Oct 17

8 Burning Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Not Seeing Progress


When is it time for a change?

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

We all strive to be the best at what we do while earning a living for our families but there comes a time when we start to question ourselves if we are supposed to be doing what we’re doing especially if we are not seeing progress.  I’ve been through this stage a couple of times in my professional life and to be quite honest, I’m still going through it as we speak.

Part of making the most out of life is enjoying every single day of it while working toward the realization of our goals which is why we should be intentional in everything we do and not let life just come to us and pass us by.

If you’ve worked for the same company for years but have never been promoted, would you opt to continue to work for the same company or would you think about moving to another?  If you’ve been doing a business for years but have not seen earned the profit you expected, would you still continue doing the same kind of business?

Here are 8 burning questions you can ask yourself if you are not seeing any progress in something you’re pursuing:

1. Did I give my best effort? – Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind if you don’t see any progress is where did you go wrong and it makes perfect sense because we all do something with the purpose of succeeding in it and achieving a certain goal and the best question to ask at such point is whether you gave everything that you had for the fulfillment of your goals.  The common mistake among people is the idea that being busy equates to being productive but it takes more than long hours and sleepless nights for us to really say that we did everything we can.

Did you attempt to learn everything there is to know about your job or responsibilities?  Did you push yourself to become better at whatever it is that you do?  You may be spending long hours on something without realizing that you’re half-assing it still.

2. What could I have done and not done? – After you’ve determined what went wrong or where you came up short, you should evaluate what kind of action you should have or should not have done for you not to arrive at the point you’re at.  Did you spend too much time watching television instead of learning the ins and outs of your online business?  Did you show enough initiative for your boss to recognize your contribution?  The key to this question is your acceptance of your faults because you’ll never really get to formulate a corrective action if you don’t recognize that you’ve made mistakes in the first place.

3. Did I like what I was doing? – This may be a bit of a long shot but it has everything to do with the results you produce.  There is a big difference in doing something because you need to and doing something because you want to.  People who do something they love ten to be more successful and productive compared to those who do something they do not enjoy.  If you love the thing you do, you pour your heart and soul to it instead of doing it for the sake doing it.

4. What was my motivation for doing it? – This is kind of related to #3 in a sense that people do things behind a certain motivation and if you are doing something because of something else besides loving it, then we may have a problem.  If your motivation for staying on a job you don’t like is to be able to sustain your family, you need to be looking for something new anytime soon because staying longer in it would make you miserable.  I’m sure most of you can identify with that.

In the meantime, if your motivation is because you love doing it, then you should expect abundance in the coming years.  Money shouldn’t always be your motivator because it wouldn’t benefit in you in the long run in terms of happiness and satisfaction.

5. Did I set my goals right? – Earning a decent living or getting by with what you earn is not a goal.  Just like in the corporate world, your life goals should also be SMART, that is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  Do you have a five-year plan?  What happens after five years and you are yet to attain your goal?

As the great Zig Ziglar said: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

6. What were my expectations? – While I always promote positive-thinking in my articles, having expectations is not part of it.  It is okay to be hopeful and to have a positive outlook in everything we do but once you start having expectations, it can be the beginning of negativity.  Just do what you can, work hard, learn from the experience but never expect something out of it because once you do, you may never recover from it.

One of the mistakes I’ve had in the past is expecting to be promoted because of doing something I consider significant which I regret doing to this day.  A friend once told me that promotion will come at the right time and should never be chased and damn, he was right!  Once expectation comes in, you will feel entitled to something as if the world owes you something for whatever it is you do so just do your best and get rid of any expectations that may exist.

7. How do I avoid making the same mistakes? – Once you’ve accepted your mistakes, it will be easier to formulate an action plan and avoid making the same mistakes twice.  The best thing about failure is the lesson you will learn from it which is why failing over and over shouldn’t be viewed as something negative but more of an opportunity.

I saw an interview with Michael Jordan and he was asked why he was so good at taking the winning shot and his answer was because he brought the same intensity in practice as he does in an actual game.  He has done the same scenarios multiple times that’s why come game time, he is relaxed and he knows what to do.  Practice makes perfect indeed.

8. Is it time for a change? – You will only get to ask this question if you are doing something you’re not passionate about because if you’re doing something you love, it won’t matter how many times you fail, you will stick it out come hell or high water.  When can you say that it is time for a change?  There are many ways to answer that question and the best way to do it is by asking more questions.

  • Are you still happy?
  • Is it the right fit for you?
  • Do you see yourself still doing it in the next five years?

The answers to these questions will help you decide if a change is imminent.

Time is of the essence and we can’t spend so much time on something that doesn’t give us the results we are after and it is our responsibility to be honest with ourselves if we think that everything is not working out the way it should.  Stop wasting time trying to get better at something that you dislike and focus on improving your skills in something that you are interested in because it is through doing something that ignites your passion that you will find the happiness and fulfillment you are looking for.

Are you seeing progress in something that you are currently doing?

I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your opinion anytime.


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Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions

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