Do you ever feel this way? Do you sometimes feel like everyone is moving forward except you?
Have you ever looked at the people around you and wondered why their lives are moving forward (falling in love, getting married, having children, getting wonderful jobs, making a lot of money, having a great social life), and yet your life seems to be standing still or worse going backward?
Have you ever thought, when the hell is it going to be my turn?
Don’t worry, you are not alone – that I can promise you!
If you ever feel this way, here are some thoughts on how to not feel like everyone is moving forward except you.
Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Any compensation I may receive does not affect the price you pay.
Run Your Own Race
We live in a competitive world. No one would dispute that.
Yet the truth is you are ultimately running your own race.
The person you are competing against most of the time is yourself. I can’t help thinking we have an internal competition/tug of war going on with the person we are right now and the person we want to be (or know we can be).
Self-doubt often holds us back from becoming the person we know we can be.
To get on top of your self-doubt, instead of it getting on top of you, head over to CreativeLive and have a look at the How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt online course by the amazing Mel Robbins.
I’ve completed this course myself and you can read my review on why I loved the course and what I believe you will get out of the course.
Two of my favorite books to help with your self-esteem and self-worth are –
- How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness by Andrew Owen
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
You need to be patient
Sometimes we simply need time on our side.
We also need patience.
If you watch some advertising (or a romantic comedy for that matter), you could be under the impression that wonderful, life-changing events happen in an instant. Of course, this can be the case. But most likely, the good stuff takes a little longer.
Get in and do the work, hang in there, and be patient.
If you are making progress but progress is slower than you expected, this post can help – 12 Reasons You Are Not Moving Forward Fast Enough
Have a plan and take action
So your life isn’t moving along the way you want it to?
How exactly do you want it to move along?
Do you have a plan of attack to achieve what you want? Have you set goals for yourself?
Are you working every day towards making your goals a reality or are you hoping your heart’s desire simply manifests itself out of thin air without any effort on your part?
Many of the great things in life just don’t fall into our laps. They take work and courage. If you are simply sitting around waiting for your great life to fall into place, you might be waiting a long time.
I’ve discovered an excellent goal planner by Nadalie Bardo over at It’s All You Boo. I’m using this planner myself to get my goals back on track this year.
I wrote all about it in a recent post, How to Achieve Your Goals – The Key to Setting Goals and Achieving Them. This planner has recently had an upgrade so it’s completely form-fillable, (no printing required), you can map out how to slay your goals straight on your laptop or tablet.
If you want to get a feel for the planner, you can download your Free Slay Your Goals Guide to get started.
Step up and make good things happen. Be an active leader in the direction of your life.
Accept you may be on a different path
Okay, some of you might not like this one. Perhaps your life will be different – perhaps you are on a different path.
I’ll give you an example. You might be rushing to walk down the aisle and be like all of your married friends. I hate to break the news to you but not everyone gets married. Not everyone has children, and not everyone meets their soul mate. I’m not trying to burst anyone’s bubble here but sometimes these big-ticket items that society seems to think should happen to everyone – just don’t.
The point is to realize that going down another path is okay.
You might be destined for other amazing, fabulous things in life. Life isn’t about everyone following a set template. After all, what we want in life is not a one size fits all proposition.
Your turn may ultimately come, but it may not be in the form you expected.
Related posts for specific areas of your life –
- Does it Feel Like Everyone is Moving Forward in their Career – Except You?
- Does it Feel Like Everyone is Moving Forward in their Relationship – Except You?
- Is Everyone Moving Forward Except You?
Understand life can look different from the outside
This one might seem a bit negative – but it is something to consider if you are secretly coveting someone else’s life.
Everyone has their own problems to deal with. It is easy to forget that when we are looking in from the outside. We only see one dimension of a relationship or situation.
I will give you an extreme example. When I was growing up, my parents were friends with another married couple that had 3 children. As a youngster, I thought they were the perfect family.
I wanted my dysfunctional family to be more like them.
It wasn’t until years later when the husband left the wife for her best friend that I got to hear a small part of what went on in their family home. It was not pretty. Actually, it was downright ugly. As an adult, I was shocked to find out what was going on in my ‘perfect family’. That realization opened my eyes up to what can be going on in the shadows.
Everyone has their own problems to deal with.
It’s about being happy with where you are right now
When it all comes down to it, it’s about being happy where you are right now in this moment.
It’s about focusing on what you want and making it happen and not comparing your progress or success to other people.
The truth is you probably are moving forward but you are comparing your progress against other people’s and it’s negatively affecting how you feel about your own progress.
If comparing yourself is an issue (especially when it comes to using social media) I recommend you also read –
- Don’t Compare Yourself to People on Social Media
- Why You Should Never Compare Yourself to Touched Up Images
- Does Other People’s Success Make You Feel Bad About Yourself?
I’m going through an interesting stage of my life at the moment. It’s a bit like a roller coaster ride, to be honest. There are difficult days. There are moments when I struggle and need to be strong within myself.
Despite the roller coaster, I know I’m on the right path for me and I’ve ditched comparing myself to other people.
I’ve stopped listening to my toxic negative self-talk and learned to talk to myself in an encouraging and loving way (and boy let me tell you, that makes a MASSIVE difference).
Believe in yourself and believe in your ability to move forward. Find your path (whatever that may be) and move forward with strength, courage, and joy.
If you enjoyed, this post please share it with your friends on social media. Sharing is always appreciated! 🙂
Read Next – 12 Things To Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough
YES, I’ve thought that – and it can so easily distract me from my own plans.
Great to see you again!
Thinking about everyone else’s progress can be distracting – that’s for sure. I remind myself of that whenever I start to slip into ‘feeling left behind’ territory.
Thanks for commenting.
Thanks for such an encouraging post that’s filled with wisdom and hope!
Great to see you here, thanks so much for stopping by.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.
Look forward to seeing you here again soon.
I try to remember…it’s not that I’m standing still and everyone else is moving forward, we’re just moving in different directions. And that’s okay.
Thanks for stopping by.
So true on the moving in different directions!
Thanks for commenting and I look forward to seeing you here again soon.
Thea, new to your blog but I had to comment to say I feel like this all. the. time! There are days I think I’m living a day that is hiccupping and I’m like Bill Murray’s character in the film, “Groundhog Day.” 🙂 That said, I try not to let it affect me too much. I know I’m I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and my life’s circumstances are “a work in progress.” Thank you for a thought-provoking post!
So lovely to hear from you.
I can totally understand the Groundhog Day comment. Some weeks can certainly feel like that! I like what you said about knowing you are exactly where you are supposed to be. I feel the same way, despite all the ups and downs.
Thanks again for joining in and I look forward to chatting to you here again soon.
All the best
I am so glad to have found your blog. Today, of all days, I need it most. I think we may be on a similar journey, though I’m just realizing it only very recently. Thanks for sharing this. I found you via SheWrites and can’t wait to read more. -Miss GOP
Hi Miss Good on Paper
Great to see you here. So glad you found me via SheWrites. I will definitely look you up there, next time I pop in.
I checked out your blog as well (looks great!). I’m looking forward to going back and reading more posts.
That’s great to hear that we are on a similar journey. I think the more people you can share a journey with, the more enjoyable it makes it. I look forward to connecting with you again soon.
I feel like I need help. I graduate from high school 2 years ago and lost as to what the next step is. All my friends are moving forward and I am afraid of getting left behind or growing apart from them. I don’t know what I want out of life or where to go from here? I feel lost lonely and scared. I’ve taken classes at the local community college but I just can’t seem to find anything… I feel disconnected from everything in the world.
Thank you for your open and honest comment. I hope I spelt your name properly above, my apologies if I got it wrong.
Sorry to feel that you are feeling a bit lost and lonely at the moment. It can be hard when we feel like that. Take comfort in the fact that life can change for the better in an instant. My first piece of advice would be don’t be so hard on yourself. I am not exactly sure how old you are but if you only graduated from school 2 years ago but I suspect you are still very young. Don’t panic if you don’t know what direction you want to follow just yet. A lot of people (some a lot older than you) are in the same boat, you are definitely not alone when it comes to wanting to find a career you are passionate about. You have time and options on your side, which is a good thing to remember.
As you are feeling disconnected now is a good time to make sure you stay in touch with people you care about and who care about you. Don’t isolate yourself. Spend as much quality time with your friends and family as possible while you are trying to work out what to do next. It will help to have love and support around you.
I think it’s great that you have taken some classes. Again don’t be so hard on yourself that nothing has clicked yet. Sometimes it just takes a bit more exploration. Try to make the discovery as fun and interesting as possible. Let’s start with a few questions. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Are you good at helping people? Good with computers, numbers. the written word, great organiser?
Have you read any the wonderful books available that might help you in picking a career option. I know there are some good ones available. Stroll around a bookshop or jump online and see what you can find. You might have already seen them already but there are a couple of great websites dealing specifically with career choices that might be able to help you. Here are two that I have read from time to time myself.
Everyday Bright by Jennifer Gresham
Life After College by Jenny Blake
I am sure there are a lot more but these two should definitely help you get started.
One more thing Emilly before I head off, you are special. You are unique in many many incredible ways. Once you discover how wonderful you are and claim that power, your confidence will soar. Never doubt how special you are or what amazing gifts you have to offer the world.
I really hope to hear how you go and I look forward to seeing you here again on this blog. Remember don’t be so hard on yourself, hang in there, enjoy and have fun with the process of finding out what you want to do next.
All the best
I just ran across your post, and it definitely strikes a chord with me. I’m already 24 and still don’t yet have a career, but plan on doing a year course in journalism next year. Something in me keeps telling me “man you’re so old to start a first career when all your friends have been since 21!” Is 24 unusual or “too old” to finally know where I’m going?
Thank you so much for your comment. Lovely to see you here. Sorry this reply is a little late, I felt a bit under the weather during the week. Feeling great again now.
Now about your question – you are definitely NOT TOO OLD. You are only 24. You are doing just fine. I think the journalism course next year sounds great. Just out of curiousity what are you doing now? Are you working or studying at the moment? Sometimes we need to experiment a little to find out what we are interested in. Don’t forget everyone needs to move at their own pace. I am sure a few of those 21 year old’s might not like what they chose earlier on and may change later. Some of them might have even rushed into a career choice and get stuck there because they are too scared to change. That option would be far worse. People progress at their own speed. Do what is best for you and what makes you happy and you will do great. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Age isn’t the main factor, finding something you love, are good at and can make a living from is the key.
Again Holly thank you so much for leaving a comment. I hope to hear from you again soon. I would love to hear how the journalism course goes. 🙂
Hello I came across this website And i been feeling like that lateley Not know ing how to move forward with my life And this article and comments are very helpful I feel like im going backward in my life not forward I want to havc a better life for myself in a careeer I have been in out of jobs Can’t find stabilty It seems like in this economy I just harder for me to find jobs And had alot of harship Feel like i been on emotional rollercoaster I want to turn it around But it seems everytime i feel like things are getting better I take one step forward two steps back Thanks again for this website It is very helpful To see what other people are saying Carolyn
Thank you for your comment, it was lovely to see you here.
I hope this post and any others you might have read helped. I think everyone at some point feels like they are taking more steps back than forward. It can be incredibly frustrating at times. It is great to hear that you are in there trying to improve your life though. Being willing to try is definitely a part of the battle. A lot of people don’t even try, so hang in there and keep going. I wish you all the best on your journey and I hope you will be kind enough to share your thoughts with us here again soon. Good luck and thanks again for commenting.
Depression is not a weakness but a serious illness. Feeling worthless most of the time is the most predominant emotion. Medication can only do so much. I look at my friends and their lives and wonder what im doing wrong because hardwork has become a useless word in my vocabulary. How does one learn to appreciate and embrace their lives at the point that they are right now??
So glad I came across this. I’m at a stage in life where the majority of my friends are coupling up, getting married, having kids, and I’m still single. I’m only 24, but definitely have the feeling of being left behind, especially as they get caught up in “coupleness” and become incapable of spending time with single people. I know it’s a natural progression of life for many, but it’s super hard especially when close friends get engaged/married and you’re no longer as important to them – still important, but not as important, and that’s a hard change to get used to. Everything you mentioned, I already know, but it’s good to see a reminder when you get stuck in your own head and can’t see how anything about it can be good!
Hello! I do feel like everyone around me is moving forward and I feel stuck – trapped – and cannot move forward. It seems as though everything I try to do to move forward seems to be the wrong decision. I feel like some days that everything is falling apart. I’ve been working hard to live my dream and move forward, but to no avail. If not this path, then what path? Thank you for your thoughts in this entry – thought-provoking! 🙂
Well…seems like I’m just about the only male to comment on this…
I also feel the pinch from my friends starting to get married and start families and I sometimes wonder if my expat life is really worth it…
But at 43 I hope it’s not too late for me to start a family…now I just need to find the right wife!
You post is exactly what I needed. The stuff you said about there being a tug of war between your real self and your actualized self really resonated with me. Also, I totally agree you have to be willing to make changes in for things to happen – we don’t live in a movie where the perfect job/man or woman/house will fall onto our laps.
I have decided to move abroad as I feel like some of my friendships are becoming quite toxic and there is a lot of resentment and anger arising from them. I also don’t like the person I am turning into as I feel like I am surrounded by a lot of happiness but don’t have any in my own life. I am going to make a new start and hopefully have some wonderful experience and meet some lovely people on the way!
Thank you so much for your insightful blogs – please keep writing for us! It’s nice to know I am not the only one who feels this way.
Sadly everything is relative. You measure yourself by the successes and losses of other people, generally the ones who are somewhere around your circle of knowns. And you secretly hate it when people around you are doing better than you, throwing you into a deep state of depression, a human nature. It so happens at times that you feel helpless with depression, you are aware of the problem but things just doesent seem to be under your control and ultimatley you can’t control all the negative feelings that come from depression even when you know you are depressed and need to pull yourself together. It’s quite complicated, everyone wants to be happy and happiness is sadly something that dosent come to you when you have all the negatives surrounding you. By negatives, I mean your negative situation and the negative emotions that arise from that situation.
You want an escape, a drug, basically anything that dosent require anything that is out of your control or seem ardious to do. I hope I relate to some people here because I’m sure the readers of this blog are reading this just beacause they can’t find a way to cure their depression through their own power so they seek help from the internet, another sign of weakness among ‘us’ people.
We know subconciously what is bugging us or being a root cause of depression yet we run from the cure we already know. I guess this is the most damaging function of depression, making you feel worthless and not look forward to the future. I just hope everything turns out well for all the people out there and everyone find their own happiness in their own special way, and I pray that people don’t take drastic more harmful measures to cure their own personal depression. Peace and love.
Incredibly inspiring summary/analysis of what a lot of people are experiencing, but nevertheless is a very personal & lonely situation to face. I’ve been feeling this way for too long, pretty much throughout my entire twenties. Now that I’ll be entering my third decade, I know I need to put things right to enjoy life the best I can & maximise all of its opportunities. Please continue to write & update on how you’re progressing – genuine food for thought!
I find it extremely difficult to move forward at times. I feel that my life fell apart after my husband died. I haven’t been fortunate to find another great man to share my life with. I see all these happy couples, I feel so alone at times. I feel numb most times and feel like my life is at a standstill.
I do realize that I have to take a concrete step to improve my outlook on things, but how do I get out of this hole I have dug for myself?
Karen – I’m so sorry about your husband. Losing a loved one is at best gut-wrenching. Do know that life truly is for the living – and you are among the living. You may never get over this devastating loss, but you can move forward. Just remember that you are stronger and wiser than you are giving yourself credit for; you’ve made it this far and truthfully, who’s to say that your grieving process isn’t finished yet? It’s perfectly fine to feel brokenhearted and lonely. So now the question for you to ask yourself is “where do I go from here?” What hobby or passion have you put off because of family life? In a perfect world, what would you be doing to make yourself happy – no one else can make you happy except YOU. If you can simply think of one thing that is on your “bucket list” and take the first small step from there. Would you like to paint? Write? Volunteer to help the elderly? Make food for the homeless? Simply by even looking up information on the internet about something you might like to do will be the first rung of the ladder that gets you out of the “black hole.” I truly wish you the best in moving forward – it will happen if you only let it! =)
Author of Find Your Paradigm: The Art of Living with Grace and Ease
Again thank you for your excellent comment. I just wrote back to Karen and mentioned your response, just in case she hadn’t had a chance to see it yet.
I also apologized for being a little late to reply as well since I had some studying commitments over the weekend. Thank you for her wonderful response to Karen’s comment. I think you had some wonderful advice to share. I definitely appreciate your feedback and wisdom as well.
I look forward to seeing you more here on the blog and I will definitely pop over to your blog soon and have a look around. 🙂
Lovely to meet you as such and thanks again for all of your wonderful feedback.
Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your husband. My heart really goes out to you. Please accept my apology for the late reply as I found out Friday I had to sit some adhoc tests and wanted to study up over the weekend so I didn’t get a chance to write back. Again I am sorry for the delay, you were on my mind the whole time.
I am not sure if you got a chance to come back to the blog and read comments yet. Melissa Curran left you a wonderful message and I would like to elaborate on that a little as well. I definitely agree with Melissa about looking into a hobby or passion or something that is going to make YOU happy. I actually think volunteering is a wonderful idea, helping other people and knowing you are adding value in their life gives us a great feeling of satisfaction and joy. We all need to feel needed, more so after a terrible loss like the one you have suffered.
Looking forward can be hard when we still feel stuck. As Melissa mentioned you may still be grieving and that is perfectly okay. You may need to start with little steps, sometimes we get so caught up in taking a big whopping step (which can feel totally overwhelming and scary as hell) because we feel that’s what is needed that we fail to make the little ones.
As far as all of the happy couples go, I know this might be hard but try to zone them out for now. From personal experience I can say this works. People watching can be great fun as long as you don’t focus on the couples. Not to sound negative but if you did focus on them you would see that some of them are not so happy, we simply feel like they are all happy couples when we are feeling lonely ourselves.
Focus on the life and beauty around you – nature, the amazing animals (particularly if you are an animal person), all the everyday little moments of beauty and utter joy that exist (and that sometimes we have to go looking for when things are tough). When we are lonely or sad we miss all of that but it’s still there. Something as simple as the sun on your face on a beautiful day or a breathtaking sunset at the end of the day can help our hearts feel a little lighter. I know it doesn’t sound like much in the big picture but those little moments of joy and happiness help chip away at that horrible numb feeling.
For me personally the other thing that has always helped me through the hard times is my wonderful friends. Family can sometimes be a little more challenging but our friends are priceless. Do you have a good group of friends that you can lean on or is there a few old friends that you might have lost touch with that you could reconnect with? Just a thought each person is different naturally.
If you feel you need help with the grieving process speaking to a good counsellor might help. Again just a suggestion, grieving is such a complex mix of emotions. A little bit of outside help might make all of the difference.
I wish you all the best Karen. Thank you so much for sharing your story here and I hope to hear from you again soon. I wish you all the success in your journey of healing and moving forward. Remember you are strong, you will get through this and come out the other side happy and confident.
Wonderful..exactly something what i was looking for…i just went through a profile of my childhood classmate on linked-in and was feeling terrible about my life..but after reading the above content i feel much better now and i actually realized that i have progressed a little if compared to myself…thanks 🙂
Thank you for your comment, it’s lovely to have you here on the blog. I am glad you found the post helpful. I am so happy to hear that it made you feel better, that’s wonderful. It’s also wonderful that you celebrated your own progress – good on you, we should all be doing more of that. 🙂
Again thanks for your great comment and I look forward to seeing you more here on the blog.
All the best with your continued progress.
Couldn’t agree more. It is really unfortunate the immense impact society has had in shaping so many views of what should be. As most learn from repetition, seeing something over and over or hearing something over and over and over…. could begin to bend anyone’s thoughts. I definitely feel this way tonight. Like my life paused years ago, and I’m stuck somewhere between analyzing too much and maybe not analyzing the right things. Everyone in my life has moved on. I feel like I have gone backwards and it is a deep, aching, throbbing pain that cuts deep. I’m such a perfectionist, which makes it all worse. I’ve been told I have all the answers, isn’t it funny how we can…know all the right answers…yet actually following our own advice…is like walking on hot coals at times?
Thanks for commenting, much appreciated. Not only that, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You are so right about the impact seeing things over and over again has on us. Sometimes I can’t help but feel we are being conditioned or brainwashed nearly to want things instead of actually wanting them!
It is always hard when we feel our life has paused but remember it’s never too late to hit the start button again. I know in times of hardship that might sound like a big cliche, but doesn’t make it any less true. Normally we see the truth and power when we are feeling slightly better.
I think you are onto something about not analyzing the right things. That is quite a powerful statement when you think about it. We are all guilty of that at times, so don’t feel alone there.
You are right about having the right answers. You are also right about how hard it can be to follow our own advice at times – I hear you on the hot coals theory!!
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts in this comment. I sincerely apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I hope that during that time you have started to feel a little less lost.
My thoughts are definitely with you and I wish you all the best. I hope to talk to you here again soon Dee. Hang in there, you are not alone.
I definitely feel at times I look at my life and compare it to those around me. I think perhaps it’s easy for us to forget that not everyone is as “perfect” as they appear. I think this is a great article because it reminds us that we need not concern ourselves with the experiences, visuals and stories around us, and instead focus on being content with what we have. After all, there are far many people out there with a lot less than me, and more than likely you who are happier than any of us.
I hope you’re better now and that things have changed for the better for you. In my part I feel so stuck it really sickens me. I can spend days and days crying in my room wondering why me. I have graduated from college in 2012 and still haven’t found a job whilst my friends have and are moving on with their lives. The tricky thing is that it’s a vicious cycle because there are no other ways to go back to school without getting professional experience first. So I’m stuck. I’ve applied for internships and volunteer work but to no avail. By the end of last year I tried to pass my driving test and failed twice. No friends, no boyfriend. I feel so worthless sometimes it hurts so bad. And especially today…Today’s one of these days. My bro hasn’t even finished college that he’s been taken for a job on the spot. I keep wondering what’s wrong with me… I had decent grades at school, speak three languages…anyways just to let you know how it warmed my heart to read your words of wisdom and hoping that things for me will change for the better.
What if you’re 40…turning 41 next month…still single, no boyfriend, dead end one year contract jobs teaching English in Asia? Everyone’s life is moving forward except mine. Guys don’t ask me out. They just say I’m beautiful, pretty, or whatever but I never get chosen. Even if they like me, I am the wrong race or I’m too old for them. If a younger man likes me, I’m too old for him in Asia. I know I’ve thrown my life away and it’s basically too late for me to turn it around. No man wants a 41 year old no matter how pretty and nice I am.
Hi Sweetpea! I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles. You’re certainly not alone. I’d like to share my belief about something – beautiful women come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Just know your own self-worth and you have a wonderful gift to share. I am in the midst of some really tough changes and it’s been gut wrenching to say the least. I’m finally at a point where I believe I’m moving forward. Find a dream and move toward it every day. You WILL get there. Be safe and leap fearlessly! 🙂
Unfortunately, life is moulded around the haves and have nots, the way someone looks .
Many a year a go, it was morals , politeness, caring etc that was what people inspired too, the respect of other peoples boundary’s, feelings and so forth.
Now days, its what you posses Materialistically, that fancy car, that Rolex watch, the fancy holiday , but even more so the the way you look ie , do your legs touch at the top, is your face faultless, have you got a six pack, perfect teeth, hair, legs…. The list goes on.
I my self use the nature policy… Ie , see all around you, notice how animals move, the sounds they make etc, take interest in all that nature offers, learn about the world, learn as much as you can and find truth in the knowledge you seek ….
Its not a cure, but helps me focus my mind sometime instead of the evil world I find myself in . peace ….
We do move at different paces.
But it’s better to wait marry the right one then be in a rush and get divorced four years later with two kids and take on that child responsibility alone.
Don’t rush ..
This is a society of rush.
No one is allowed to stop and smell the flowers anymore.
In that quiet stillness better choices can be made take the time to make them. 🙂
Also no material things are overvalued by 10000% these days.
We should get back to valuing people not stuff.
Stuff can be an addiction. ;(
Hello I feel like i’m not moving forward but backwards My situation My goals and plans for my life have just stop And don’t know how to turn it around I try frustrated me i just cant find stabilty in my life anymore I have been bouncing from jobs and place to live just to have income Right now I’m living with my sister mother law and taken care of her with dementia Which I thank ful to have a place to live Her physical health is good she indepedent but mental is not I would like to find a job where i can go out during the day and feel productive and second income I hope that doesn’t sound selfish But like i said i feel lost my motivation and self And it hard to figure out what to do in this situation I know i’m helping her As her caregiver Should i worried about finding another job O r just stay take care of her doing the day Thank you Carolyn
Thank you for your heartfelt email. Sincere apologies for the delay in my reply.
Being a caregiver to someone is really hard. I applaud you for having the courage and strength to take on that sort of role. Taking care of someone with dementia is very unselfish (so don’t be hard on yourself). It must be quite difficult at times.
You are the only one who can decide what is best for you. Perhaps if a wonderful job comes along that aligns with your goals it would definitely be worth going for. Bouncing from job to job can make our lives feel very unstable but finding the right job for you might make all the difference.
I know it’s hard at the moment because you are feeling stuck and don’t want to disappoint anyone but go back and have a think about your goals and plans for life. It’s okay if they have changed by the way. I think we get caught up in what we wanted at one point in our lives and then we realize we actually want something else. That’s okay.
It is wonderful that you are helping your mother in law but you also need to make sure your needs are met as well. Easier said than done I realize! Keep helping her, have a think about what you really want in a job, keep your eye on the job market and see how you go.
You will move forward when you are ready!
All the best. Take care of yourself.
Hello Thea Thanks for the reply and the great information and way to think about
it Will i hope it works out for me When I’m financially ready and great fit of job comes along Thanks Carolyn
I clicked on your blog after I googled ‘ not progressing in life’.
Right now, It’s 4 am where I am, I am awake and sitting up on my bed pondering and searching for answers. I turned 30 this year, although I am very happy and grateful just for being alive, I can’t help but feel unlucky in life. Basically, I have nothing going on in terms of career and relationships.
I quit my job last year, because I felt so miserable doing it, took time out to apply to grad school in the US. I got the admission and was due to begin this fall. However, something happened, or did not happen, and I’ve had to defer my attendance till 2015, for the second time now. Major setback, as I have to look for another job in our bad economy.
So, I’ve been unemployed for 18 months, dependent on family, single, lonely, feeling disappointed, unmotivated, weary and hopeless.
Mostly, it’s my faith and religion that keeps me going, although many times I get mad at God for the way my life is turning out. ALL of my friends are married with children, and I feel more than left behind. I just don’t know what to do with my life.
Truely an inspiring post.. highly motivated 🙂 keep posting.. it inspires a lot many ppl thnx a lot once again.. 🙂
i really enjoyed your article. I can relate. I am at a point in life where I am just really confused and nervous for the outcome of my future. Everyone I know is having babies, getting engaged and graduating. Here I am 24 years of age with two years left of school. It’s just really makes me sad to think I might not be able to live the life I’ve always dream. Which it to be a stay at home mom. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get married.
Practical and realistic article and I agree with you fully. The thing is that everyone’s journey of life is different and know always, always that nothing is ever constant. Always think positive 🙂
Thank you for your post. I really needed to read something uplifting.
It feels like life is pointless or without purpose. I try really hard and no progess. It feels like I’m going in circles and nothing is happening. I even moved to a different state, different school, new people and still the same circle. Dead end job, still in college, little to no social life, and I’m getting older and getting fatter. I feel like I’ve lost the passion for school or learning. I feel so behind. I’m tired of hearing “you’re still young you have time” when there are people younger than me with a home, husband, career, financially stable and independent. I can’t even afford to be independent. I don’t know where my life’s going and I have now idea where I’m gonna end up. I hate wasting time and I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing. It seems worthless. I see people who are lazy workers get great jobs and I’m still making $8.25 an hour and I’m a fantastic worker, hard working. Is all this normal? Am I wasting my time? What should I do next?
Firstly thank you for your comment. Thank you for your honesty and bravery in opening up about what is happening in your life at the moment. Sorry for the slight delay in writing back, working full time means I often don’t get to write back as quickly as I would like.
I am really sorry to hear that you are going through a tough time. I know tough times can be frustrating and I definitely understand the feeling of wasting time. Tough times have their challenges but they also have opportunities and often offer silver lininigs as well. Unfortunately when we are smack bang in the middle of a tough time we don’t see those till much later.
I know it’s easier said than done but my first thought is stop comparing yourself to other people and where they are at. You are unique, wonderful and amazing and this is your journey not theirs. I know it can be tempting to think of the house, marriage, career thing and think it’s all wonderful but no one knows what goes on in other people’s lives. The people who look like they have it all, have their own problems to deal with as well. Different problems perhaps but still problems. To be honest, many of them may feel the same way you do but not be brave enough to talk about it! Having a house and money doesn’t mean you never feel a bit lost or confused sometimes.
But enough about them, this is about you!! So what are you studying? Is it something that you really enjoy. Will the study you are doing lead you to a job that you really want? You say you have lost your passion. We can all feel a bit lost from time to time, so don’t be so hard on yourself. The question is what do you think you could do to help get your passion back? If not for your study than for something else. Personally I would start small to get some wins on the board. What are some actions that you could take to feel better and more on track? Let go of the big picture just for now. I know when I am feeling overwhelmed I general think way too big picture on fixing everything in my life all at once and it’s even more overwhelming and then I end up feeling more demotivated.
I would either make up a to do list of things that will definitely give you a sense of achievement or if you don’t like to do lists all that much pick a little project and act on that. Taking positive action is definitely the key to moving forward.
My next big question is are you crystal clear on what you want? To get what you want, it definitely helps to know exactly what you want. You mentioned that you are trying really hard and I applaud you for that and I totally understand how frustrating is can be when you are working your butt of and not getting anywhere. When I was working full time on my business I worked like crazy but unfortunatley wasn’t working on the right things to really make a difference and the business failed. It hurt a lot but I picked myself up, worked out what I did wrong and kept on going.
Life is never pointless and its not worthless. It can be hard at times no doubt about that but this hard patch I know is going to lead you to amazing things. You will find your purpose, things will start to improve, you will get a better job and believe it or not one day you will look back on this particular time in your life and pat yourself on the back and feel a real sense of pride on how you got through it and grew as a result!!
Hang in there, things will get better. Point yourself in the right direction (trust your gut on what that is for you) and keep moving forward. You are strong, hardworking and courageous and I am confident you are set for great things. You have to believe that for yourself as well!!
I would love to hear how you go. Again that you so much for your comment and I wish you every happiness.
All the best
Eve – I’m very sorry you are struggling so hard right now. Please try not to compare yourself with other people – this is where I get into trouble the most. AND it’s okay to be frustrated and angry – many times this is the catalyst for real change. Your journey is unique and it’s a matter of listening to your heart and feeding your passion. My dream bubble burst in the most humiliating and devastating way possible. I’ve spent the last couple of years picking up the pieces trying my damdest to move forward – with nothing to show for my actions but more humiliation.
I am unable to support myself at the moment either – not even the most basic needs are met some days, but I looked for a way to feed my soul through creating a line of all natural products using essential oils. It’s picking up steam and I believe it will work out. You have a job – this is good – do you have a passion that you could turn into a side business to feed your soul? I firmly believe when you feed your soul, you can better put up with all the bullshit that drains you.
I truly hope you can find a passion to carry you through the tough times. You and I both need to remember that life won’t always look like this. Blessings!
Thank you so much for your comment and also for reaching out to Eve. It makes a big difference hearing a kind and supportive word during those tough times. I just responded to Eve as well. I thinkiIt’s important we all stick together to support each other!!
That is great to hear that your essential oils venture is taking off. Good on you. I am sorry to hear about your dream bubble bursting. I know what that can feel like. It’s heartbreaking and humiliating. Very happy to hear that you picked yourself up and are gaining momentum now. You should feel very proud of yourself for how far you have come. Sometimes we forget to pat ourselves on the back and feel proud of ourselves after a setback.
I hope things continue to pick up for you. I know how important it is to be able to support yourself and I wish you every success in making that happen as soon as possible.
I love your comment about looking for a way to feed your soul. Very inspiring!!
Again thank you for your comment and I hope to see you here at Write Change Grow again soon. I would love to hear how the essential oils venture goes. I wish you all the best for the future.
THANK YOU for reading the post and I hope that it helped you or made you feel better in some way!
Hope to see you here again soon. Thanks again.
I am not doing anything that I want. In this terrible economy I have managed to lose my home, my life savings, a 25 year relationship, a job I loved and had for 12 years. I have not been able
to recover financially. I am living in a tiny apartment, working in a job I hate. I also had so many financial issues that I wasn’t able to register my car and made the decision to drive an unregistered car because I had no other way to get to work. I was pulled over and arrested. Found out I had a previous warrant due to unpaid fines from 15 years ago. The fines piled up and after nearly 8 months if trying to whittle away in was sent to jail for a few days to pay off the fines. While there I was raped by a guard. My life at 48 is very unhappy and I cannot get work with good enough pay to dig out of this hole. I also lost my son as a still born 17 years ago. I had hoped that by this time in my life I would have been able to adopt. Now that doesn’t look possible for me. It will likely be 10 to 15 years before I will recover financially if I do. I am 48 and in 10 to 14 years I will not have the energy to adopt. My life pretty much sucks but that is what I have. For people to say don’t compare your life to others they have no clue how that leaves those of us who don’t even have even ONE thing in their life they dream of. Trade places with those of us who find it hard to be happy with what we have. No car, no family, no career, no home, no vacations, no grandkids to brag on, no traveling. Tell me how I should be happy getting up day to day with no hope of things getting better.
Thank you for having the bravery and courage to write your comment. You certainly have faced and are still facing some incredible hardships.
I am so sorry to hear that you have been through so much. Life is certainly cruel sometimes. I probably should say up front that I am NOT a trained counsellor so I would definitely recommend seeing a professional counsellor who can help you deal with what happended to you in jail. What happened to you was horrific and something I hope you have had a chance to talk through with a qualified person that can help you. There must be some sort of free counselling available to you?
You mentioned that you are trying to recover financially. Of course I don’t know the whole story but I can only assume there is a large amount of debt involved. I am not sure how your financial problems started but a question that does spring to mind is whether the issue itself (ie the cause) is still ongoing? I think that would be the first thing to look at to make sure the same money problems are not still in motion. You can’t get out of a problem by making the same mistakes that got you there in the first place.
It is always hard when we are doing a job that we hate (doesn’t help any when it is low paying as well). You did mention having a job you loved. Whilst you probably can’t get that exact job back, can you look into getting a job in the same field as you were in before? Perhaps your job sector has suffered with the downturn of the economy but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to keep track of jobs coming up in the market. I assume you are looking for new opportunities. The problem can be when we are down we tend to not look as much. We tend to think why bother! But we need to bother to find those opportunites, so keep on the look out for better jobs that come up in your field or maybe even a little off from your field if that helps. I am sure you are doing this already but just a friendly reminder in case.
I have lived in a few tiny apartments myself (one had bed bugs which wasn’t nice at all). But it is a roof over you head and that is always a good thing. I would recommend trying little things to make the place feel more like home and just more cozy in general. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make something more homely.
I guess that is the thing to remember. You asked me how you can be happy. Start with the little things. Looking at the big picture can be overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong we have to DEAL with the big picture, like getting yourself financially stable again but you don’t want to feel overwhelmed by it every single second of the day. You have to put a solid PLAN in place to deal with your finances. Get something in place to deal with the debt or whatever is the problem and have it automatically doing its thing. I realise that is a simplied version and it’s a lot more complicated than that but I hope you know what I mean. It’s important to have a plan of attack on fixing things.
The little things really depends what you like to do but things like a walk in the park on a gorgeous day, reading a great book, going for a run, an afternoon at the movies, watching a sunset all matter. They all count. You are an individual so of course you have your own things that you like so you can make your own list. I know some of these might sound trivial but in times of trouble its the little things that get us up in the morning and make our day a bit brighter. Its the little things that can add up to feeling better about ourselves. Feeling better about ourselves can lead to big improvements in our circumstances.
Do you have many friends? You don’t need a massive group of friends. If you have one true amazing friend that is a blessing. Let them be there for you and of course be there for them as well in return. A good friend in times of trouble can be invaluable!!
I know I am not in your situation but a bit over two years ago I was in a crappy spot. My solo business failed, it took months to get a job, then the job truly sucked and I was being bullied by my boss every day who after five months fired me for no reason. Suddenly I was unemployed and on the dole at 48 (which felt humiliating). I was unemployed for over 7 months and just when I thought I was at rock bottom, I found out I needed liver surgery to remove a tumour. Throw in a brief cancer scare re the same tumour and I was a mess.
I am definitely not telling this story to compare misery that is so not the point. I can’t even imagine what you are going through because everyone’s life and story is different. The reason I am saying all this is because if you had told me in the heat of all of that, that a year down the track I would have a great job and be incredibly happy I would have laughed or more to the point cried in your face. At the time I saw no hope. I know financial difficulties make life really hard (a close friend of mine is going through some really serious money problems right now as well and I am trying to be there for her) BUT with saying all of that – there is ALWAYS HOPE.
Life changes all the time. Yes we often think it always changes for the worse but it also changes for the better all of the time too. Change can bring on amazing things and it can happen a lot quicker than we think sometimes.
If certainly helps if you have a plan for things to get better, so I hope you have something in place. Keep looking for a better paid job, focus on the positives that you do have in your life (yes they are there!!) and focus on making the little amazing things in life count while you get back on your feet. And don’t forget if you need help, reach out for it. I hope you have had some sort of counselling but if you haven’t reach out to someone who can help. I am sure there are all sorts of free services and help available. They might need a little bit of digging to find but I am sure they are available and will be worth it.
I wish you all the best. You sound like a strong and brave soul. Give yourself a big pat on the back for being in there fighting to improve things. You also sound hardworking and good at your job so I wish you every success in finding a good job that will make you feel great about going to work again and also help turn your money problems around.
I really wish you well. I hope to hear from you again on your progess and hope to see you here again on the blog.
I’m thinking of you and cheering for a brighter future not far away for you.
Hang in there. Things will improve.
All the best
hey there, I just came across this blog and this topic is something am struggling with I feel like a failure every single moment , especially when I see everyone around me live their lives.I really don’t know how to move forward
Thank you so much for your heart felt comment. Please let me start by apologizing for the delay in getting back to you.
One thing you need to know is that you are not alone!! A lot of people feel this way from time to time. I can guarantee those people around you that you see ‘living their lives’ struggle with this at times as well.
I am really sorry to hear that you feel like a failure. My guess is that you are being way too hard on yourself! The first thing to do is turn this whole failure thing on its head and have a look at all of the things you have done right and well over the last year. I will guarantee there are a LOT more than you think there are! Unfortunately when we feel a failure (and I had a serious bout of this after my attempt to build a freelance writing business failed) we tend to look at and amplify all of the negative stuff.
I think focusing on the good stuff is a great place to start – make a list of the stuff (no matter how small) that you did well, worked for you or made you feel happy.
Next I would make up a list of three things you can do to feel good about yourself. I would make the first two quick wins (because that will help boost your confidence) and give you the mojo to move onto the next thing. The third one can be a task that you have been putting off (make sure it’s something that will make you feel good) that you can do over the next week or so. The objective is to get you moving and doing stuff that makes you feel good. It will all help with putting you in a more positive place, which definitely helps with making decisions on what to do next.
If you don’t know what your tasks should be that is okay. It’s okay to take some time to figure out what is next. I find though that if I am feeling a bit stuck I try the quick wins to do list and it helps me to get started. I have one of these lists on my whiteboard at the moment that I just completed over the weekend and it worked wonders!
Moving forward you need to set yourself a juicy goal that you are passionate about and work towards making it happen. Again don’t put pressure on yourself if you don’t have a goal spring to mind – sometimes they need a little time and brainstorming.
Speaking of juicy goals I am working on one of those at the moment. I’m actually working on an ebook on this very topic of feeling like everyone is moving forward so stay tuned for the launch coming up soon!
I would really love to hear back from you on how you go and I really hope this email helped a little bit. You are not a failure. You had the courage to write and express a vulnerability and that is a brave brave thing.
All the best and I hope you continue to enjoy reading the content here at Write Change Grow.
I look forward to hearing back from you Moloko.
This is my sixth year in a 4yrs course,I don’t know how am going to cope with this,my friends have graduated already, am to graduate 2016. Am really weighed down. I need some advice please!
Very nice to read, feels like i have been standing still for the last 2 decades.
What an encouraging read. I have been a chronic achiever all my life and on some level I feel it’s the only way people ever noticed me. The only way I could ever get any positive reinforcement. My parents were largely engrossed in their own problems so I can’t say I was truly raised. It wasn’t until I started to excel that they and everyone else took notice of me. Fast forward to now. I’m a divorced single mom (marriage was emotionally abusive and really took what self esteem I had). I have this amazing daughter and I was just beginning to be able to really support her and get her into school when I lost my job. Her dad is underemployed and not much help. So all that on my shoulders plus I’ve written a book no one reads. Made clothes no one buys despite being applauded for them. I made a mobile app that many agreed was great but that no one will pay for. I’m trying everything and nothing. I’m emotionally exhausted. I have no friends and no love life to speak of and no real breaks from parenting. I feel lost and stagnant and reluctant to try again because I put my heart and soul into everything and it amounted to nothing and I feel like a loser. My friends are making strides their careers and lives. I feel like I’m the only one that’s not. (Age 32)
It’s Thea from Write Change Grow. Thank you so much for your comment. My sincere apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
I am so sorry to hear you have been having a hard time of it. It’s always hard to lose a job unexpectedly (I had the same happen in 2013 and it was awful). How are you going in your job search? Hopefully you have picked up something already? If not yet, hang in there, something will come along. I know from experience how hard job hunting can be so I am thinking of you and sending good vibes your way!
It seems like you are a very smart, capable woman who is having a really bad run. You are NOT a loser!! You need to banish that word from your vocabulary forever! It’s so toxic and will make your feel even worse, so no more putting yourself down like that!
With the book, clothes and app it sounds like you are a super creative person (which is amazing and fabulous by the way) but maybe you are not marketing yourself enough or perhaps the problem is that you are spreading your focus too thin and not focusing enough on one particular area? I can’t be sure because obviously I don’t know your whole situaton. Maybe you are too hard on yourself and you are doing a bit better and you think you are?
You have your amazing daughter and that is something wonderful (though I fully appreciate being a full time Mum can be exhausting as you mentioned). From a friends point of view, do you have any old friends you can reconnect with? Perhaps from school, college or work? Even having one person to talk to, listen to us and support us can make a huge difference.
I know it’s hard, particularly when we are feeling vulnerable but try not to compare yourself to other people. It’s such a precious waste of your time and energy which you could funnel someplace else. I think sometimes we put way too much pressure on ourselves because we are not exactly sure what our next move will be. It’s okay to take some time and work out what you want to do next.
I understand your reluctance to try again but trying is always worth it.
I would imagine however that your main focus is finding a new job – which I hope has happened already :). Find your new job, get settled in and then you can start thinking about what you want to do next creatively.
I wish you all the best Sarah and I would love to hear back from you to see how you are going. I hope things have picked up since you left this comment.
Thank you again for commenting, I’m so glad you found the post encouraging and I really hope to connect with you here again shortly.
Lots of love
This is so timely! I am feeling a bit emotional right now because I feel like I am going at a turtle speed with my life. I want to do so many things. I want to achieve so many things. But I am going nowhere. I am not getting any answer. The future is daunting and I want to know now where I am supposed to be. I have so many worries but things aren’t moving. I feel like nothing is happening. I often compare myself with other people especially those I see in social media all the time. Why is their life awesome and why mine isn’t? It is hard. I always blame other people. But as you said, I run my own race. I shouldn’t compare myself with other people because for all I know they might also think my life is awesome.
Thanks to this post for making me feel a little bit better. I just need to remind myself that better things await me. 🙂
The Pink Lemonade Girl
Thank you for your comment. It was lovely to hear from you. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
I am so glad that this post was timely, I love it when that happens, when we are thinking something and suddenly the universe sends us something on that exact thing. I totally understand how you feel about life moving at a turtle speed, it’s can definitely be frustrating!! But you will move past it and the path will become clearer and things will pick up speed. I think we all go through times when we feel like we are not moving at all.
You are right about people thinking your life is awesome! I would guarantee people would be reading your blog and seeing you on social media and thinking how your life is better than theirs. I think we can all be susceptible to comparison when we are feeling a little vulnerable.
I am so glad the post made you feel a little better. You are running your own race and that’s really important and truth be told you are probably doing much much better than you are giving yourself credit for. Hang in there Jenn. It’s okay not to have all the answers right this second but I am sure you will work them out 🙂
Because feeling like everyone else is moving forward resonates with so many people, I’ve written an eBook on the topic. In case you haven’t seen it already here is the link if you want to check it out Moving On Up 🙂
Thanks again for your comment, it was lovely to connect with you and I hope to see you here at Write Change Grow again soon.
All the best
PS I just popped over to your blog and it looks lovely! I will head over soon and read some more…
Thanks for this, Thea! Everyone feels that way sometimes and your words are so comforting. I loved how you shifted the focus on ourselves and being happy where we are. Sharing this with my mailing list! xx
Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am so glad you found it comforting! Thanks for sharing it with your list as well, much appreciated.
Because this topic resonates with so many people, I’ve written an eBook on the topic. Here’s the link for my Moving On Up eBook if you want to check it out Moving On Up 🙂
Thanks again for your lovely comment and I hope so see you here again soon.
All the best
I have not moved ahead. , Your book will not help me. I’ve faced many barriers
and it has been quite difficult. I’ve had to do it all on my own. No doors opened
for me unless I forcefully pushed the door opened. You really don’t get it.m
It’s been very frustrating for me. I’ve been trying for nearly fifty years and I still
haven’t been able to make my life better, But I don’t give up. I will never give up
Hi Thea!! Thank You so much..Your Blog really helped me with my frustration..I had these feelings inside of me that i couldnt get out from time to time when i came to America, I know it is really hard to start over in a new country with nobody but yourself, unlike others, i had met so many bad people around that got me to a huge depression because of their betrayed, and for a while i didnt want to meet people at all because i was scared..I had being to bad paths in my life and still dont get what i want, I guess i got lost in the process…Can you give me some advice Please and sorry for my english!!
First off, I just ran across this post. I’ve read it and see what you’re saying for the most part. It all seems good in theory.
I’m 41. I’ve spent over 20 years at my job. My main problem is that (it seems like) every last one of my good friends are either making more money or winning money or just getting money damn near falling out of the sky. I’m still struggling to pay bills, I try to budget my money (even though there’s not a lot to budget). I wake up every morning to come in to work to listen to how everyone else’s life is progressing. I listen to how their kids are in college or high school doing well. Meanwhile my son (whom I had to kick out of my house) is one of the schools most troubled teen. The respect I’ve tried so hard to uphold and keep is not returned to me. Everyone’s ideas seem to pan out except mine and I’m sick and tired of reaching in my pockets and only feeling lint. I know people who’ve NEVER sold drugs before and right now they are making money hand over fist….just for the hell of it. My pod mate has jobs just falling in his lap and ones I’ve applied for won’t even call me back. There is too much to write but I’ve tried to think in the way you’ve described and all it seems like I’m doing is ignoring the fact that everyone else IS progressing except me, not matter which way I look at it.
There are soooo many people around me progressing in life and I’m just wondering IF and WHEN I’m going to be able to get mine. It seems like Jesus ain’t listening and The Devil don’t care.