Home » Ask the Therapist » Timeline


Asked by on with 1 answer:

My ideal timeline was supposed to be the following:

2011 – Get my bachelor’s degree at the age of 21
2013 – Get my master’s degree at the age of 23
2013 – 2017 => Dive into career

However I joined kindergarten school almost a year late. Thus,

2012 – I graduated from engineering school with a bachelor’s degree
2013 – 2015 => After doing nothing for a year, I finally joined a grad school
2015 – 2016 => Extended my master’s degree graduation by a year
2016 – 2017 => Got a job at a startup – and at present at the verge of perhaps losing that job in few months.

It seems that the fact that my career was supposed to be kick-started in 2013, and it’s about to “begin” in 2016/2017, I wake up everyday with a strong feeling of “How I have late started my life by 4 years”. This feeling makes me feel old and unworthy. It gives me anxiety – on how people around me are scaling new heights and how I am stuck at the very beginning at an age I envisioned I would have had all figured out for myself.

Over last few months, I haven’t been sleeping well. All I dream about is the regret of not being tuned to “time” i.e. the usual “What Ifs” pertaining to social and career choices. How do I decouple myself from the thought that I am not a late bloomer? And by using the term “late bloomer”, I consider myself one by looking deep inside of me.

Thank you. (From the USA)


Answered by on -


 Starting kindergarten late isn’t what has thrown your life timeline off — but holding to a rigid timeline and berating yourself for not keeping to an arbitrary expectation has. I’d highly recommend some individual therapy with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who can give you specific tools to confront, what sounds to me, like obsessive thoughts.

In the mean time you may want to take advantage of a book called The Resilience Factor. It has many of the tools needed to help challenge this type of thinking.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral


Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Timeline. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 25 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.