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I Feel Like I’m Not Accomplishing Enough… What Should I Do?

Dr. Nikki Martinez, Lead Contributor
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There are several reasons people can feel like they are not accomplishing enough.

One reason might be that the person has set goals that are too high and unrealistic for their particular skill set and abilities.

Perhaps we have set out goals too high before we are ready to work on them.

Another may be that they have set reasonable goals but have not taken the steps to accomplish them.

This can be because of disorganization, procrastination, or struggling to break things down into small, manageable steps.

Both issues can make us feel inadequate and that we are not accomplishing enough.

Both need to be looked at so that the person can set reasonable goals that they can accomplish on schedule and as planned.

I feel like I’m not accomplishing enough… what should I do?

Let’s look at the first issue: setting unrealistic goals beyond their ability level.

Math and science are not my strong points.

Therefore, I will not be applying for the next space shuttle mission soon.

Not that anyone is intellectually inferior to others.

This is saying that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and we need to play to those.

Too often, people get themselves in positions where they either set a goal or agree to a goal set for them.

Even though they fully realize that this is not an area they will excel at.

They may actually try very hard to accomplish what they have set out for them.

Yet, they will be unsuccessful at the task.

It was not a lack of effort or a lack of talent.

The reason was a lack of skill set.

Do what you know and then learn more

Many of us take jobs or agree to projects that are outside our abilities just to have a job.

We are doing more harm to our employer, any customer, and our feelings of adequacy by taking this task on.

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It is important to look for and accept positions/projects that are within our strength base.

Looking carefully for these, and saying yes to these types of projects, sets us up for success!

It also increases our sense of accomplishment.

By doing what we have trained to do or what we have a natural talent for, we increase our chances of success and a sense of self-esteem.

Take your time and focus on getting it right

There is a saying that you must crawl before you can walk.

This is true when it comes to what we accomplish.

If we set unreasonable goals that are beyond the skills we have yet learned, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Not that we cannot accomplish this goal in our careers.

However, we have to be realistic about our skill level, the amount of training and education we have received, and what kinds of projects we can take on.

While it is wonderful to have goals, and we all want things to happen quickly, we have to be realistic about what we have learned up to this point and where our capabilities lie.

We are irresponsible if we offer to take on tasks beyond our abilities, as the job, the customer, and the end product always matter.

A chance to “try” is not worth failing the client in the end.

One way you can work within your skill set and learn something new is to ask other team members if you can shadow them on their tasks.

Copy what works before you create your own

This idea of shadowing allows the individual to take on the full responsibility of being a mentor to you in acquiring new skills.

Not that some individuals would not be happy to do this, but many simply feel overwhelmed with what they have on their own plate.

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The idea of teaching someone can feel like too much.

However, the idea of being watched and shadowed may be more palatable.

There is nothing new or additional that they need to be doing besides being observed.

Focus on the process, not the product

Actually, explaining their process as they go can help reinforce the steps they are taking and the choices they are making and catch any of their own mistakes before they are made.

If the person observing does this with enough projects, they are increasing their chances that they will have the skill set to perform the goal task and to have their supervisors be willing to give them a chance at being the point person for that part of the project.

If they have been a good student of their peers, they may find that they are accomplishing the goals they have always wanted to.

You have skills but…

The last type of person who feels inadequate for not accomplishing enough is the person with the skills but without the means to accomplish them.

These people have poor organizational systems, procrastinate until the last second, create a subpar product, and do not know how to break things down into small and manageable tasks to make consistent progress toward their goals.

Putting it all together

These are the areas that I have the most clients come to me about.

They are:

  • Exceptionally frustrated with themselves for not being able to complete tasks and move ahead the way they envision
  • Exasperated because they know that they have the skills and abilities inside of them. They simply do not know how to access and organize those skills to accomplish their goals.

They have all the ideas, all the abilities, and even all the tenacity to do what they need to do.

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These clients simply do not know how to get from point A to point B in an organized and efficient manner.

This lack of organization keeps them from completing the tasks.

Focus on one thing at a time and get it done

You also have the individuals who have the issue of procrastination and feel overwhelmed by this.

It becomes a vicious cycle of issues with organization; knowing how to break things down into manageable steps and then ultimately procrastinating because of falling so far behind because of the first two issues.

It can be as simple as a few meetings to sit down with a professional that helps design organizational systems that work for you.

There are ways to avoid the procrastination trap.

First, learn the skill of breaking things down into small and manageable steps.

Next, figure out what the proper steps should be.

Last, be honest with yourself.

Get real with yourself

People procrastinate for several reasons.

One is that they are overwhelmed as things have fallen behind.

Now, everything is close to the due date.

The other reason is they put off tasks they find the most difficult for last.

If the person will put the time and effort into learning to organize themselves in a way that works for them and to break things down into small and manageable steps, this can go a long way.

Last, they can learn to take on tasks that are not their favorite first instead of last.

This behavior gets them out of the way and avoids the dread of doing them.

No matter which of these categories you fall in, implementing these skills and techniques can move you to be someone who feels a great sense of adequacy.

You will become someone who accomplishes more than enough.

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