I recently met with a client who has worked in her field for over a decade.
She enjoys the work, her colleagues, and her clients.
“But I have to admit,” she shared, “everything still feels hard. I should be farther along than I am.”
I hear variations of this theme often:
“I’m putting in the effort but not getting anywhere.”
“Everyone but me is moving up. What am I doing wrong?”
“Shouldn’t it be easier by now?”
It can certainly be easy to get down on ourselves in situations like these. Colleagues are getting promoted, the business next door is expanding, everyone and their uncle is going viral on TikTok.
Can you relate?
If so, and if you’re ready for a change (in perspective and/or the situation), consider starting with some different questions, such as:
What have you worked through to get here?
You’ve undoubtedly faced challenges along your path – don’t discount them. Maybe you’ve navigated an illness, a relationship issue, a global pandemic, or an unexpected detour. How have you continued to move forward? What have you learned? Have you given yourself credit for your perseverance?
How would you advise your dearest friend?
What would you say to a friend, teammate, or family member who felt stuck or behind and sought your advice? Would you show them compassion and support? How might you use this on yourself?
Who says you should be farther along or that you’re not moving fast enough? Is this from a reliable source? Is it stemming from comparison to someone else’s ‘highlight reel’? Any time the word ‘should’ shows up, I take that as a cue to question it.
I’ll let you in on a little secret:
I’m approaching 20 years in business, and I still often feel like I’m reinventing the wheel.
But here’s something I wrote in a blog earlier this month and remind myself as needed, too:
You’ve never been this age before. You’ve never been in these exact life circumstances before. You’ve never lived in this time before. So if you’re a bit muddled or confused, cut yourself some slack.
Same goes if you’re feeling behind, or stuck, or hosting any number of ‘shoulds.’
Maybe you’re exactly where you need to be for the moment.
Maybe you’re helping exactly who needs you right now.
Maybe your breakthrough is right around the corner.
I’m all for setting goals, continuous growth, and striving for more. And I am also all for celebrating where we are in the present moment, and honoring what it took to get here.
How about you? Are you willing to do the same?
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