazing yourself is a noble goal, and is a sign that you’re growing and learning (rather than simply trying to impress others).

*Amanda Setili helps successful leaders and their teams agree on what needs to change and how to make it happen. She is author of Fearless Growth: The New Rules to Stay Competitive, Foster Innovation, and Dominate Your Markets. Amanda can be contacted at setili.com.

This article first appeared at setili.com.

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