Is your bucket leaky?

leaky bucket

“I’ve been grinding hard.

I’m in my 30s.

I’m remote, traveling the world and having awesome experiences.

But I’m dissatisfied with my daily life.

What do I do?

It’s what I dreamed of and worked so hard to achieve.

But I literally feel no happier, than when I was broke.”

This entrepreneur continued:

“I kind of feel shortchanged even.”

The leaky bucket theory of ambition

My friend and fellow entrepreneur Suzi Sosa shared a daunting analogy for achievement.

“Proving your self-worth through achievement is like filling a bucket with a hole in it.”

You can pour as much water as you want into it. But in the end, it’s still gonna be empty.

The same holds true for achievement.

You can add money.

You can add accolades.

You can add fancy cars and summer houses.

Heck, you can slap your name on the wing of a museum.

But if there’s a hole in your bucket – you can’t stop filling it up with water.

I just want to know that I’m good

I’m a people-pleaser. A social butterfly. A momma’s boy.

And that’s fine and dandy.

But if someone even insinuates that I’m not a good person – it hurts.

When a troll mocks me online – I want them to know I’m a good Internet citizen.

When Lisa and I fight – I want her to know that I’m a good husband.

When I disappoint my mom – I want her to know that I’m a good son.

In a post titled, How I finally found self-love, Anita Amini, a somatic practitioner (and software engineer), offers this diagnosis:

Almost all of us grow up with the false notion that we are not inherently “good”.
This problematic belief then prevents us from loving ourselves.
Because well why would we be worthy of love if we’re “bad”?

This belief of inherent “not good-ness” is the hole in the bucket.

Particularly for the strivers and high-performers.

It fuels the inner critic. Perfectionism. Low self-worth. The fear of being “cringe.”

So back to our 30-year-old entrepreneur

Professionally they’ve done everything right.

They’re smart.
They’re resourceful.
They know how to take risks.

But what’s the hole in their bucket?

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