What If You’re Never Satisfied With What You Have?

Two weeks ago I heard a quote that stopped me in my tracks: “The things that ‘aren’t enough’ today are the exact things you longed for 5 years ago.”


It rang so true it hurt. I’m a high achiever. I want to succeed, and never settle. I’ve spent  a lot of my life striving for important goals, and then the goal after that, and the goal after that. But time after time once I’ve reached a goal, it doesn’t satisfy me nearly as much as I thought it would when I set the goal.

The problem isn’t the goal’s fault. And it’s not that I’ve changed and don’t care about that goal anymore. I realized the reason the goal doesn’t satisfy me is because I’m not letting myself spend any time in a state of satisfaction. I’m completely skipping over the “savoring” part of the journey, to move right on to finding whatever is next.

That might be a great recipe for a lot of awards (and a lot of burnout, let’s be honest). But it’s not a great recipe for a satisfied, fulfilled life.

Since my 4th bout with cancer in the height of the COVID lockdowns, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the balance of success and fulfillment in my life. My goals are no longer just to achieve, but to also to enjoy the experience. To savor the satisfaction of accomplishment (and yes, I do have a little dance I do with my husband when I bring in a new client!).

One way I’m working on this “goal savoring” technique is to change the internal narrative I tell myself. Instead of saying “yeah, of course I got that done. Obviously. I set out to do it and I did it.” I now try to say “dang, Courtney! You got that done!” I’m not surprised I accomplished what I set out to do, but I take a moment to be proud. I try to think of the little 8-year-old Courtney still inside me, and think about how crushed she would have been if she’d gone up to an adult and said “Look! My book of poetry won an award at the school fine arts competition!” and the adult had responded “yeah, of course it did,” and turned away. Why would I treat myself like that?!

The things you have today, the person you are today… 5-years-ago you would probably be so proud. And maybe even a little amazed. Don’t diminish your progress as something that was inevitable. It was the result of your vision and your work and your smarts.

What’s your goal for this week? Whatever it is, when you cross it off your list, don’t just shrug and think “okay, on to the next”. Acknowledge your achievement, and heck, maybe do a little dance. 😉




How To Keep Your Sense of Self After Losing Your Job

Because you spend so many hours of your life at work, your job can feel like an important part of Who You Are as a human. You first meet someone and they ask “what do you do?” meaning “what’s your job?” So if you lose your job, it can feel like a major blow to your sense of self. Who even are you if you aren’t a Fill-in-the-Blank right now?


If you’ve lost your job and you’re feeling a bit lost, it’s important to remember that your job is just one piece of your career, and your career is just one piece of you.


First, it can help to remember that losing a job is often times about much more than just you (and sometimes it isn’t even about you at all!) When I was laid off from my very first job, I was heartbroken. I believed that if I had just been better, they would have kept me. Luckily my stepmom is a career coach, and she helped me see that the market for our business was changing, and that’s why the company laid off not just me but five of the newest people. She taught me the phrase “last hired, first fired,” and helped me understand that it wasn’t personal.


Losing a job is rarely the personal insult we think it is. It can have much more to do with the state of the industry, the finances of the business, and the current needs of a team.

If you’ve lost your job and you’re feeling a bit lost, it’s important to remember that your job is just one piece of your career, and your career is just one piece of you.

Next, it can help to shift your thinking from “it’s not about me” to “here’s what is about me!” Remind yourself that you *chose* your career. It wasn’t an accident (even if you don’t remember all the tiny decisions along the way that led to you ending up where you are.) You had the power to make decisions, and you chose what to study or spend your time learning. You chose which jobs to interview for along the way, and which to accept or turn down. You chose how to present yourself to colleagues and clients.


You have been the driving force behind your career so far, and you are still the driving force behind your career. Getting to where you are wasn’t an accident of fate, it was something you worked for and earned. And you will do it again, because you’re not powerless.


A woman came up to me at an event recently and wanted to talk to me about a job loss that had happened two years ago but was still weighing on her mind. She said “when they fired me, my boss criticized me for things he said I did that weren’t even true. I had just had a great review 6 months earlier! It’s made me doubt that I’m even a good judge of my own work.” It took awhile, but we were able to realize together that if her boss was holding on to beliefs that weren’t even true, why should she trust his judgement of her at all? I


Your job is not you. It’s a piece of you, but so is your ability to move forward. So focus on that, and the job part will more easily fall into place!

How to Keep Office Conflict from Bringing You Down

With work stress at an all-time high, office conflict can start to build. And office conflict can lead to fighting, burnout, and even employees quitting.

But to keep office conflict from sabotaging your work success, it’s key to learn the difference between “people-related conflict” and “task-related conflict.” When you can keep conflict in perspective by focusing on task-related conflict, you’ll not only reduce office arguments, but also be more successful at work.

What Young Employees Get Wrong About Asking for Advice

In my research on adaptability, the youngest employees (under age 35), were the LEAST likely to ask for advice, help, or mentorship when making decisions in an uncertain situation.

Fear of “looking stupid” may be a factor causing young employees to hold back. Or feeling like they should already know the answer might contribute. But whatever the cause, young employees put themselves at a disadvantage when they don’t ask for advice.

The research is clear – getting guidance from other people who have different experiences than you helps you make better decisions. Holding back on getting input from others because you think it makes you look more competent has the OPPOSITE effect.

Check out the research in my new book ReVisionary Thinking, wherever you buy your books (including Amazon and Barnes and Noble).

How to Find Fulfillment in your Job

If you want to feel fulfilled in your job, you need to keep that spark of excitement, even once you’ve been in your role for years. How do you stay fulfilled and find your work meaningful? There are two simple ways to reframe your mindset and continue to be excited by your job: Think Back and Tie Together. Learn how to follow those steps and get more enjoyment out of your work week!

5 Advantages of Accepting Change (Instead of Fighting It)

The world is always changing: trees grow and trees get cut down. The “latest” technology becomes outdated in months. Even YOU aren’t the same person you were last year.


We know change is a given. But one of the hardest things for many people to grasp about change is that it happens with or without your consent. You can fight against changes, or you can begin accepting change and figure out a way to make the most of it. The easiest way to get on board with change is by recognizing the advantages that change brings.


Five Advantages of Accepting Change

1) More time.

Most people who resist change find that their resistance efforts are futile. Your time is important, and it could be put to so much better use. So, why waste time resisting change?


2) Less misery.

Change may feel miserable at first, but fighting a losing battle also results in misery. Getting on board with change produces less stress in the long run, and gives you a chance to make something good come of it.


3) Increased progress.

When you get on board with change, you have the ability to make the most of your new situation. Change offers new opportunities and choices.


4) More control.

Fighting change reinforces a sense of lack of control over life circumstances. When you turn your focus inward and spend your time controlling what you can control in the situation, you’re likely to realize a more favorable outcome.


5) More opportunities.

Change can feel paralyzing. But successful people are more likely to use change as a springboard to a new, brighter future. No, those opportunities don’t happen by default. It takes work to discover them and nurture them. But it only happens if you actually reframe change as full of possibility.


It’s okay to feel intimidated by change. The unknown is always scary! But the quicker you commit to taking that first step forward into change, instead of trying to avoid it, the quicker you’ll get to take advantage of the success that change can bring.

Get Comfortable with Change using this Strategy from the ReVisionary Thinking book

Author of the book ReVisionary Thinking Courtney Clark reads an excerpt from Chapter 1. Learn how to develop a “tolerance for ambiguity” that will help you be successful in uncertain and new situations. Tolerance for ambiguity is a key predictor of success even when you’re dealing with change.

How to Generate Solutions to a Problem

How do you come up with GOOD solutions when you’re faced with a problem? There’s a simple, 2-word question you can ask that’s guaranteed to help you be more successful.

Courtney reads an excerpt from her upcoming book, ReVisionary Thinking, that includes a case study from Procter & Gamble’s product development team, and how they broke the mold by asking questions.

The book is on shelves May 17th, 2022!

6 Signs You Need More Time With Friends

Do you find it harder to maintain relationships when you can’t see friends face-to-face very often? Many people do, and the lack of in-person connections has made the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic difficult. Fewer parties and gatherings, quarantines and lockdowns, wondering who shares your same safety levels… it’s enough to make even the strongest friendships start to feel like they’re more of a “chore” than a gift.


But that’s a real problem.


Having people you can lean on has been scientifically linked to higher happiness levels and a lower risk of illness. So whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, whether you have 100 friends or just 2 BFFs, whether you prefer to talk to friend’s every day or only sporadically, friendships are important.


If you’ve been prioritizing health over friendships these past 2 years, that’s totally okay. But these 6 behaviors are important signs you need to spend a little more time with friends (even if it’s over Zoom!).


1. You Feel Burned Out

Burnout is a commonly misunderstood feeling. We often think of burnout as an extreme form of feeling busy, but burnout is in fact more closely related to a feeling of melancholy. Burnout comes from a lack of meaning and enthusiasm, not too much stress. Spending time with friends, doing something outside your regular work routine and home routine, can help reignite some missing excitement in your life.


2. Your Partner Repeats Six Little Words

If your partner says “you already told me about that” more than three times in a week, that’s a sign you’re missing another outlet. Most of us need more than one close confidante to bounce our thoughts and feelings off of, because different people provide different kinds of support and feedback. If you’ve been repeating stories to your partner (I’m so guilty of this!), you’re looking for a style of support you haven’t gotten. Time to phone a friend!


3. You’re Bingeing Netflix

Streaming service is a handy companion, but not as good as a real friend. Especially in a pandemic, and extra-especially in the winter when it’s cold, it’s easy to fall into a routine of hunkering down instead of reaching out to someone. But reruns aren’t old friends, even when they seem comforting. Instead of watching a fun show solo, can you recruit a friend to watch, too, and chat about it afterward?


4. You Feel Tired Thinking About Hanging Out

If thinking about being around your friends makes you feel excited but EXHAUSTED, that’s a sign you need more friend time. You’re out of practice of being social, so it feels overwhelming. But that’s not an excuse to avoid it (like exercise!) It just means you need to start slowly and build up your tolerance for human interaction.


5. You Start Friend Time With *This* Phrase…

The phrase “oh my gosh, what’s going on with you?!?!” sounds like a normal way to kick off conversation with a friend, right? Wrong. If you don’t even know enough to ask specific questions like “What’s going on with your new job?” or “How is little Olivia dealing with that difficult teacher?”, you’re too out of touch. This was my warning sign midway through last year, when it became obvious I hadn’t been doing a good enough job knowing even the basics of what my friends were struggling with or celebrating. We deserve to be able to lean on one another, but we can’t if we don’t know “what’s going on.”


6. You Don’t Miss Your Friends

If you’ve gone so long without seeing your friends that you don’t even feel sad about it, that’s the biggest warning sign of all. It’s a little bit like being hungry: early hunger is a gnawing pain in your stomach. But if you wait long enough without eating, the discomfort disappears. It’s like you aren’t even hungry anymore! But your body is still in need of food, you just ignored the pain so long that the warning sign went away. If you’ve stopped missing your friends (assuming the relationships are healthy and reciprocal!), you’ve gone way too long without support. Try sending a short text to a long-time friend, one of those who won’t bombard you with questions but will always be there to pick up where you left off.


Friendships serve a purpose in our lives, providing us with morale support, sounding boards, and even making us physically healthier. If you’ve been neglecting friendships, maybe it’s time to make them a little bit more of a priority. Not just for your sake, but because your friends need you, too.



Why Your Home Renovation is Making you SO Frustrated

Sure, they’re costly, noisy, and time-consuming. But home renovations can also get under your skin because they’re out of your control.


Here’s why doing a reno can be maddening (even when they’re exciting!), and some steps you can take to keep yourself calm during the demolition drama.