You're becoming convinced that no one wants your services -- at least enough to pay for them! You're ready to give up. Are you being negative -- or facing a tough market?

1. Take a reality check. Are others in your field experiencing similar frustrations? Do you resemble those who succeed or are you a maverick?

Research has demonstrated that some people are misfits for specific places, jobs and organizations. And some products will be misfits for some markets.

2. Reframe your question. Instead of "Should I give up?" ask, "What are my options? Which option fills me with the most energy?"

3. Review your game plan. When tactics and techniques don't work, you may need a new strategy, i.e., "Who am I and where do I want to go?"

4. Honor your feelings. After a big loss, or a series of defeats, many people need downtime to regroup. But when you become too negative to act, you're probably depressed -- a signal you need specialized help.

5. Rule out economic explanations. In his classic book, The Making of a Psychiatrist, Dr. David Viscott described a true case in a prominent hospital: A patient's leg pain was diagnosed as psychological, delaying x-rays that eventually revealed a broken bone.

Similarly, consultants sometimes diagnose business and career crises as "negative thoughts" or "lack of confidence."

Sometimes they're right. But sometimes you visualize clear skies and, when you open the door, it's raining. Better to open an umbrella than blame yourself for lack of sunshine.

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Goodwin, MBA, PhD, helps midlife professionals move to a Second Career on a First Class ticket. She offers consulting and resources through her website Ten secrets of mastering a life change: