I know the feeling when you put in hours of hard work, dedication and what seems like all your energy for this to not bring you the desired outcomes in your career.
It is completely normal to have these feelings, however, it can still be difficult to deal with the critical voices in your head that make you feel unmotivated and deflated like you aren’t reaching your desired goals.
Unfortunately, it is more common to feel this way now than ever before, (with all the anxiety that 2020 brought us). So, if you are feeling you are getting nowhere in your career, I will explain what I usually do when I feel disappointed about not getting where I want to be.
1. Get support from those closest to you
To help me, I share the thoughts and doubts that I have with my family and friends.
It seems like the most obvious point. However, it is important to get this support and not to be alone when confronting your fears. When you open up to someone close to you, this acts as an instant stress relief. Plus, those around you may be able to give you useful pointers and insights that you may not have thought of at first. By speaking to those around you, this will build your relationships with those close to you and you might also find out that they have been through similar experiences and can share how they got through them.
2. Understand it is normal to feel frustrated
When I am stuck in a rut, I make sure that I feel the frustration, (at least for a little bit)!
There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel frustrated when things at work or within your career are not going to plan. Take a moment to think about why you are frustrated.
You can even try an exercise where you write down a list of topics you are struggling with on a piece of paper. By doing this, you are releasing these feelings onto a page and out of your head. You can even go back to this list and work out ways you can overcome each challenge when you are feeling better in yourself.
3. Rest your mind
I take time to not think about the problems I am facing for a few days, and instead switch my mind to something else. Sometimes walking away from the problem for a while or sleeping on it and rethinking your next move with a clear head can make the world of difference. When you are faced with a problem, sometimes your head can overthink, and this can become exhausting. Try switching off and doing something you enjoy, taking your mind off the problem, such as reading a book, going for a walk, or watching a film. It is so important to take care of your mind and not overwork it.
4. Change the strategy
After I have taken a moment to rest my mind and I am ready to face the task with a clear head, I find it helpful to change the strategy. Once my mind is fresh and rested, I investigate why I am not getting the results I wanted to see in the first place. I realise that most of the time it’s not me that is the problem. A lot of the time it’s my strategy that doesn’t work, or I find that I need to wait for more time to pass to see my desired results. So, during this part of the process, I ask myself these three important questions:
What haven’t I tried yet in my strategy?
Who can help me when I am stuck or need support?
How can I help myself do better?
Asking myself these questions and linking them to the topics of frustration that I wrote out previously (in step 2) really helps me to create a strategy to motivate myself to see what I am working towards and how to defeat the challenges ahead. Map out your new strategy and include what you will do when it comes to overcoming these hurdles if they crop up again.
5. Remind yourself of your goal
Now that I have looked into my strategy and figured out where I had struggled most, I can now re-check my goals and work out a plan to put them into action. I explore how this new strategy might affect and change my goals which will make them easier to reach. I ask myself these questions:
Is my goal still relevant to my strategy?
Have I set a realistic timeline to achieve my goals?
By looking into my goals in more depth and changing them slightly to reflect my new strategy, this makes them more achievable. 6. Recognise your achievements
Finally, I recognise the achievements I have made at the end of every week.
This is one of the most important steps to help you become motivated and inspired by yourself and how far you have come. It helps me to track all the small wins I have gained towards my goal and celebrate them – which is important for mental health too. If you don’t recognise how far you have come already to get to this stage, that is one of the first ways to feel disheartened and stop you from moving forward in your career.
Remember that you have already worked so hard to get to the stage you are at, so all your determination will never be wasted. Implementing these steps will help you move forward and reach your desired goals in your career, especially when you feel nothing is going to plan.
I hope you can apply these steps whenever you feel disheartened, and just know that you are remarkable and that you will reach the goals you are aiming for with the right mindset and strategies in place.
I am always here to help you with any career advice so please feel free to reach out to me.