What to Do When it Feels Like Nothing is Working

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If you’re someone that has ever strived for something, sometimes it can feel like no progression is being made at all. It may feel like you are doing all the right things, putting in as much work and effort as needed, but are still failing to see the results you are looking for. It can be frustrating and lead you to question your effectiveness. Am I doing the right things? Should I quit and try something else? Is this something that’s just not meant to happen for me? These are all questions that surface when things are not happening in our desired timelines, and because of it, many wonder whether they should persevere or pivot.

Without extra info, I can’t inform you on whether you should preserve or pivot, but I can tell you what to do when it feels like nothing is working.

1. Do your research and assess your expectations

Have you done your research? What is the typical timeline for results in the area you are trying to achieve? Farmers don’t reap the seeds they sowed in the same season they planted them. With this in mind, are your timelines realistic? Or are they ‘desired’ timelines? 

Also, when gauging timelines, it’d be beneficial to choose sources that took the stable and secure route to their success. The timeline of results for those that have had a little more help, were able to take shortcuts, or had more advantages, should be considered outliers. Am I saying that you have to go as slow as the slowest person? No. But, I’m also saying that you don’t have to go as fast as the fastest person either. There is a happy median, and there is a method to your desired success that can be duplicated by you. 

Being frustrated that you aren’t seeing quick results when you are gauging your success by people that had significant advantages you are still working towards, can be detrimental to your psyche and self-esteem. 

It’s okay to look and see what people are doing, for research purposes. Seeing what works and doesn’t work is helpful, but taking what you see and deeming it the sole picture can lead to heartache. There may be things happening behind the scenes that you do not know about- so looking at someone’s profile, saying you are doing exactly what they are doing, and beating yourself up at the fact that you aren’t where they are is not a good path to take.

With that perspective, is “nothing” really happening for you? Or have you just not blown up yet? Making sure you are setting the appropriate expectations is key to being able to see this thing through. 9/10 of us actually have been seeing progress but have not been acknowledging and celebrating it.

2. Decide what needs to be tweaked

What are some things you can do that will help you increase your chances of success? Will hiring a consultant, PR agency, marketing expert, administrative assistant, or social media manager be beneficial? Will therapy or the services of a life coach or social worker be of help?

Some things simply take time to cultivate, but are you doing everything that needs to be done and on a consistent basis? Farmers consistently perform actions to help their crops grow and they don’t pluck or pick anything that they know they haven’t given the right amount of ‘care’ to.

3. Keep your self-talk positive

Having the mindset that, “this will work for me” makes success inevitable. “If this method doesn’t work, then I’ll try that. If that method doesn’t work, then I’ll try this” is the self-talk of someone that is determined to see things through. For a good chunk of things, people gave up too soon. When we have a dream that we can’t let go of, it’s something that we should never give up on. With the right connections and resources, we can make a lot of things happen. But, we can’t get there if we secretly stop believing it can happen.

The person that halfheartedly makes an effort is starkly contrasted by the person that makes effort with intention and assurance. 

Doing your research and accessing your expectations, deciding what needs to be tweaked, and keeping your self-talk positive are sure fire ways to get you back in a good headspace about your progress and likelihood of success.

Try your hardest not to compare your Chapter 1 to someone’s Chapter 20. It’s hard to recognize we’re doing it sometimes, but a surefire indicator that you are is if after looking at something you start to feel down or bad about yourself.

There is enough room for everybody to run their own race. You do not have to share a lane or spotlight with someone else. It’s you against you, and I personally think you are breaking your own top scores.

You got this. “You have everything it takes to live the life that you envision”. – Desiree’ Stapleton

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Desiree’ Stapleton 

– 2x ‘30 Under 30’ Honoree and Forbes ‘Next 1000’ Nominated Master Level Coach | Author | CEO 

– SEEN IN: 40th Annual Forbes 400 Edition of Forbes Magazine

– I Help Women Mitigate the Challenges in Their Lives so That They Can Produce + Hit More of Their Goals. 


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