Thursday, June 17, 2010

When in a slump

This post is coming out two days later than usual.  I'm in what baseball players call a slump.  I felt like I haven't had a hit in while.

During the last week I have done the following:
-Forgot a meeting
-Missed a deadline
-Spent too much time online
-Watched depressing television (the evening news)
-Swallowed myself in pity
-Stopped drinking from good books and instead been drinking an extra glass of wine
-Repeated in my head, "maybe I'm not smart enough for this job"

Why is this downward spiral happening?  Maybe its because last week I had not one, but two instances where people told me they don't like the work I'm doing.  Maybe I'm using those negative people as a scapegoat for my slump.  Actually it's my own fault.  I shutdown my ability to do work that matters.

Steven Pressfield call this shutdown the "resistance."  The resistance is the little voice in your head that keeps your head down, and encourages you to follow instructions.  The resistance lives in fear and doesn't hesitate to shut us down at the first sign of possible derision or the first hint of conceivable putdowns. 

I'm finding that your mind is terribly powerful, more powerful than I imagined.  Your mind controls where you go.  Are you going to go up?  Or down?

So how do we overcome our slump?
  1. Don't feed the resistance.  This means control your thoughts.  If you think you're going to fail, you have a good chance of being a prophet.  Up above I wrote that I repeatedly thought,  "Maybe I'm not good enough to do my job".  You are what you think about. 
  2. Acknowledge the resistance - recognize that its there, and then we walk to the podium and do the work.  We acknowledge the resistance, so that we can ignore it.
  3. Write a blog post about overcoming a slump (seems to be working)
  4. Don't watch the evening news - (When is the last time you felt uplifted by the news?)
  5. Read good books that cause you to grow professionally and personally.
  6. Surround yourself by people that encourage you.  
Have any other good ideas?  I'd like to hear them.  Post your ideas in the comments section.

    1 comment:

    1. While I know all too well how you are feeling, I regularly get knocked low (most times by the voice in my own head, which you know as the "resistance") I've discovered that putting on the Ipod w/ headphones and rocking out to the music only I can hear is oddly uplifting.
      The other option is to pick and choose what part of the resistance might be your body saying "Dude, take a break, you DON'T have to be everything to everybody!"
      You can be in a blogging slump - it's YOUR blog, you control it. Maybe you aren't good enough to do your job, TODAY, but odds are you were great yesterday, and you'll be awesome tomorrow. So what if today sucks a little. Everyday can't be wine and roses.
      Lastly the news? Hello! Don't watch it.