Sometimes you have to reach the top to realize that you hate it there. It's not stupid!
Women don't want to complain about being successful or managing a great company. But wanting to complain isn't something that you should be ashamed of! We know a lot of good reasons why you might feel this way—and feelings aren't bad! Your first step towards dealing with this problem is to analyze the root of your unhappiness and then take actions accordingly. Do any of these feelings sound familiar?
- You don't have plans for "after." You were planning and taking strategic action with one focus: getting there. You are a thriving expert and you need to be challenged. Probably this is your biggest fear, the loss of challenges. There are many other things you would be able to find to focus your energy on, but you might lack the motivation to find them. It could be good for you to find a new goal, a more personal one—but don't think it's that easy. You have been working towards your previous goal for a long time, probably for more than 15 years! It's not easy to just choose something new that you want to achieve. You are not the same person that you used to be 15 years ago. You've changed and it's normal for your decision making process to be different! But are you willing to accept this fact?
- It's different from what you expected. A cognitive bias is not an unusual thing. It's really disturbing, I know, because you are used to having a lot of energy. The gap between your expectations and the reality might not be too big, but it is still demotivating. What you need is to take a deep breath and evaluate: does this mean that you don't really like where you are? Do you want complete change, or are you willing to continue on and make this position fit your expectations? It's up to you.
- It's designed to fit men better than women. And this is not your fault. It's a really common problem: the definition of success is a good suit, export cigars, matured drinks and young companions, but this idea doesn't fit the female success definition. You want to keep on winning, not just bragging about being good! You want meaningful success, not meaningless achievements.Women want to define success on their own terms. You need to accept that you have different perceptions of success and express whatever those perceptions are.
- This was not your goal. Did you go with the flow and follow the path that everyone was drawing ahead of you? Maybe you wanted to make someone proud, or to prove that you could do it. If this wasn't your genuine path, the one that you chose for yourself, it's no wonder that you have had a problem finding your comfort here. This might be your biggest problem! You have been a real leader by playing by others' rules so far, but now you feel disconnected and as if something is missing. This is not what you wanted after all! Now that you've reached this success, though, this is the time to evaluate, regroup and draw another strategy. If you need help, hire a Women Success Expert or an executive coach, someone who understands and can help you re-define success on your own terms and be who you are wherever you are.
- People around you don't appreciate your success. Sometimes we all need a little push, a pat on the shoulder to let us know that we are doing great: a friend to listen, a mentor to guide us. We also need support and understanding. Is your family unhappy about your achievement? Are there people around you who are jealous of your success? Let them know how you feel! The ones who are genuinely happy might not know how to show it, and the others—those who can't accept you being better than them—are just not right for your life.
- You feel like you didn't deserve it. It's strange that everyone but yourself knows how capable you are! It's possible that you use this reason as a shield—you have other concerns that might fit the problems listed above. Or this might come from another problem entirely, personal insecurities based on previous experiences. It's important to focus and find what makes you feel like this—it will take you closer to solving the problem!
What should you do if one of the above problems sounds all-too-familiar?
Make new strategic plans, reevaluate your goals and find what stops you from being content with the results. You might need help from someone who has faced a similar situation—this is when a professional executive coach is of a great value!
This article was originally published at Equanimity Executive. Reprinted with permission from the author.