Successful & Satisfied – Terry McDougall

“When we are outsourcing or asking somebody else to tell us what success looks like, we lose connection with who we are inside.” Terry McDougall

As often witnessed, success requires substantial sacrifice on many fronts. Considering the time and effort spent in order to be a high achiever, success can easily be a place of misery and frustration for many professionals. That is why our guest today, Terry McDougall insists that professionals define success according to their terms. According to Terry, doing this will enable high-achieving professionals to enjoy a balanced life that is happy and fulfilling.

Terry Boyle McDougall is an Executive & Career Coach and CEO of Terry B. McDougall Coaching. She helps high-achieving professionals remove obstacles that keep them stuck so they can enjoy more success and satisfaction in their lives and careers. Before becoming a coach, Terry was a long-time corporate marketing executive where she led teams, developed strategies, and advised senior leaders to drive business results. She is the author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms She is also the host of the Marketing Mambo podcast.

In today’s episode, our guest will tell us more about how to be in balance by being successful while at the same time enjoying fulfillment and happiness. She will also talk about the importance of being aware of what we want and defining what our success looks like.

Listen in!








  • I work with people that I call high achievers who are successful but not satisfied. [3:00]
  • Very often people get into the trappings of success and pay a very high price for that in terms of stress, anxiety, burnout, health, and relationship problems. [3:18]
  • I truly believe that we can get things in balance, we can kind of get into a flow where not only can we be successful, but we can be happy as well. [3:36]
  • I help people to shift the mindset to, first of all, believe that’s possible, and also to start to learn skills, so that they can have more impact without working as hard. [3:47]
  • Many of the issues that people have at work are as a result of what we learn at school such as delayed gratification, looking for validation in other people, and learning to ask the question. [4:48]
  • When we are outsourcing or asking somebody else to tell us what success looks like, we lose connection with who we are inside. [5:12]
  • Because I work with people that are already successful, I try to help them start to shift, where they look for validation away from the external and reconnect with their inner wisdom and their desires. [5:31]
  • I believe that we can show up authentically and be who we are, use the strengths and the gifts that come to us naturally, and still be successful and way happier than we would if we were trying to step into someone else’s definition of success. [5:50]
  • I am seeing some leaders that recognize that they’re going to have to do things differently in the workplace. [7:55]
  • Leaders need to be able to tap fully into the talents and abilities of their staff and the hybrid work environment that many companies are going into may present a challenge. [9:00]
  • I had a job where I worked for a foreign company and I was the only out-of-country leader that was on the senior team. [10:49]
  • So often it was me on the zoom call or the conference call, and there was so much that was lost in the context. [11:00]
  • It was really up to me to sort of bridge that gap and I think that there was a lack of awareness on the part of many of the people in the meetings and the leadership to realize what my experience was like, and it was frustrating. [11:12]
  • I think that there is sort of unintended consequences with education because it trains us to think in a certain way and it trains us to look to the head of the classroom for our signals. [13:09]
  • We are the final arbiters of what’s right for us and I believe that each of us is here on earth for a reason. [14:04]
  • One thing that can cause us to behave in ways that aren’t aligned with who we are authentically is fear of rejection, fear of criticism, fear of judgment. [14:31]
  • I have just come to the conclusion that nobody has a right to judge us because they have no idea why we’re here. [14:44]
  • One of the things that I see as a coach is that when you’re working with these high achieving people, they’re able to do a lot of things but it doesn’t mean that everything that they’re able to do is something that they like to do. [15:05]
  • It is natural for friends and family sometimes to have that concern because they are looking at the lowest common denominator. [18:09]
  • Commercial break. [19:30]
  • What I want to teach people is how to start reestablishing that thread with their inner wisdom and their true desires. [20:52]
  • When people come and they’re in pain, a lot of times, I’ll ask them what it is that they want, and they will either say that they don’t know or they will say they know exactly what they want and reasons why it can’t happen. [21:05]
  • My advice to everyone is to separate these two things. [21:36]
  • When people say they don’t know what they want, they do know what they want but they’ve got a very good internal defense mechanism to keep them from being disappointed if they admit the thing they want. [21:45]
  • It is okay to say it out loud and then separately figure out some of the things that you could do to make that happen. [22:00]
  • The reason why I think a lot of times people don’t admit to what they want or immediately kind of smother it with all the reasons why they can’t have it is because they don’t want to be disappointed. [22:25]
  • Once you start imagining one or two steps you could take in the direction of that dream, that you learn more and start to see more opportunities and you start heading in a direction that is authentic and that is where you find happiness. [22:49]
  • The world is a miraculous place and we are connected energetically with everything around us and I have seen some truly miraculous things happen. [24:10]
  • You just have to be out there and be open to starting to see how you could do something different, and how the thing that you want to do is possible and you could be one degree away from the person that’s going to give you exactly what you want. [25:30]
  • There are opportunities where you can talk to somebody at the right time, and find that you might be somebody that they would design a job around. [27:30]
  • About how people can approach others when they’re networking, I always say that you don’t need to even know what you want because it is very common for us to not know what we don’t know. [27:57]
  • If there are people doing something that is what you’d like to do, reach out to them and get an introduction to them. [28:18]
  • The other thing that I say especially when people are not sure of what they want is paying attention to when you feel jealous because that is your inner self saying what it wants. [28:48]
  • Each person out there, all we deserve to be happy and so get tuned in with what would make you happy. Start taking some baby steps in that direction because you deserve it. [31:34]


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