103. The Achievement High

Are you someone who constantly feels like your life is a never-ending rollercoaster ride? Maybe your mission has felt that way or schooling or being a parent. Do you often wonder why you feel this way when you are taking steps toward achieving your goals? Well, let me tell you something – it’s completely normal to seek progress and growth in life. However, it becomes detrimental when you place your entire sense of self-worth and happiness on achieving those things.

In this episode, we will discuss how the concept “achievement high” can often lead to a rollercoaster-like feel to life. Instead of constantly striving for bigger and better things, we’ll be exploring the idea of finding fulfillment in the journey itself – not just the destination.

By understanding the pitfalls of placing too much emphasis on achievement, we can begin to shift our mindset towards one of hope and excitement. We’ll also explore how embracing belief in ourselves can help us feel more grounded and less swept up in the ups and downs of life. So, get ready to feel empowered and inspired to create a more fulfilling and sustainable way of living!

Listen in to Learn:

  • How to work toward your goals and be proud of the result no matter what
  • Tools to overcome placing your value in what you do

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Get the Full Show Notes HERE

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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission podcast episode number 103. The achievement tie. Hey, I’m Jennie, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again, it’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here. So fun to be rubbing shoulders with all of you amazing humans out there that are getting ready to serve missions that are serving missions that are home from your mission. And all of you missionary moms and dads who are listening, I, I’m honored actually to be hanging out with you today. And I love that you keep showing up here to the podcast, it’s really an important place to be in. Actually, this space where we’re talking about the mental and emotional health and well being of our missionaries, I can’t tell you the number of calls that I have a each week with parents or missionaries themselves or returned missionaries who are in a big struggle, mental and emotional struggle. And I think that it’s just so important to get more help out there to these to these missionaries. There’s tools and strategies that we can use to get our head in the right space to feel our feelings, to create better relationships in our lives and be more agents in our lives instead of letting life just happen to us or the mission just happened to us. So I’m so excited that you’re here, I want to ask you a quick favor today. Which is, I’ve been thinking a lot about how, you know, I watched the numbers on my podcast platform and about how many people are listening. And I’m so grateful to all of you who are listening, because I know that if you’re listening, you’re making a difference for those people in your lives. And those missionaries. But what I keep thinking is we’re just not even getting close to helping the number of missionaries that are out there, or the number of missionaries that are getting ready to serve. And so what I would love for you to do is even if you I would love for you to write a review on Apple podcasts or I would love to have you rate this podcast on Apple podcast. But what would be I was thinking this week, sometimes that might feel like a lot of work, like are confusing about how to get on there and how to do that. And what I would love for you to do. And what I think would help so many more missionaries is if you just this week told one person about this podcast, it may be someone else that’s preparing for a mission. Maybe if you’re a missionary listening right now and you could just be like, Hey, did you know that there’s this girl that shares the podcast, her podcast to help missionaries on a Google Drive? Just tell one person? Or if you’re an RM? If if this podcast has helped you at all, just tell one person did you know that there’s this girl that dedicates everything she does to helping missionaries and RMS or if you’re a mom, and anything on here is helped just tell one person. I think that if all of the people that were listening, right now just told one person about this podcast, and about what we’re trying to do here, what we’re trying to do here today and week after week and getting more emotional tools out that the impact can be bigger, and we can help more missionaries and we can prevent more missionaries from having just that emotional struggle, that emotional turmoil on the mission. Now that’s not to say that these tools are going to totally get rid of any sort of emotional pain that we’re going to experience. You know, what I teach on here is that we’re going to always have highs and lows we’re always going to have opposing emotions mean meaning if we’re going to be happy we also have to be sad Add, if we’re gonna feel frustration, then we’re also going to feel contentment. Like, there’s always those balancing emotions. But what I see on the mission, and after the mission is we start to leave, we shouldn’t have those feelings. And so I love what we’re doing here to help bring more awareness to our own thoughts and feelings. And if you could just tell one person, if we could just help one more person, I think that’s all we’re trying to do. So that would be amazing. Tell one person about this podcast. And if you want, you know, post it on social or something, and tag me and so that I can thank you for sharing. It is important work to be doing. And I think about these kids every day. Like, that’s actually the truth. I think about missionaries and missionary moms everyday. I don’t even have any currently serving missionaries. And I’m still thinking about you, every single day, and wondering how we can help and how we can address some of the struggles that missionaries have on the mission. So there you go. That’s what I wanted to ask you as a favor today. I also want to kind of give you an update with our lives, which is, this is the first summer in a couple of years that we haven’t had a wedding. So everyone keeps telling me, oh my gosh, we’re so busy this summer, there’s so much going on. And I’m like, Oh, that’s awesome. For me, we just don’t have a wedding in between weddings and sending missionaries. And having missionaries come home, we haven’t had a lot and then we had my one son graduate. And we’re not sure what a mission looks like for him. I’m not sure if I’ve shared here I’m I must have that he’s on the autism spectrum. So we’re not sure what a mission is going to look like for him or if he’s even going to serve one. But um, so right now, as of right now, we’re not sending or having anyone coming or going. And we’re not planning a wedding this summer. So I am just feeling fancy free, gonna head to Utah this weekend for my mom’s birthday, and just really trying to soak in the sun, and soak in the solitude and also planning some really, really cool stuff for missionaries coming this fall. And you totally get excited about that I’m really jazzed about it. So anyway, that’s kind of what’s going on with us. But now I want to jump into what I wanted to talk to you about today, which is the achievement high. Now one of the reasons I started thinking about this was because I’d started talking to a lot of my clients about how they need to be a certain way or they need to do a certain thing, or they’re looking to create the next achievement. I also it also sort of crossed my mind at graduation is like in our society, we really honor and value whether right or wrong achievement, because there was little asterix next to the people who got this grade point average and there was little asterix that got, you know, this other grade point average. And then the other thing that kind of prompted this podcast episode was I’ve been reading this book is called empire of pain. Actually, I just recently finished this book. And it is by Patrick Keefe, all about the opioid epidemic, and how these people were taking Oxycontin, and how they would become addicted. And then they would just need another high and another high and another high. And I started thinking about how we sometimes continually seek after an achievement. Because we want that high, we want to achieve because it gives us a little bit of a dopamine hit. So dopamine is that feel good kind of chemical that happens in our body, that tells us our brain, like, Hey, this is really good for you. You want to keep going. And we can get dopamine from a lot of places. But one of the things I’ve started noticing is that we get dopamine, often from an achievement. Now, it’s not wrong, that we want to achieve.

9:35 I actually think it’s in our spiritual DNA, to want to progress to want to grow to want to change to want to reach that next level. And so there’s nothing wrong with it. But I think sometimes we can get caught in this trap of achievement of the achievement high just like we would get from a drug that we want that dopamine that we seek that dopamine. And the reason that we continually do it is because that dopamine does feel good. And so what I want us to maybe just become aware of is, are we seeking an achievement high. And here’s the reason why it can be tricky to just always seek an achievement high is because sometimes that achievement, quote unquote, is within our power. And sometimes it’s not within our power. And then here’s the other thing is there will be times in your life and times on your mission, and times in your existence on the human planet, being a human here on this planet, where it’s easy to achieve. And there will be times where just because of your own circumstance, it won’t be easy to achieve. Let me give you a few examples of how we might be seeking an achievement Hi, we might find this with making more money, getting a different job getting that next job, get that bigger promotion, maybe like running a marathon. Like if I just do that, then I’ll feel this. Maybe it’s a certain number of baptisms that you want to get on the mission or a certain number of contacts that you want to get on the mission. Or I’ve seen it also with people wanting to get grades, right? As soon as we get that A, we’re like, Yes, I did it I achieved, right? What if it’s just working out. Like when we do work out, there’s certain chemicals that are released into our bloodstream, which are good for us. But also, there’s this idea, like, I’m a good person, quote, unquote, if I’m working out if I’m staying active. Um, another one I’ve seen with RMS, right is like, if I read my scriptures, or don’t read my scriptures, like, I get to tell myself that I’m doing a good job. And then I’m a good human. If I’m reading my scriptures, we get that little bit of a dopamine achievement, like, gosh, I got that done. Maybe just being kind to your family. Like some of that intrinsic? Well, feeling or feeling well, is just natural, because we fill ourselves up with compassion and love. But what we want to kind of be aware of is like, that little bit of like, check, I’m a good person, check, I’m doing a good job. And that maybe our dopamine is coming from that. Also, a big one I see right is checking things off your to do list, I hear people say, Oh, I’m just a to do list person. And what happens right is when we check something off, get Oh, a little bit of an achievement Hi, check something else off a little bit of an achievement. Hi. So here’s the thing is that the dopamine that we get when we get when we have that achievement, achievement, or maybe we’re at attract me and we win a race, or maybe we spoke at a zone conference or something that dopamine that we get isn’t doesn’t last forever. And so what happens is we continue to seek that dopamine, more and more and more almost like a drug, almost like a lot of the people in this book that I’ve been reading. I was I was talking to a returned missionary yesterday. And I said, it was our first session, I said, Well, what was the mission like for you? And he said, The mission was a roller coaster. And this, I think, is a pretty accurate description, because I think what happens on the mission, right, is we seek achievement in things that are outside of us. And then we start to tie our worth up in that. And so it makes sense that it feels like a roller coaster like one one day we have that dopamine high, that achievement high and then the next day when things aren’t going our way. We plummet. And then the next day, we have that achievement high because maybe we got up on time or we we had met the number of contacts we’re supposed to meet or something like that. And then the next day, maybe our companions sick, and so we don’t get that same little hit of dopamine. Okay. So the achievement high creates a roller coaster because some of these things are not even within our control. I like the number of baptisms that we get. That’s totally someone else’s agency. And I’m not saying that we’re not going to try and we’re not going to set goals. But the outcome is up to the other person. Sometimes Listen, we’re just overwhelmed with life. Sometimes, one of my sons just recently told me, he’s like, I didn’t realize it until the sun came back out. But I think I was suffering a little bit from seasonal affective disorder. Right, that’s just life, that’s a circumstance that matters. And that’s going to affect our ability to create an achievement Hi. Or maybe the other example I thought of is like, pregnancy, which is just like something I can really relate to. Because I remember feeling like, Oh, if I’m not doing this, if I’m not cooking dinner, if I’m not exercising, if I’m not whatever, then I’m not worthwhile, I don’t have value, I don’t have anything to add to this world. And that was really frustrating to me. But I was so sick, like, nauseous, that I just would have to stay on the couch. And this in a metaphorical sense is what sometimes happens to all of us, we have days where we just aren’t up for it, even on the mission, you guys. So if you have days where you’re just not up for it, there’s nothing wrong with that. So long as we understand what these achievements, why they work in the first place. The only reason and achievement high works is because we allow ourselves to believe something. Okay, so let’s take the example of running a marathon. What most of the world believes, is that, first we got to run the marathon. After we run the marathon, we’re gonna get that dopamine hit, we’re gonna feel happy, we’re gonna feel content, we’re gonna feel some pride or some accomplishment or something like that. And then we’ll allow ourselves to believe I’m doing a good job, I’m a good human, I’m active. I’m taking care of my body, or whatever. But here’s what’s super cool is when you can get off the achievement high roller coaster, what you can do instead is just think those thoughts now. You don’t even need a marathon, to feel good about yourself to believe that you’re a good human. And to believe that you have value, and to believe that you’re doing a good job, all you got to do is think that. So it’s just as highly likely that if you took a nap, you could believe I’m doing a good job. I’m a good human, I know how to take care of my body. Because that feeling comes from what you believe about it. So the tricky part with the achievement high right is we think that the achievement creates the feeling but the achievement doesn’t create the feeling. McRae’s The feeling is what you allow yourself to believe about you. When you achieve, which works amazingly well, until it doesn’t. And you’re not able to achieve or you don’t reach your goal. Or you don’t make the money you want to make. Or you get a D in one of your classes, or you just aren’t up for working out. Okay, so here’s, we can create the same achievement high, that feel good energy that dopamine, just by thinking amazing thoughts about ourselves. What’s so much more effective than trying to run a marathon to believe you’re awesome, is just believe you’re awesome now.

19:16 And ironically, when you believe you’re awesome, now, that will create some satisfaction, some feelings of accomplishment and some dopamine which will allow you to run a marathon. Now I want to give you a couple ideas about how you might know if you are achievement high seeking. Okay, so if you see these, this is not an exhaustive list, nor did I like this is just from my observations. So it’s not an ABS they’re not absolutes either. But if you notice yourself in these patterns, you might your brain might be In an achievement high seeking pattern number one, you never quite feel settled in the now. So you’re always like, well, I got to do that next thing so that I can feel this and believe this. And then I got to do this next thing so that I can think this and feel this. Now you probably don’t say to yourself so that I can think this and feel this. But that’s what your brain tells you. Like, if we just do that thing in the future, then I’ll be able to feel something different. Number two, you’re always seeking that next thing. So very rarely do you take the opportunity to be like, Oh my gosh, wasn’t it so amazing? What I did last week, when I reached that goal last week, or what I, like, look how far I’ve come. We’re always instead of being like, I’m never right, where I want to be, I’m always behind, I’m always seeking the next thing that’s gonna give me that high. More money, more power, more contacts more, whatever it is, okay. Here’s another number three, you look at others for your view of self worth. So this is kind of a comparison thing, right? It’s like, I look at someone so and they made this many contacts on the mission, or this companionship made this many contacts on the mission. But me No, not me. Or we’re waiting for some kind of validation from the mission president or from the members in the board to tell us that we’re doing a good job, or maybe you’re at work, and you’re seeking that validation from your boss or something like that. So number four, you’re always completing this sentence in your mind. As soon as I blank, then I’ll feel blank. As soon as I get married, then I’ll feel happy. As soon as I get that A in this class, I won’t feel as stressed. As soon as I’ll, as soon as I get asked out on a date, I believe and feel that I’m good enough. Number five, you tend to see people, achievements and yourself as good, better and best. So there’s a better way to do something, and there’s not a better way to do, like, there’s a worse way to do something. There’s, if you have this certain achievement, or this a certain accomplishment, you think, Oh, well, that’s better. And this is worse, or I think I talked, talked about it. Last week’s podcast or the podcast before of this hierarchical thinking that there’s a good better and best way to be, there’s a good better and best achievement. And you tend to see yourself as good, better or best or worse, even. Right? Okay. So let me give you a couple things that you can maybe think about instead, instead of never quite feeling settled in the now. Number one, take opportunities to be present. I do this as frequently as I can. And as often as I remember, is I come back to where I am in the present. Like in a real physical, literal sense. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, look at me. I’m sitting recording a podcast right now. Or maybe you’re on the mission, you’re like, I can’t even believe that I get to be out here teaching people about the gospel. Or maybe you’re, you’re working for Amazon, and you’re like, I can’t believe that I’m here. And that I get to work. And that I live in a country where I can and I get to pack up these boxes. And isn’t it amazing that Amazon even exists, and that I have the opportunity to make money. So we can be really present in the now instead of seeking for that next thing. Maybe take a look at what you’ve already done. Take a look at the past like look how far I’ve come. If you’re a little bit into your mission, and something’s not going right quite right and you are find that you’re like achievement high seeking. Just take a minute and be like man, but I’ve come so far. You can get a little bit of an achievement high just from looking at what you did up to this point. Look, instead of looking to others for your view of stuff worth worth, I want you to imagine what it what you would think about yourself and what you want to believe about yourself if you existed in a vacuum. So like if we couldn’t compare you to other missionaries, and we couldn’t compare you to the goals that other people are setting, and achieving. If we couldn’t compare you to the valedictorian of your class, what do you want to believe about you, and create those thoughts and those feelings for yourself, create your own dopamine, just because you like you. Number four, instead of completing this sentence, as soon as I blank, then I’ll feel blank. Just tell yourself I can be satisfied, happy and content right now. Because those feelings come from thinking, they come from the thoughts that you think. And so then maybe ask yourself, what do if I want to feel more happy? What would I need to believe about myself to create that feeling? If I want to have more compassion? If I want to have more excitement? If I want to have more belief in self, what do I need to think to create that? And then number five, instead of seeing people achievements, and yourself as good, better and best, just decide the way you’re doing it is the right way for you. I was talking to a missionary, yesterday, I returned missionary, and he was telling me how he couldn’t, he hadn’t quite finished a paper for an online class, and I think a test for an online class, and now it was late. And so his brain was coming up with all these reasons that he should have done it a different way. He said, Well, the best way would have been if I would have gotten it done a while ago. And if I was more motivated, and if I’d put it on the calendar, and if I would have learned this information incrementally up until now. And I said, but what if you’re wrong? What if the best way for you is the right way? What if the best way for you is to put it off until now? Not be motivated at all, not put it on the calendar and get around to it when you are ready. Okay, so instead of deciding, oh, this is the right way, this is the best way, just decide your way is totally fine. It is totally fine for you. Here’s what we need to understand the achievement Hi. There, that little bit of dopamine isn’t created by the achievement itself. It’s created by what you allow yourself to believe about you. So just believe it first, believe it now. Sometimes what I do is I’m like, Okay, let’s say I did run a marathon. By the way, I have no desire to run a marathon. But let’s say that that’s something I want to do. If I did run a marathon, what would I allow myself to believe? I would allow myself to believe I’m an amazing human. I have mastery over my body, and then just assigned to believe that now, let’s say what if I was the valedictorian of my class, what would I allow myself to believe? What if I was the captain of the football team? Or what if I did make the symphonic city orchestra? Or what if I did get that promotion? What would I allow myself to believe, and then you can just be like, Oh my gosh, I can believe that now, and create those feelings for yourself. Without the achievement high. without needing any proof at all that that is true, you just can choose to believe it. Pretty powerful stuff. So the recognition of others doesn’t create success. The recognition of self creates success.

29:17 So see, if you want to play with this, see if you want to let go of the achievement Hi. That kind of puts you on a roller coaster because sometimes we can accomplish and sometimes we just can’t see if instead you want to create your own high your own high of good feelings and dopamine just because of what you believe about yourself. Okay, everyone, and then that’s the best way it’s so steady and constant because that we always get to be in charge of what we think about ourselves. Okay. I hope all of you have the most amazing Being weak, and we’ll talk to you next time. Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges. And many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety, serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed up and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you’ll want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you were involved in, just now that Jenny the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day.

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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