Podcast Episode 9: When it’s not working (yet).


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You are hustling to get to the next stage in your career. You believe you’ve done everything “they” told you to do. You convinced yourself that something must be wrong–or that you’ve done something wrong.  Because it’s not HERE, yet. 

  • What success expectancy is and how it shows up in your life
  • How ‘should-ing’ yourself will delay your goals
  • A new way to think about creating success


Questions discussed in this episode:  
What do you believe success should look like?
Are you far from that mental image? 
What do you think is supposed to be happening? 
Why do you think it’s happening for others but not you?
When should you be successful?
Is it possible that you are seeing their victory but not their hard work?


The difference between success expectancy from straight-up envy is that you aren’t attacking the victor or diminishing their successes.

Read the Transcript
Hello my friends and welcome back. I am pleased that you are here and ready to dive into today’s topic. It’s about our expectations around success. 

And what we do when we think ‘it’s not working.’

So many of us have set high expectations for our success. And as a career coach, I want you to be thinking through the lens of possibility and the success you can create in your career and life. 

You are looking to get ahead. You are looking for wins to set yourself apart from others. You’re hoping for a raise, a promotion, exposure or opportunity. These are normal desires. 

But I’m not talking about normal desires today. That’s not what I mean by expectation. What I am talking about is a success expectancy. 
 
Success expectancy is when you see others around you achieving their goals, you want to be happy for them, but there’s a small part of you that can’t help but wonder where your share of success is? It can show up when you’re at an industry event or a reunion of sorts and suddenly you feel very unaccomplished based on those around you, and think you should be further along.  
 
The difference between success expectancy from straight up envy is that you aren’t attacking the victor or diminishing their successes. 
 
Instead, you’ve turned the enemy on yourself. You judge yourself. It’s a total compare and despair thoughts.
Wondering about your success from a place of comparison and expectancy can cloud your thinking.

You’ve made their accomplishment about you. 

Here are a few ways I see success expectancy show up:

You haven’t achieved the results you want so you think what you are doing is wrong and/or that nothing is working.

You‘ve been around and working “at it” for a while and you feel you should be further along by now

You did some decent work on that recent work project and you wax and wane between curiosity and mildly obsessing about your reward or professional acknowledgment. 

When you look at your career and think something is wrong or that it’s not working you risk creating a downward spiral of thinking everything is wrong. 

You go global on your thinking. You may rehash all the other times when you believe you should have achieved success or been rewarded. 

When you show up with those thoughts in the workplace or in your business, you are going to get more of the same. No one wants to work with a colleague who is coming from the negative energy of defeat and judgement–it’s going to impact your collaboration, productivity, and outcome. 

Another way I see success expectancy show up is in a more general way. That we think we should be should be further along. That we should have achieved more because we’ve been at it for so long. 

But being at a job, or a company for a “long time” doesn’t deliver ‘further along’. It just delivers tenure. 

But often you don’t see it because you can’t read the label from inside the jar. 

You may not even realize that you are in a vortex of compare and despair. 

So I want to ask you about success. 

Grab a pen and answer these questions. Stop the podcast if you need to, but ask yourself: 
 
What do you believe success should look like?

Are you far from that mental image? 

What do you think is supposed to be happening? 

Why do you think it’s happening for others but not you?

When should you be successful?

Is it possible that you are seeing their victory but not their hard work?

When you are using your energy expecting that things should be different than what they are, what are you not doing? What are you NOT focusing on when you are arguing with reality? 

I’m guessing that you aren’t busy working or strategizing, you aren’t cleaning up your thoughts, you’re not networking internally or externally, you’re not learning or growing. 

When you are spending your brain power and your judging where you should be, it’s difficult to be in possibility and creation. 

Should-ing yourself keeps you from really looking at where you are today. You need to know your starting point in order to create growth. 
 
When you think you are doing something wrong, you can launch yourself into delusions of inadequacy. You attack your worthiness. You think “it’s not working” which creates feelings of anxiety and fear. 
 
Then you take action from these feelings creating more scenarios that don’t work. 

But I want you to get really honest with yourself. Have you consistently shown up for yourself and your work? Have you given your all? 

I am not talking about being a workaholic. I am not talking about being obsessive or frenetic in order to achieve the result you want. 

I am talking about showing up for your job. 

Creating the strategy and delivering the work. Getting feedback from key voices. Evaluating what worked, getting clear on what didn’t, making an intentional plan for what you would do differently. 

Whatever you think it will take to get promoted, what if you doubled it? 10xed it? Would you  be willing to do that? 

What I’ve learned from my years in marketing and working with hundreds of coaching clients is that people often fail because they don’t get the amount of effort and energy required to achieve their goal. People often fail because they are not clear in the massive action that is needed to achieve what they want. And they often give up before they get it because they think what they are doing isn’t working. 
 
 
When you are working and hustling, it can be hard to see your progress.

And, expectations usually lead to future resentments. Good times.

The falsity that your efforts are not working and contributing towards your success is a thought error because you have an expectancy of how success should be.

You want your triumphs to look like theirs. Or his. Or hers. 

That’s a common thought, but it’s whacked. It will never look like someone else’s success because you are not your peers. You do not have their brain.

And success is not better there because the brain doesn’t know the difference. It’s your thoughts that create the difference. 

You figure out how to get there by attempting to get there. 

The answer to how? Is YES. 

Trying new things, saying yes, is to know the how of success. You only know the 

HOW because you did it. Don’t wait for the how, create it. 

When people ask me how I’ve built a successful career or coaching practice, I will tell you everything I did but it still wont get you YOUR success. You can use what I’ve done as an outline, as guidance, as a way to not fall into the same holes that I did at times, but you are going to fall into other holes. Because we have different brains. We are going to have different wins and failures even if you follow my recommendation. 
 
Instead of kicking your butt and spinning in crappy thinking, rethink your expectations.
 
Grab a pen. Get a journal. And ask yourself:
 
How do I want my success to look?
 
What do I think should be happening?
 
What stories am I creating about my peers?
 
Then get real about the facts of your career.
 
Note your victories. When we note our victories we take time to imprint the feeling of success. This can be a massive win like a successful product launch or a small success like you showed up every day with grace and excellence.
 
Where have you shown grit and tenacity?
 
What are you most proud of?
 
Decide what you want to think about your facts and use your peers’ success as fuel for your own. Not from a gross place but from a mindset that they are a living example of what’s possible.
 
What’s possible for you? How will it look? How will you feel the day after you accomplish your goal?

My coach talks about how Space is only 62 miles away. 

62 miles or roughly a hundred kilometer above sea level. 

It’s an imaginary boundary.

Gravity is strongest at the beginning. 

When we are at the slow part, it’s hard, then it gets lighter and lighter. 

You don’t take off like a rocket. Rockets, in theory, take off slowly. 

It’s hard at the beginning. Then it gets easier as you move

It’s only 62 miles to outer space. 

You don’t have to worry about every step along the way. 

But you have to keep evaluating, keep navigating. Keep moving. 

When I get there it’s faster and easier than ever. 
 
Seth Godin says that “so far and not yet are the foundation of every successful journey”. 
 
You get the results you create

To recap: 

1) Get clear on what success means to you at this stage in your career
2) Geck your commitment level. Are you in for a short long game?
3) Get present. Look at where you are in order to make a plan for where you’re going. The answer to how is yes. 
4) Manage your thoughts. You can’t create success and fulfillment from resentment or judgement. 
 
Thanks for joining me today. If you have any questions about what you’ve heard today email us at Hello@JillGriffinConsulting.com and we’ll answer them – maybe even on the podcast. 

Have a great week and I’ll see you next time.

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Tune into The Refresh Your Career Podcast Available on all streaming apps. https://jillgriffin.buzzsprout.com/