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For Anyone Feeling Like They’re Behind

Feb 21, 2023
For Anyone Feeling Like They’re Behind

We all have those moments where we feel behind in our careers, or even in our lives.

If you’re single and want to pursue marriage, you may feel behind. If you want children but haven’t found the right person yet, you may feel behind. If you want to buy a house but aren’t in a position to do so yet - you might feel behind.

The truth is that we all feel like this - no matter how lucky (or not) we are in our current circumstances. Being content with our lives and our careers takes a pretty long time. Let’s dissect why we feel this way:

We are taught to always want more

Particularly in the UK, we are always taught to aim as high as possible and never be satisfied. We’ve spoken about hustle culture a lot on the Orbis blog - and how many individuals and organisations have fallen culprits to embodying a way of working and a mindset that can be inherently damaging. 

This contributes to the notion of never feeling “enough” and feeling like we have to constantly be progressing and filling our days with things to keep us busy. In reality, where does this leave you? Burnt out, unhappy, and ultimately unable to enjoy the fruits of your labour. 

We are products of our environments socially 

What is considered the norm in the UK may not be considered the norm in other parts of the world, professionally or personally. Work cultures and attitudes completely differ - and it’s important to remind ourselves that we are always going to be a product of our environments. 

Wanting to follow social norms is, well, normal. It’s what we are (in essence) conditioned to do - but sometimes this can have negative connotations. Even within a workplace, there are environmental and social norms which can be pushed onto us without even realising.

It can be scary going against the grain

Feeling behind can be scary - but are you actually behind or are you just going against the grain We’ve already established that we are products of our environment socially, so if we are challenging norms, then it may feel like we are out of place or “behind”. 

Let’s say all of your friends are buying houses and instead you’ve chosen to travel - are you behind, or are you simply just taking a different path? It’s important to have nuance and also a holistic view of your life - instead of looking at scenarios or achievements in isolation.

Focus on competing with yourself - instead of others

Comparison is the thief of joy! Instead of comparing where you are professionally and personally to others, focus on competing with yourself and setting yourself actionable goals which are in alignment with what you want from your life! 

There’s nothing wrong with having aspirational goals based on what you see others doing, but if you find that it’s encroaching on your happiness and quality of life, then it’s time to make a change. 

What can you do to try and combat this?

Create a new way to measure your progress in life by incorporating these simple steps;

  • Happiness: How happy do you feel each day, and what contributes to this happiness? Or, if you aren’t feeling happy - note down why. 
  • Relationships (romantic, friendships, family):  Are your relationships bringing you joy and what you need? How do you want to improve or build on your current relationships and why? 
  • Personal goals: What are your goals personally and have you worked on them this year? Who can help you achieve them, and how can you make them attainable?
  • Health: Are you taking care of yourself physically and mentally?
  • Fulfilment: All of the above considered, what is bringing you fulfilment, OR how could you live a more fulfilled life across this matrix of areas?

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