10 Subtle Shifts To Answer “What Next?” In Your Career When You’re Burnt Out Or Have Lost Your Confidence


Last week I sat with a former football champion.   “MVP”, “Hall of Fame,” and “Ivy League” were words peppered throughout his biography.   He still physically looks like a competitive athlete, but I could quickly tell he’d lost his champion state of mind.

Three weeks into a new job, he is worried he made the wrong choice.  His anxiety keeps him awake at night.  He told me he is short on patience with his family, and the stress is negatively affecting his relationships—the most important thing in his life.

His request:  “I want to know what to do next.  I want to know if I made the wrong decision by taking this job, and I want to find a career I am passionate about.”

What do you do when the pressure is high, your self-doubt is in overdrive, and you wonder if you will ever feel confident again?

Is this you?

Maybe you lost your job and worry you’ll never find one that you like or one that pays you what you want.

Maybe you started a new job and you’re afraid you won’t succeed.  

Or maybe your company is experiencing financial pressure and it’s dependent on you to save it.

You may be spinning so fast, you don’t know where to begin.


I asked the former football champion, “Did you ever go out on the field and imagine losing as you were warming up?”

He looked at me as though I was crazy, laughed and said, “no way.”

“Then why would you do it in this new game you are starting?”  I could see he could relate to this line of thinking, so I continued.

“Before we can get true answers to your questions, we have to get you thinking and operating like a champion again. “

Why?  Getting your champion mindset loaded is like getting your uniform on and your equipment ready.  It sets you up to be able to identify the work you are passionate about where you can maximize your talent and impact.

If uncovering your ideal work is what you want more than anything, here are the first 10 steps to bring forward your champion state of mind.   

1. See things as they are, but not worse than they are.  Don’t write your own nightmare.  99% of our worries never happen, but we buy into them and make our decisions as if they will.  Your mind cannot get your body to move when it is stuck in a story that is terrifying and depressing.

Commonly created nightmares:

#1 You lose your job and imagine never getting another. Then you lose your home and have to live on the streets. 

#2 You get the new job you wanted, you fail, get fired and the kids have to give up their extracurricular activities.  You lose your home in this nightmare as well.

Your solution:  Get real with the likelihood of your worse-case scenario happening.   You will find it is either completely unlikely or you can deal with it if it did happen. 

Doing this frees up space for a new story and you’ll be able to start hearing your creative solutions.  Just because you are down in the 3rd quarter, doesn’t mean you are going to lose the whole game.

2. Believe your best times are before you.   Your next half is your best half.  What would that look like to be true?  Imagine it’s halftime and you are the coach. What would you tell them?   If you don’t know Google Lou Holtz from Notre Dame and watch one of his inspiring halftime talks.

3. Expect to win. In fact, don’t entertain not winning.  Your mind is like a movie screen playing 24/7.  Whatever movie is playing, your subconscious mind believes and takes literally.  That’s why if you repeatedly see yourself as someone who has made bad decisions, is not achieving enough compared to others or whose prior success was just luck, your subconscious mind feels the stress AND will seek to create just that.  Yikes!  Instead win in your mind first and you will win with your clients, team and family.

4.  Celebrate every small win.  What you focus on expands.  Train your mind for success.  Grab a stack of neon post-it notes.   Write 25 ‘wins’ from your past on each.  Post the notes on the wall in front of your computer or in a notebook (like I do).  Reference your successes daily and ADD to them—no matter how small.

5. Compare yourself ONLY to your personal best.  Michael Jordan, a true champion, said that throughout his years he didn’t compare himself to others.  He compared himself to his own personal best.  Self-judgment and criticism which often come from comparing oneself to others leads to anxiety and fear.  Anxiety and fear translate into sleepless nights, depression, and no progress.  Look at your personal bests so far.  Identify what mindset and actions accounted for them.  This is your success formula.  Use it again.

6. Trust that you are EXACTLY where you are meant to be.  This brings you back to the present.  You may not see the opportunity in your circumstances right now, but be open to finding it.  When you change your perspective from the past or the future to the present, you open yourself to creative solutions, change and real results.

7.  Be your own quarterback.  Own the game.  Don’t be victim to it. Take it into your own hands.  When you’re throwing the football, you don’t look at the opponent who may intercept your ball.  You look at your target.  You own the target.  Do the same with your career.  Pursue your target.

Scott Dinsmore asks, “What work can you NOT do?”  Identify it.  Call the play, and drive it.  Be bold enough to try it.  Overthink it or waver with self-doubt and self-defeating thoughts, you will get sacked.

8. Don’t give up.  Even if you have extreme stress or crisis in your life, you have two choices.  You can let it take over you or you can get more emotionally fit.  Use the challenge, pain, and crisis to get stronger.  My most painful moments have also been my game-changing (interpret life-changing) ones.  They made me dig deep and find out who I am.  I often tell my clients that pain is perfect because it’s calling you to put a stake in the ground and consciously choose to re-vamp your future.

9. Create a compelling future.  Don’t live to survive this moment.  See what it looks like to you to thrive.  Get exc’ited about where you are headed.  What is happening?  Who is in your life?  What are you elated about creating for yourself and others?  What impact have you made?  If you can’t see your compelling future yet, make sure you are signed up at www.ritahyland.com to get my blog post next week.  That’s when we’ll provide you with the steps to uncovering your ideal work.  There will be a free download in there for you as well.

10. Take the leap. Push it.  Keep moving forward.  We all need to grow to feel alive.  Don’t give up.  Get stronger.  Take your next step.  Use your team or create a new one to support you.

Remember this:  You have it within you to be a champion.  Think like one.  Act like one.  Be one.  

Once you have a champion mindset you will be able to gain access to your true gifts and ideal work, and you will be able to maximize your impact.

May this time of your life, be the prime of your life!

Warmly and enthusiastically,


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