Finding your new 100% is about achieving total fulfillment and success both personally and professionally as your life and demands evolve. For me, this is a multi-faceted and very dynamic thing. The idea of achieving my 100% has evolved throughout my career as much as my personal life has evolved over the past decade. Sure, this phrase didn’t exist in 2009 when I arrived for my first day of work in my freshly dry-cleaned pencil skirt and pink blouse (down to every detail I remember it all!) But I knew then that I wanted 100%. I wanted to be great. I wanted success. I wanted to be the career-driven, top-of-her-game business woman that I had seen in basically every rom-com ever created. I just didn’t have the appreciation or perspective for what achieving that shiny, perfectly groomed ideal of success would require.
Initially, achieving my idea of 100% success was very tangible (or so I thought). Ace my interview. Hit my numbers. Get promoted. Break the next milestone. Simple enough goals, but much more difficult in actual execution. Especially when I was fumbling for how to live my normal life while balancing this newfound professional one. I didn’t give enough credit to how difficult that was going to be. I had very specific measures of success professionally (i.e. “I have to get promoted within 6 months of my start date or I’ll have failed”) and figured the personal part would take care of itself. I was wrong. Finding balance is hard.
I mistakenly believed that achieving 100% of my professional goals would make me feel whole. Along the way, I stopped doing the things that made me happy – going to church, working out regularly, eating well, spending time with my friends, talking with my sisters, seeing my mom. I was feeling guilty but didn’t know how to re-balance. I was too consumed with this imaginary definition of success I harnessed for myself – being the end-all, be-all to everyone and everything. In spite of ultimately hitting my professional targets, I wasn’t happier. Instead, I was feeling worn down, tired, guilty and stressed. Definitely not 100%. Finding balance is hard.
That was then. This is supposed to be now. Now, I should have this magical answer for how to achieve your new 100%. I am not sure I have it, but I am getting better at balance. What I have learned over the years is that achieving your new 100% is about finding peace, fulfillment and certainty in your life in spite of all the distraction, setback and failure that ultimately coincides with going after your professional goals. Total success and fulfillment in both your professional and personal life is possible. You can have it all, but it doesn’t change the simple fact: Finding balance is hard.
Your 100% will change. How you redefine success for yourself will change. It will evolve just as the needs, pressures and priorities of your life evolve. It is learning to put yourself, namely your mental and physical health, first by adopting a workout routine or staying in on Friday to feel refreshed for your weekend. Or choosing to put others first in the times they need you most – a struggling friend, family member or your sick child – while accepting that some of your work will just need to wait. These are things that have taken me years to learn. But I recognize how critical those choices are to making me feel whole. Feeling secure with when and how you choose to give 100% of your heart, your energy and your time is a dynamic thing. Guilt will creep. Insecurities will infiltrate. Finding balance is hard. If I ever fully master it, I will let you know.
What I can let you know with absolute certainty is this: I am fortunate. I am fortunate to have a career at a company that understands my needs and my priorities shift and change. I am fortunate to have a career that offers limitless opportunity. I am fortunate to have a career that constantly challenges me to bring my best self to work every day. I am fortunate to have a career that provides the opportunity to find my balance while still going after my goals. My new 100% is out there, I am going to keep gunning for it. Thank you, Insight Global for giving me the chance.
Written by Jessica Calzaretta, Vice President.