How do I manage feelings of failure or impatience when I feel like I’m at a standstill?

I’m doing the best that I can to advance in my career and create the life that I want, away from toxic people and to live a more peaceful and independent life. But I don’t know how to navigate these anxious feelings and feelings of failure? I know I’m moving forward and doing the best I can, but I want what I want YESTERDAY.
Asked by Gigi
Answered
11/29/2021

Hello,  and welcome to the platform.  This is an excellent question, thank you for posting.

 

The key component to succesfully dealing with uncomfortable feelings is to acknowledge them and give them the space they need in the moment.   Vocalize what you are feeling to yourself (anxiety, sadness, shame/regret, disappointment, etc), and see if you can identify the particular source of the feeling.  This gives you time to examine if the feeling is being generated by an unrealistic/unmanagable expectation placed on you by yourself or someone else.   It also provides an opportunity to confront the feeling rather than suppress it, and takes the power away from the feeling and returns it back to you.  

 

If you have experienced interactions with toxic people, they can often leave you feeling a great deal of self-doubt and anxiety with regard to decision making.  Ironically, when you start to break away from unhealthy people, you often realize how much you've missed out on and are eager to make up for that lost time and experience.  This may be contributing to your feelings of wanting progress yesterday.   

 

It is important to accurately reflect the progress you have made.   For example, in your question, you indicated that you are moving forward--acknowledge that and celebrate it.   It takes time and dedication to build your career knowledge base.  Almost any 'expert' in their field will tell you that they continue to learn new information daily.  Give yourself permission to do the best you can and be radically accepting of that.

 

When you notice yourself focusing on "What if" scenarios, take a deep breath and reflect on "What is".   This will help you to minimize your anxiety, and remain focused in the present moment.   Another strategy you might find helpful would be to make yourself a list of your 'Top 5' accomplishments that you are proud of and refer to it in moments of self-doubt.  This will reinforce your strenghts and abilities, and give you self confidence in the moment to motivate you forward.  

 

Above all, remember to be kind to yourself and patient with your journey.   You are taking courageous steps toward building a better life for yourself.  Just like any investment, there may be ups and downs, but over time you will see a good return for your efforts.   Wishing you much success on your journey!

(LMHC, NCC, MCAP)