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.

Want some support with your vision?

Check out my coaching programs. I’m here for you!

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

Inspiration is Better Than Motivation

If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.

Steve Jobs

I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I’d like to share my recent walking experience with you because it’s a physical metaphor for this statement…

The woods at Stanmer Park, Brighton

I was out walking in the woods. I noticed that when I held my head up with my gaze straight ahead, seeing as far along the path as I could, the walking was easy. Conversely, when I focused on the ground about twenty metres in front of me to make sure I didn’t trip, the walking felt harder.

Gazing into the distance softened my vision to the immediate environment and I didn’t trip. My feet knew what to do. It was up to me to trust them and let them get on with it. This made the walk more pleasurable; I could drink in the smells, sounds, colours and the feel of my body moving through the cold air that stung my cheeks and ears.

If you’re a survivor of adverse childhood effects, then you’ll know it’s often hard to trust your body. This is why so many survivors have trouble with proprioception – your body’s ability to perceive its own position in space – and interoception – understanding and feeling what’s going on inside your body. It’s taken me years of focused practice to begin to trust my body and to feel and enjoy the sensations of physical activities. I was able to do it because my desire to be at home in my body was inspiring me or, in the words of Steve Jobs, pulling me forward.

The walking metaphor translates to my vision for my coaching practice, which is:

I have given excellent service to 1,500 survivors of adverse effects who are now free from old ways of being that no longer serve them and live from their values, purpose and integrity, creating their highest visions of success in their lives.

by 25 December 2025

This vision pulls me forward and I find myself taking actions, like writing three blog posts in one morning when usually I have to motivate myself to turn up at the blank page (even though writing usually flows once I start). Motivation is great, but inspiration is better. There is flow, excitement, passion, love, and fun in inspiration.

I have, this week, set up a Facebook community group for survivors called The Community for Survivors to Shine. This action was inspired, rather than motivated. I think of this group as something to be nurtured and it gives me such pleasure to think about and discover content to share in it that will inspire the community. Do join us – click the link above 🙂

Do you have a vision that pulls you?

Do share in the comments 🙂

Want some support with your vision?

Check out my coaching programs. I’m here for you!

Do You Have a Personal Vision You Love?

What’s your version of success?

Envisioning a Future You Want

When you have an idea of the future you want for yourself you can begin to manifest it by exploring it with all your senses. Imagine you already have your version of success, whatever that means to you:

Continue reading “Do You Have a Personal Vision You Love?”