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Why You Think You’re Not Getting Anywhere In Life

Rather than saying that you will succeed, allowing nothing to get in your way, mastering the art of resilience requires you to do whatever it takes, understanding that many things are going to get in your way.~ Carol Orsborn

Admit it.

You’re tired of spinning your wheels.

You try and try to overcome the thing that gets in your way – depression, anxiety, self-doubt, insecurity, lack of passion – and yet you still find it there blocking your path.

You think if you just try harder next time that you’ll finally win, you’ll finally be free of it.

Until it pops up again.

And there you are feeling as though you’re not getting anywhere in life.

Maybe you’re not making any progress.

Or maybe you think life is like a straight upward line instead of what it truly is, a spiral.

You see, there is a myth in our American culture that not only must we make progress constantly in our lives, but this progress must be linear and upward. We must always improve.

Notice that I said this is a myth.

It’s not true.

Life is not a straight line, it’s a spiral.

It’s moving forward, forward, forward but then sometimes finding that you’ve circled back to the same point again.

You feel that same sense of depression or anxiety or doubt.

You get stuck on the same bad habit or behavior that tripped you up in the first place.

If you believe the “life is a straight line” myth, you think that you’ve slid back or not made any progress at all.

But that’s not the case at all. You’ve been moving along as well as anyone, it’s just that you’ve hit that old familiar point on the spiral again and it feels like you’re stuck in the same old mud.

But you’re not.

It’s the same old mud, yes, but it’s further up your path than you were before. You are moving.

So don’t be discouraged when you hit those points. It’s not a sign of being stuck, it’s a sign that you’ve gone so far that you’ve come back around again to a bump that you need to continue working on.

That’s all.

You’re okay.


For more wonderful bits of wisdom on mastering the art of resilience, please read Carol Orsborn’s marvelous little book,  The Art of Resilience: 100 Paths to Wisdom and Strength in an Uncertain World.


Ready to get your bounce back? Download my FREE e-book, Bounce Back: 5 keys to surviving and thriving through life’s ups and downs.

Why You Think You’re Not Getting Anywhere In Life

Bobbi Emel, MFT

Psychotherapist Bobbi Emel specializes in helping people face life’s significant challenges and regain their resiliency. In addition to seeing clients in her private practice, Bobbi is a well-regarded speaker and writer. Check out her other writing at The Bounce Blog.

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APA Reference
Emel, B. (2012). Why You Think You’re Not Getting Anywhere In Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Nov 2012
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