Before we jump into today’s blog, we’ve got two quick reminders for you:

And now, on to part 2 of our what to do when you’re stuck at a crossroads blog series!



This is what my inner dialogue used to sound like. Tell me if you can relate:

“I’m SO tired of this job. I feel like every day, I’m just existing. I can’t keep doing this.”

“But I don’t know what else I should be doing! I can’t exactly make a change if I don’t know what that change should be.”

“But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s not the job that’s the problem. Maybe there’s something wrong with me for not being able to enjoy this!”

… sound familiar to any of you?

Being stuck at a crossroads is the equivalent of being wedged between a rock and a hard place:

You know something needs to change, but you can’t figure out what. And until you figure it out, you can’t make a move. So you default to the only thing you can do … which is to keep doing whatever you’ve been doing.

And in that way, you end up on autopilot. Day after day, nothing changes, and you grow steadily more exhausted and frustrated. 

I passed years of my life this way. It’s sort of terrifying how easy it can be for nothing to happen, and yet time still marches on.


This — the existential angst of being immovably stuck between the rock and the hard place — is a very common place to be.

You might think that everyone who ends up here did so by traveling a very unique, singular path. But in my experience, that’s not really true.

Most of us have a VERY similar trajectory that lands us at a crossroads:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

If this at all resembles your own backstory … is it any shock that you find yourself at a crossroads?

You just learned that you’ve spent decades studying and preparing for a life that isn’t capable of fulfilling you. It’s not what you imagined it would be, and yet you still don’t know what you actually want.

Is there any other normal human response to that besides angst, anxiety, overwhelm, and confusion?


Getting un-stuck from the crossroads has just as much to do with what you need to stop doing as what you should start doing.

I’m going to give you two big things I want you to STOP doing, and next week when Kristen concludes this series, she’ll continue with the start doing part.

Thing #1 I want you to stop doing, immediately:

Stop taking responsibility for how much this sucks.

What often keeps people existing between the rock and the hard place is the fact that they believe, somehow, it’s their fault that they ended up there.

They worry that it could be their brokenness keeping them stuck. They fear that they made a fatal error along the way, and if they could only figure out what it was, everything would be fine.

This is so un-true.

If you believe on some level that your flaws, your errors, or your “brokenness” is responsible for your being stuck, then you’ll keep trying to fix the situation instead of move on from it.

So, let me reiterate:

This is not your fault.

Your angst, confusion, overwhelm, apathy, frustration … they’re all signs that the system isn’t working for you. You are not broken. And there is nothing wrong with you.

When you stop taking personal credit for the suckage … you free yourself up to move on from it.


Stop pretending to be someone that you’re not.

Elizabeth Gilbert (famous bestselling author and all-around great person) once said that the two most important words a person can ever say are: “NOT THIS.”

It’s time for you to make some declarations about what you’re NOT and what you’re no longer willing to tolerate or pretend that you enjoy. Such as …

It’s incredibly liberating to declare “NOT THIS!”

Leaving the crossroads in the dust means getting vocal — with yourself, and sometimes with others — about what you just aren’t willing to tolerate anymore.

And until you start acknowledging what’s never going to work for you … don’t expect to take even one step in the right direction.

twitter-bird You don’t get to become who you’re meant to be and take who you used to be along for the ride.

It’s one or the other. And it’s time to pick. You might not know yet everything you do want, but you certainly know what you DON’T want. Start there.

And now, I want to here from you! What things are “NOT THIS!” for you? Will you stop taking responsibility for what sucks? Let me know, in the comments!


If reading long blogs just isn’t your deal, you’re in luck:

We’re now recording our blogs for you!

Here’s Rachel reading this week’s blog:

Much Love,

Rachel (+ Kristen)

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  1. YES! YES! YES! This hits home for me in so many ways. I am not, nor have I ever had the desire to climb the corporate ladder. I am a support person. I love the tactical part of my jobs. I am strategic to a point – but I don’t want to be the head honcho. Why can’t everyone else get that? Why do they always push me to be more than I want to be?

    I am currently an HR Department of One. I prefer working as a team. I miss coworkers to collaborate with.

    Not anymore! Moving forward in a positive direction for ME!

    Thank you!!

    1. Hey Ann! People are always going to push us, if they think we have an aptitude for something, or if they think it somehow “makes sense” for our career trajectory. It’s so easy for other people to advocate for the logical path, since they’re not the ones who are going to have to walk that path! I’m glad you’re willing to let go of what’s never going to work for you!

  2. For me it’s saying NOT THIS to being a manager. People tell me I’m good at it, but I don’t enjoy having to “tell people off” when they break the rules. I hate confrontation with a passion and somehow wound up being in charge of 30+ people, but I’m too soft and don’t enjoy the pressure it brings.

    1. Instead of, “I’m too soft,” I think it would be nicer to say, “I’m a compassionate person who has no interest in confronting people for a living.” There’s nothing wrong with being empathetic! You sound like someone who would rather be collaborative and supportive than a hardass. I think we need more of those kinds of people, anyway! 🙂

  3. I’m always told I should be a teacher or a mother constantly. I do LOVE kids, but I by no means want to be a teacher or a mother. What.So.Ever. I have no desire to do so. So, I am currently a substitute teacher with a direct sales business that I barely participate in. I enjoy being my own boss, but I am tired of only making 50% of my sales and it not being a product enough people in my area want causing me to have to take on multiple things. I love children but only one or two at a time and if I have the right to discipline if it’s needed instead of having say, ‘Oh, Johnny, we don’t punch Sue in the face, now do we? We should…” No. I’m the type of person who will go up to Johnny, very sternly, and ask him why he did the bad behavior, demand a sincere apology to Sue, and him receiving the consequences needed for his actions. However, I don’t like doing that either. I like good kids I can be silly with and will be serious if needed. In other words, it’s not going to happen. My little sister is 5, and she’s the only kid I love to be around.
    Enough is enough.
    Now, if only I can figure out what I am supposed to do and how to get there, I might be somewhere. 🙁
    To be told, I took the Passion Profile quiz multiple times because I couldn’t decide which answer to go with, and apparently, I am a Firestarter and Thriver with a sprinkle of (got it one time) Tribe Member. Lord, be with me.

    1. Lezlie — I get the sense that you might be plagued by over-thinking and analysis paralysis. It sounds like you’ve got multiple things going on, but that none of them are really making you happy. And while it’s natural to want to go from where you are now to being very clear on what you want and how to get there, one of the biggest steps in between is … what are you going to stop doing? If your direct sales business is no fun, and is proving more trouble than it’s worth, it could be time to consider letting it go. There’s no right or wrong answer, or course, but I get the sense that you could likely free up a lot more time and energy for yourself by letting some things go. Just a thought!

  4. I am NOT someone who likes turning out task after task or project after project as if I am a factory, especially if those tasks feel meaningless. I am NOT interested in sitting in what feels like 1,000 meetings a week. I do NOT care for sugar coated conversations and feeling I have to wear an ‘everything is awesome’ mask every day at work.

  5. I have come to realize that it wasn’t me that sucked, but the job, the volunteer-run organization, the social group, the relationship- a few times in my life. Now, I am breaking the habit, spiritually and mentally and emotionally, of ending up in jobs, groups, organizations, or even parts of my marriage where I have to even get to the point of realizing that IT ISN’T ME. Sometimes the things I do to compensate when I think it is my brokenness actually make things worse for everyone. Thanks, again , ladies!

  6. Early in my marriage I got promoted to a manager position, then a director position, so became and have been since then the bread-winner of the family. As I climbed the ladder, the positions became more demanding and more stressful, but I didn’t have support to look at anything else because of the financial impact it would have. As a result, I have jumped from one position to another for the last 5 years trying to find something that feels good, but continuing to end up in the same position of being stressed, uncomfortable, and unhappy. I keep trying to tell myself to just stop getting so worked up and just be heads down and do my job, but it’s not working. This posting rang so true to me. I AM NOT a leader. I AM NOT someone who excels in a high-stress, high-conflict environment. I AM NOT someone who wants to put my job first and my life second. Like you said with someone else “I’m a compassionate person who has no interest in confronting people for a living.” I want to use my kindness and empathy to do good.

    1. It’s very understandable that you’ve felt stressed, Karee! Anyone in your position — in other words, feeling limited because she has a big financial responsibility to her family — would feel stressed out. I’m glad you’ve admitted the truth of how you feel! And maybe you don’t quite believe it yet, but I’ve seen it be true too many times … that people CAN have a job they enjoy AND get paid well. It doesn’t have to be one or the other!

  7. “Most of us have a VERY similar trajectory that lands us at a crossroads”… or the EXACT same! That sounds exactly like me. I have a background in journalism (because writing comes easily to me). Like a majority of journalism students, I went the PR/Marketing route.

    My first full-time job was with a startup company in New Orleans… I loved the creativity, the passion, and the people. I did NOT love the disorganization, the pay, or really my day-to-day job (customer relations + social media). I am an introverted dreamer who loves people, big ideas, and creativity. I do NOT like minutia, meetings, or anything that feels like “busy work” towards someone else’s dream.

    I minored in Psych, so I took a break and completed some courses to apply to grad programs. I moved to Chicago before I even heard back (had enough of my parents’ house!) and took a job with a similar company. It was OK, but I was having some of the same issues. Frequent thoughts of “What’s wrong with me?” “Do I just not like work? That can’t be it!” “What else can I do?” “I can’t afford to not have a steady income!”

    The company was international and moved out of the U.S. within a few months, so I immediately took a contracted position with a company that was supposed to be “SUPER FUN.” It was also super clique-y, and I found myself enjoying the days I could work from home. I liked parts of my job and enjoyed all of the perks + benefits, but marketing was still leaving me feeling empty.

    By the end of the contract, I came to 3 crossroads: 1) Go to grad school for clinical psych [I had deferred] 2) Marketing Job A with a brand new startup; great potential/great risk 3) Marketing Job B with startup that’s further along; great job title; huge increase in salary.

    I felt like #1 wasn’t an option because I wasn’t confident that clinical psychology was the right path for me anymore. I also wasn’t interested in 6+ more years of school and drowning in student debt. I honestly went for option #3 because I knew it was the most sensible next step, given my career history.

    The option I wish I had gone for? None of the above. I really wish I had taken time to reflect and figure out my next step. I wish I had found Clarity on Fire sooner. I am a Firestarter that feels stuck in a career path that I don’t want. I do NOT like marketing, I do not like the typical 9-5 office job (even if it’s a “fun startup”), I do NOT want to work for someone else… and I do NOT know what I want to do. I’m only a couple of months into this job and want to quit every day. I don’t want to seem flakey, and I feel like I can’t afford to quit and figure things out.

    The short course is definitely helping me come to terms with everything. Thank you! (PS. I’ve started considering a career in Life Coaching 🙂

    1. Hey Anna!

      I feel like we have VERY similar trajectories. I also was interested in journalism, so ended up majoring in PR/Communication, and then ended up working in marketing and not enjoying it. And I also applied to grad school for Psych (to become a therapist), but ended up not pursuing that, either. It was around that time that Kristen and I discovered coaching!

      I’m so glad that the PPSC is helping you to find clarity and direction. If you’re interested in talking to either Kristen or me about the potential of life coaching as a career, we’re happy to talk to you! Just email us – [email protected] 🙂

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