How to Avoid Feeling Empty and Flat After Achieving a Goal

Yew tree covered in moss at Stanmer Park, Brighton, UK.

Winston Churchill knew a thing or two about success and failure. Both are fleeting and contain information. It’s good to remember this, especially when you reach a goal and you’re suddenly empty and flat. Here’s a personal story about that and how to avoid it.

After I completed my coach training I needed to complete 100 hours of coaching in two months in order to apply for accreditation. I already had about 20 hours so I needed 80 more. I focused all my energy on this goal and found myself with 98 hours the day before the deadline and no more coaching calls booked in.

I sent out emails to my network. Nothing came back until that evening when two people asked for sessions the next day. The next day I woke up hoping the clients wouldn’t cancel. They didn’t. We did the sessions and they were very pleased with their outcomes. So was I! All I needed to do was add their initials to my coaching log and send it, along with my application.

Once this was done I felt ecstatic! I had achieved the goal I had lived so intensely for over two months. The ecstasy wore off, of course, and what was left was an empty, flat feeling that lasted for months. Okay, so those feelings probably had something to do with unprocessed childhood trauma too but I didn’t know it at the time.

What would have helped me then, that I fully understand now, is it’s important to have a long term plan beyond an important goal. Then, after you’ve celebrated and reflected, you can start work on the next part of the plan and set goals for that. This way, the empty, flat feeling cannot happen because your goals are part of a larger process. And that’s because they’re linked to your personal vision, which is linked to your values, purpose and integrity.

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I’m the Kindness Coach and I partner with survivors to envision and live from their highest values, purpose and integrity.