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career and depression

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Did you recently achieve something great but were surprised to find that you were…depressed after? For years (or a lifetime?) you envisioned this day, and now that it’s here, it doesn’t feel the way you thought it would. You thought you’d feel a deep sense of satisfaction. You thought you’d feel complete. You thought you’d feel almost a golden glow around you—like everyone could see that something had changed in you. But, instead, you feel down. On top of feeling down, you get upset with yourself for not feeling all the wonderful things you think you “should” be experiencing right now.


Can I just say that the above-described scenario is just one slice the big pie of being an adult. We can often feel, for lack of better words, blue-balled in moments when we thought we’d feel a release. Many things don’t quite live up to what we want them to be. That’s why it’s so important to find small bursts of joy—to pause and appreciate the little things—throughout every day, because the “big” moments can leave us surprisingly unsatisfied. We can put so much pressure on them that there’s no way they could possibly live up to our expectations.


Try not to be too hard on yourself for not wanting to pop champagne after your big win. Don’t jump to the conclusion that something is wrong with you if you don’t feel the way that you thought you would. Depression following success is actually incredibly common. And, the truth is that, while you may not feel the burst of happiness you thought you would the day of the victory, you’ll probably, instead, feel it shine its blessings on your life in small ways for years to come. But more on that later. Here are reasons you might feel depressed after success.


It can be anti-climactic

The moment itself can be quite anti-climactic. Everyone else may not recognize how they should conduct themselves in your big moment. I remember once, I had to give a talk at a huge conference—over 300 people were there. I’d prepared for months. I had all my cute jokes in there. I had moments I really thought would land with the crowd. Then, the big day came and…they scheduled my talk at the same time that the buffet table went up. So people were walking around, refilling their plates, and eating while I was speaking.

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