Question one: Why Isn’t My Career Where I Want It To Be Even Though I Followed All The Etiquette!
The mere fact that you’re asking yourself this is something to celebrate because it means you’re ready for growth and clarity. The reality is, most of society’s “rules for success” are just plain wrong and this includes what your family and friends say (unless, of course, one of them is a career expert!
If you followed “the rules,” it’s not surprising that you may have ended up on the wrong path. Take a good look at each step you took and what rules you followed. Which ones didn’t feel right to you? For example, did getting that extra degree to excite you, or did you do it because you thought you needed the credential? Were you trying to make your parents or even your boss happy? Be truthful.
More often than not, being true to who you are requires breaking rules. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients, and almost every person has an example of following someone else’s rules and experiencing the frustration of it not being right for them. But for those who have broken rules because of the alternative approach as a result of them being true to themselves? Not a single one has ever regretted it. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates Elon Musk are all well-known rule-breaker, and you can see how far it’s gotten him! Once you accept this, you can create a path that is absolutely the right path for you.
Why Do I Feel Like A Failure When I Mess Up Or Don’t Succeed?
Believe it or not, failure is critical to being successful. You need to experience it in order to learn and grow. When mistakes happen, which they will, you need to manage your mental chatter and reverse the negative thinking. Instead of branding yourself a failure, view each time you don’t succeed as an amazing learning opportunity.
Here's an example: My client Karen was recently laid off after only being in her role for two months. She made a critical error that resulted in the decision. Rather than letting the situation get her down, I helped her see that the role she was fired from was one that she was already feeling uneasy about. We started to see the firing as a gift, as staying would have ended up creating more angst in the long run. Because she was able to see this event as an opportunity, she’s used her time job-searching to re-think her career. Now, instead of seeking out another position, she’s starting her own business, and she’s more energized than ever.
Remember: Feeling like a failure is a choice. Choose a different path. Don’t let it affect your self-worth.
Even a job you love won’t be rainbows and unicorns all the time. But, overall, your work should energize and fulfill you. Start paying attention to the hard moments. How difficult are they? Do they make you lose sleep, have panic attacks, and feel anxious often? If so, these are clear signs that it’s not healthy for you, and you probably shouldn’t continue.
Ultimately, you want to figure out if your work is joyfully hard (it excites you and doesn’t plague you with negative emotions) or painfully hard (it puts you in a bad mood and you’re on the brink of burnout). If the answer is the latter (most of the time), it’s time to pack up and move on.
I Don’t Feel Motivated—Is This Normal?
Not only is every feeling normal, but you should pay close attention to each one. Not motivated? That’s definitely something to dig into. What specifically do you not want to do? Which part of your work feels like it’s draining your energy the most? Take note: Only you, not anyone else, can answer these questions.
While many people have felt a lull in motivation over the past several challenging months, feeling chronically unmotivated at your job is most likely a sign that you’re doing the wrong type of work for who you are. Honor your gut instincts. Don’t let fear get in the way.
Why Do I Care So Much About What My Family Thinks About My Career?
Here’s the thing: The only opinion that matters when it comes to the type of work you do is yours. Trust me, I know—pressure from parents, spouses, or others in your life can be tough to overcome. But if their advice feels wrong, or if it makes you feel exhausted or unmotivated, then you shouldn’t take it.
Rejecting their suggestions can be difficult, but it’s a key to success. Get connected to what you really want, then stay true to it regardless of what anyone else thinks. I had experienced firsthand this when I started my own business. My parents are not entrepreneurs, and the thought of starting a business from scratch was something they saw as risky. They tried to deter my decision, and they often asked when I was going to get a “real” job. I decided to ignore their suggestions and honor my energy and drive. Nearly 12 years later, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.
She is a performance strategist, Mother, TEDx speaker, and author of, Find Your Zone of Genius. I work with CEOs and executives to identify their unique genius and purpose and craft an actionable plan to leverage them in their day-to-day work. I have consulted with organizations including OpenTable, Google, Linkedin, and Pandora. Prior to launching my company Garnett Consulting, I honed my marketing, branding, and career-refining skills at companies like Capital One, American Express, IAC, and Google