Jackie Kellso

Are You Striving to Get Yourself Back on Top?

In career, career challenges, career path, career transition, Dr. Robin Smith, get back on top, job titles, life changes, looking backwards, Oprah Winfrey, personal power, professional development, salaries, second career, striving forward, Super Soul Sunday on August 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Yesterday, I caught an interview with Dr. Robin Smith on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, and was absolutely struck by a part of the conversation that referred to the demise of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.  Dr. Smith spoke about how they died as a result of being completely obsessed with getting back to the top of their games.  For Whitney Houston it was, ‘hitting that note’ again, and with Michael Jackson it was creating something bigger than “Thriller.”

How many of us professionals, those in career transition, and those who lost titles and high salaries to the economic downturn, are in a spin to GET BACK TO THE TOP?

The obsession to re-experience a high from the past, compounded with a lack of acceptance that life has changed, that those were exceptional moments of their own time and circumstance, drive us to self-destruct.

This idea resonates greatly with me as I’m now 10 years into my second career (from advertising sales to professional development) and have a constant nagger (my ego) worrying about how I will be able to get back to the top of my earnings again.  My top was at the height of the Internet boom, where I was so perfectly situated, in the late 90s and early 2000s.  Of course, I was already nearing 20 years into my sales career when this hit and I’m only 10 years into this career (that in general isn’t known to be the money-maker that sales is) BUT, the point is that the way I’ve been evaluating my success, which is to GET BACK TO THE TOP, is my real problem.

The thinking itself is a set-up for feeling like a failure!  I was on a different path, I had different personal goals, I was a different person and life presented me with different options. Plus, I would never, ever want to go back into that career  and walk away from the very thing that has fueled me with purpose, joy and feelings of fulfillment.

And, even though I have a rich life with a loving husband, good health, great friends and family, and kick-ass skills to do my work at high levels, I recognize that the obsession to have what I had is a self-destructive thought.  Embracing the path I’m on now is the key to moving forward.

I believe in my ability to bring in that bounty and to prosper as I look toward the future.  The difference is I’m not going to continue striving backward, I’m now striving forward.  The freedom from comparison of a past situation is the clarity I needed in order to feel optimistic.

So, dear colleagues: STOP IT.  Stop working to get back on top. Stop comparing your life now to back then. Instead, look for the direction your life is taking and say yes to what feels right, right NOW, because it will lead to the best opportunities that can present themselves to you.  It will lead you to a new future.  And that future may be more dear to you than title and money, and/or that future may include a better title and even more money! Who knows?

Forge ahead!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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