Lucas Brenner » Articles » When Success Throws You off Track

We all know the moments when failures or problems throw us off track and interrupt our routines. Whether it's professional or personal defeat, everyone intuitively understands that the associated negative emotions can have a paralyzing effect.

However, positive events can also have these effects. These effects are often ignored because the people concerned seem to be successful. However, we should not confuse success with satisfaction or happiness.

Success can have a paralyzing effect in three different ways:

Set New Goals

When you have successfully completed a project, you should set new milestones. This is the only way to motivate yourself again and prevent yourself from resting on your old successes.

The inner flame that drives you should never go out. Old successes are not an excuse to stop working, but the reason why you should do even more.

Start Small Again

You've been successful? You won an award or were honored? Many people congratulated you? Be happy about it and enjoy it! But then quickly start working again.

Everything is back to zero. “It's back to square one.” Pretend you never had success and focus on the task in front of you. Just because you've were successful doesn't mean your next work or project has to be just as good.

So-called intermediate works are as much a part of the creative process as masterpieces. Beethoven wrote four symphonies before he put the world-famous Fifth Symphony on paper. And even after that, he wrote further symphonies and pieces of music. If even a genius as great as Ludwig van Beethoven doesn't write an immortal piece of history with every composition, why do you expect that of yourself?

Consciously Enjoy Your Success

When success prevents you from focusing on your actual work, it's important to consciously celebrate your triumph – and then let it go. If you've won a competition, gotten a promotion, or won something else, set yourself a deadline by which you can rejoice and celebrate.

From that point on, mentally push the success aside and focus on your work again. Put the trophy on the cabinet, hang the certificate on the wall, or tell the story of how you achieved the success one last time. Then get back to work, humbly and consistently.

Combine these strategies to ensure that your distraction is not rooted in overwhelm or perfectionism, and always keep in mind that hard and fair work will lead to success sooner or later. Even if that success “only” means personal satisfaction and happiness.