Skip to Main Content
by Taylor Tobin via Fairygodboss | August 08, 2019


Feeling “fulfilled” can seem like a vague concept, more the territory of New Age-y self-help than the workplace. But ultimately, we all want to find a path that leads to satisfaction.

To that end, below are eight behaviors and thought processes that are strongly linked to fulfillment—which is why they're particularly prevalent among people who are highly pleased with the state of their professional and personal lives.

1. They only compete with themselves.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition; seeking to improve your performance provides valuable momentum in both a professional sphere and in your personal life. However, engaging in comparisons between yourself and others can eventually prevent you from attaining the success you desire. Focus instead on your own action, and you’ll have a more realistic perspective on your progress and successes.

2. They focus on personal growth.

While achieving external goals can certainly bring a sense of fulfillment, the lasting version comes from inner growth. Take self-care seriously and invest attention in your own health, wellbeing, and personal ambitions.

3. They accept the fact they can’t control everything.

Lashing out against inevitable forces happens to everyone, but true satisfaction can only occur when you accept what you cannot change and figure out how to work around those obstacles. Understanding limitations opens your mind up to creative solutions, which can prove highly fulfilling.

4. They feel grateful for their successes.

Gratitude serves as an effective motivator; if you’re genuinely grateful for your successes, then you’ll feel more inclined to continue their pursuit and to keep your future actions in line with what you’ve already achieved.

5. They manage their time wisely.

Time management can be a major challenge, but it’s one well worth conquering. When you know how to schedule yourself and hold yourself accountable to deadlines and due dates, you can eliminate significant stress.

6. They set boundaries for themselves—and stick to them.

It’s a commonly held misconception that setting boundaries will limit your potential. However, the opposite typically proves true; if you know how to clearly express your limits, you’ll have a clear view of what you need and how to get it, and those around you will also comprehend where you stand.

7. They pursue activities that challenge them.

If you restrict yourself to activities that you find easy, then you’ll miss out on the chance to expand your skill set and make new discoveries. Spend some time on a pursuit that challenges you, and you’ll find yourself reaping the rewards.

8. They help others whenever possible.

Offering your time and talents for the benefit of others results in a self-esteem boost that can propel you forward and increase your inner satisfaction. Don’t forget: helping others also helps yourself!

A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.