currently in: Ronda, Spain

I hit a slump

For the past week I’ve been down.  

Couldn’t get out of bed on time.  

Spent hours endlessly browsing youtube and facebook.  

I didn’t feel motivated to do my work.  

I procrastinated with projects and with my taxes.  

I didn’t submit a pitch to speak at an upcoming event.  

And a new online course I created didn’t take off as I had expected it to.  Damn.

Ever felt down?

Ever just let your inbox and voicemail pile up?

Have you put off tackling large projects?

Ever not do something you told yourself you would?

I know how it feels. It feels like shit.

As I write this, I can say that I have made it out of the slump and I would like to share with you my observations…

First off, it’s okay.

You are amazing and I congratulate you on living your life with purpose and having a desire to do something meaningful.

Don’t get down on yourself for being down.

Just be with it, and then be okay with it happening.

I feel that we are misled – we are often misled by our friends, by what we see on TV and the internet, and also by ourselves.

It is perfectly normal to procrastinate.  It’s totally cool to be lazy, and it’s just fine to get depressed.

I would guess that most people have these feelings from time to time.  Yes, some more than others, but to pretend they don’t exist is, well, bullshit.

Life is full of challenges.  Life can be hard.  Things can get tough.

But life can also be amazingly amazing!  It can be fun.  It can be adventurous… and it can be rewarding.

It’s the ebb and flow.  It’s the yin and yang.  It’s the ups and downs.  It’s the natural cycles of the universe.

I think the sooner we can accept the way things are, the sooner we can progress, get out of our slumps, and move forward.

After almost a week of feeling pretty low, I realized I was doing two things.

Thing #1 – Comparing Myself to Others

With the all the hours I spent browsing people’s facebook statuses, looking at other people’s photos, and watching a lot of youtube videos, I realized I was comparing myself to everyone.  I was constantly sizing myself up – and being in my “lower self”, I usually didn’t size up very well.

Ever found yourself browsing people’s photos on facebook only to leave you thinking about how much your life stinks?

DON’T DO THAT!

People aren’t posting photos of themselves unkempt, un-showered, and depressed, eating crappy food while they procrastinate on things they should be doing with their life.

Most people just posts their “highlights” – Don’t you?

Due to societal conditioning and other such things, we are often taught that it is bad to show our “dark side”, or are “low times”…. so we put on mask and pretend that life is just like some delicious ice cream, that always tastes good and never runs low.

That my friends is just not true.

Lesson: Don’t compare yourself to others.  Realize that everyone is dealing with their own stuff and trying to figure life out as well.

What to do: Accept who you are.  Accept the ups and downs of life and don’t get too high when you’re up and don’t get too low when you’re down.  Don’t get attached.  Just let it pass.

Affirmation: “Even though I (fill in the blank with the ‘negative’ thing), I completely love and accept myself.”  Repeat this a few times throughout the day(s) and you will notice your feelings start to dissipate.

Thing #2 – Emotional Expectations of Things to Come

I’ve spent nearly a year and a half working on a new business.  I am still working on it.  (mini lesson: things take time).  I was, and I still am, constantly creating images of the way things will be and how awesome everything will turn out.

This can be good and it can be bad.

Good because I am a strong believer in visualizing a desired outcome and in getting excited and passionate about our work, but bad, because when things don’t turn out the way we planned, we can get down.

Some people get so down, they quit.

DON’T QUIT!

Keep moving forward.  Keep making adjustments.  Keep progressing.

When sales didn’t come in at the rate I expected them to, I was depressed.  But why did I fall so low?  Probably because the only image I held in my head was of sales through the roof – so when sales weren’t through the roof, I started heading into my slump.

Visualization Meets Reality: a better thing to do would have been to hope for sales through the roof, but plan for there to be no sales at all.  This, I feel, is a much more zen-like approach.  Think about it… if there are sales through the roof, I am okay with that, and if there are no sales, I am okay with that too.

Instead, all I thought about was sales through the roof.

Lesson: Don’t be so emotionally attached to things happening exactly as you imagined them to.

What to do: Accept whatever happens.  Hope for things to be awesome, but plan for them to not go as planned.  This way, you will be okay with either scenario and you will be able to pick back up, make adjustments, and continue to press forward on your path of growth and awesomeness.

Affirmation:

You are Fucking Amazing!

Seriously – put this on your bathroom mirror and read it to yourself often!  Bonus Tip: use dry-erase markers for positive affirmations on bathroom mirrors (see video: You are a Warrior).

As I write this now, I am getting things done!  Last night I caught up on emails and did my monthly profit and loss statement (which I had previously procrastinated on), I filed an extension for my taxes, and I had some time to reflect on what had gotten me down and depressed.

Today was great!  The weather was about 80 degrees and the sun was shining :)  I worked this morning from 10am-4pm, drove home with the windows down and some great music, laid out in the sun, and then I walked barefoot and sang along with my favorite music.

The next time you find yourself in a slump, please refer back to this post.  Or watch the warrior video.

I hope this is helpful :-)

How do you get out of slumps?

About Matt

I'm a location-independent entrepreneur, passionate about life-long learning & personal development. Co-founder @ LLC University. Spiritual vantage point. Systems-thinker. Read more about me here: More details.

8 comments

  1. I hear you on this, man. I think the biggest thing, as you mention, is to just be okay with feeling down. Beating yourself about being in a slump doesn’t help at all, just makes it worse. Glad you’re back up and kicking ass again. More power to ya!

    • I am coming to realize that more and more as well. Beating ourselves up when we are down is a highly unproductive thing to do. Shorting those lows and extending those highs is my aim, as it seems life will bring a little bit of both. Thanks man !

  2. I fall into slumps very often. While I’m still on the lookout for what triggers them, I’m getting better at getting out at will. My secret is to have an experience that is intensely stimulating – mentally, physically, emotionally, or some combination. It also seems to work best when the experience is creative, or at least constructive, in nature.

    The first time this clicked for me, I was in a pretty bad slump. I was burned out from working 12-hour days, depressed from a failing relationship with my live-in girlfriend, and pissed about my lack of progress toward my goals. What got me out of it was windshield wipers.

    Seriously.

    The wiper arms on my trusty purple Saturn stopped doing their thing, making it nearly impossible to get to work when it rained, which it was doing all week. So I grabbed my wrench set, popped the hood, and got to work. I’m not a gifted mechanic, so even a simple job like this took quite a bit of brain power. But, within an hour I had fixed the wipers and my slump.

    Somehow, the process of working with my hands and figuring out how to make something work was just what I needed. My mood was now great and I suddenly had answers for the 12-hour day problem and the relationship issues. I took my new-found energy and put together a plan of action that jump-started my goal-work.

    Most importantly, I made the connection between taking constructive, stimulating action and getting out of a rut. Now I have a blueprint for getting my ass in gear whenever I need to.

    Good post here, Matt. I’m always a fan when people show their weakness along with a solution or two. Despite how we may feel sometimes, our trials and troubles are hardly unique to us. Being human is a tricky, messy thing and we’ve got to stick together.

    • Love the story about the windshield wipers!! Sometime we need those physical things to get us out of the mental boxing match, where it’s us vs. us… we just keep punching ourselves and beating ourselves up. Physicalness can help take us out of that crappy mental space!

      I’ve been practicing meditation as well as being more present. Working on quieting my thoughts is something I will be working on for years to come ;)

      As I grow and time moves on, I realize that we put too much pressure on results coming quick. If you look at nature, it seems many things take time to grow and evolve. When we take on personal development, we take on a lot. We really are transmuting and changing many aspects of ourselves & our old energies. Shit takes time man. But people don’t realize that time passes anyway… so why not spend it on improving the one thing that drives our lives: us :-)

      • Thanks, I like telling that story too. It was a powerful learning experience for me!

        “But people don’t realize that time passes anyway… so why not spend it on improving the one thing that drives our lives: us :-)”

        That’s too good, I had to tweet that shit.

        • LOL, that is a pretty good tweetable! I think about that all the time when I get frustrated that results don’t show right away. The truth is, they never do. As marketers and people who understand hard work and hustle, it’s the patient ones who consistently put in the work over the years that get the results they were originally inspired by. Shit never comes overnight. Or even ‘overyear’. I’m willing to put in the time… I’m still going be a alive for another 75-80 years… it’s well worth it :-)

  3. A good question to ask when in a bad mood: “If I truly and deeply loved myself, how would I act right now?”

    Of course, the trick is to remember this when you’re in a slump. I have a text file that I keep around just for that. I keep a list of things in a text file. Here it is:

    1. Hug Yourself. Change your thoughts into kind and loving ones.
    2. Do EFT on yourself about accepting your bad mood, and being ready to change
    3. Do Sedona Method
    4. Dance to a great song

    If still in a bad mood, repeat the steps!

    Take a shower, as well!

    The highest frequency is to GO OUT IN NATURE!

    This is a great post, by the way. Enjoyed it, Matt!

    • Going out in nature is definitely a big one man, I totally agree! I like the shower one too.. symbolic of “washing it off” !

      Josh my man, you got some good stuff here! Accept yourself, tapping, Sedona, and daning !! Yea man! Thanks for adding some value here man! I’m sure there are many people that can learn from this list of yours :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *