What To Do If You're Feeling Behind in Your Career Or Life?

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Do you ever find yourself saying, “I should be here,” “I should be there,” “I’ve worked so hard, why am I only at this level/salary in my career?” Or, “I’ve been in therapy for years, how in the world am I still facing the same problems? Or maybe even backtracking! So much work, money, no payoff!”


All of these thoughts feel pretty overwhelming to sit and think about, but they don't have to be. In reality, A LOT has changed in your life, including your own growth and accomplishments, but when you can’t see them, it’s a clear sign you're focusing on the wrong things.

There’s no way you will see any progress (or satisfaction) when you’re only looking at the fact that you haven’t reached your ultimate goal. For some, it’s like a daily reminder of failure versus a message of progress. And without a more positive internal dialog, reaching the goal isn’t going to feel satisfying when it happens; it will feel like relief, and then you’ll just jump to the next thing to focus your time on. It’s a tiring and unfulfilling cycle. 

If you’re sick of beating yourself up and feeling the lack of satisfaction, your ultimate goal needs to become a little bit more focused on enjoying the journey. It may sound totally cliche, but it works! Try this.


First, take a step back, zoom out, look at the progress you’ve made and the tiniest accomplishments —you no longer get angry about X, you speak up now about Y or you LOVE that new bedding you shopped carefully for. It can be anything - if it feels superficial, I don’t care, recognize it as a win! 

Now, feel it. The deep gratitude for it. You did the work to earn this. Recognize it everyday. Rewire your brain to connect with that feeling as much as possible and you’ll start to look at the positive instead of the negative and start enjoying more of the journey.


Second, choose another goal, separate from the one you’re frustrated by, and start working on that. Make it something important to you too. Set aside time for it everyday — even if it’s just 10 minutes.

It sounds counterintuitive, because it involves taking your foot off the gas peddle on one of your goals, but it works because you can only control outcomes to a certain degree. And when we try to control too much, we can actually create resistance, miss important details, frustrate others (sometimes your key stakeholders/gatekeepers) and ultimately make our goal even more difficult to obtain. Following this process lead me to my executive promotion at Accenture and is what I’m focused on now in growing my business to the next level.

So take your foot off the gas pedal a bit. Just for a week. Look at the positive and try something new. If you don’t feel better, you can go back to your old ways. But if you do feel better, keep it up and trust the process. Life will be so much more fun and rewarding.

What do you think about this concept? Ever tried it?



Liz Traines

Liz is a career & performance coach who helps leaders grow through careers transitions in ways that feel authentic, fulfilling and financially rewarding. She does this through her private coaching programs, conducting workshops + trainings, and consulting. Liz spent the first eight years of her career in finance at Accenture, where she quickly rose to the management level and discovered her passion for people development. Training new employees within her 500+ person global organization became her “side hustle,” until she decided to earn her coaching certification, pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and focus on helping leaders grow, full time! Visit her website for more career growth resources.