Debunking the Myth of Falling Behind

by | Aug 16, 2023 | Blog

Debunking the myth of falling behind

Follow Along:

Let’s talk about the fact that you, my friend, are not behind at all.

I don’t care how much you want to convince yourself. I don’t care about the circumstances in your life that you want to hang yourself up on. I promise you, that’s not the truth. The stories you are telling yourself are simply a myth, the myth of falling behind.

I hear this all the time from so many people that I coach, “I’m behind.” Behind in their careers, goals, or perceived milestones.

Society bombards us with expectations, telling us where we should be in life at certain ages, creating a false sense of “falling behind.” The pressure to conform to made-up beliefs about success, relationships, and accomplishments is overwhelming.

But guess what? Those timelines are entirely fabricated.

You may be familiar with how society (not so long ago) used to believe that a 25-year-old unmarried woman was “behind”? Behind on becoming a wife, behind on becoming a mother, and set to be labeled a spinster.

If somebody that was 25 told you, “I’m behind because I should be married by now,” most of us would either laugh at the notion or think, “Are you crazy?”

An unmarried 25-year-old being behind in anything is laughably ridiculous. The same applies to your journey today.

Each one of us carries a unique story, shaped by our dreams and experiences.

And I hope, as you keep reading, you can see how much it doesn’t serve you to keep up with false timelines. Okay?

You Have Time

We have years, decades to still work. My clients come to me harboring the belief they should have achieved certain things by a certain age. This leads them to feelings of inadequacy and comparison.

And I think for so many of us, we don’t stop for a second to think, “What if my path is just different? What if my path is not the same path as everybody else’s? And what if I’m exactly where I need to be on my path to learn what isn’t a fit for me?”

Starting a new career after a decade (or however long) isn’t a failure. It’s not a loss of time or starting again from nothing. It’s building upon your experience, it’s growth in your all around skill set, it’s movement in the direction of what you truly desire as you grow and change.

Let’s Be Honest About The Myth of Falling Behind

Ask yourself, “If I checked off all of the things that I think I should have checked off by now–would I still feel behind?”

I see this day in and day out where clients share their perspective, thinking “I’m behind. I need to be doing more.” And they get the job, they get the promotion, they get the degree. They do the thing that they thought they should do and then their brain just moves on to the next thing. They dwell on their accomplishments without taking a beat, They think, “Okay, well I got the job but I should be making more money.”

And the thing that rings true from the “falling behind” perspective is, even if you check off all of the things that you think you should check off, you will always have that thought. It does not matter what you achieve. Tou will never outrun the thought or shake the feeling.

Constantly thinking you should be further along only perpetuates stress, overwhelm, and self-criticism. It keeps you trapped in a cycle of chasing an illusion of achievement. No matter how much you accomplish, that thought will persist. So, let’s challenge it.

Embrace Your Own Path

One of the things that I teach (a lot) in my membership, the Quitter Club, is not focusing so much on the “truth”. Why? Because they are often not “truths” but stories we tell ourselves. I want you to challenge the “truth” of “falling behind” with these questions:
What does it serve me to think this thought?
How do I feel when you think it?
What actions am I taking because of it?

You’ll find these questions to be potent in breaking out of that feeling of falling behind, forcing you out of fixating on the future and chasing that elusive arrival point.

Use thes questions to switch gears and practice being present and content with where you are now. Your path is yours to navigate at your own pace. Your worth is not determined by meeting societal expectations. It is found in embracing who you are and creating a life that aligns with your desires.


Let Go of ‘Behind’

If the thought “I am behind” or “I should be further along” weighs heavy on you, I invite you to get present to your life right now. Decide that you are exactly where you want to be and practice that thought. Take the moment to celebrate your journey, your progress, and honor your resilience. We can fully engage with our lives, enjoying the present moment rather than constantly rushing toward the next milestone. The Quitter Club waitlist is open if you’re ready for more.