The slump

Highs and lows

It’s inevitable and unwanted. We all have slumps.

Some of us might notice them occasionally. Others, quite frequently.

It can be defined as a period of decline or deterioration. A deterioration of whatever it is you find yourself best at or most punctual. A slump will sneak up on you gradually over a matter of days before it finally hits you profoundly and you then find yourself in a rip throwing you further out at sea with no immediate way of getting out of it.

It’s at this point (when you’ve noticed your slump) that you need to find some small wins and actually appreciate them as you execute such.

Small wins

We all have small wins. They occur when you take the rubbish out, when you do the dishes that have accumulated, when you clean a small section of a festered state of a shelf or even taking a short walk that you’ve missed for some days now. You know, I find getting bills paid off a very gratifying and instant win more than most other chores!

These are mental exercises as much as they are physical. When you complete these little chores you’re ticking mental boxes in your mind. And when you tick these boxes in your mind, you are then generating momentum. I’m sure we all know what momentum does for anything, that’s correct, it generates movement forward.

I want you to take the next opportunity you are feeling a little down or unproductive and put yourself to the test! Pick one quick job, something that won’t take you more than 5 minutes. I want you to see how you feel the moment you have completed that job. You might find yourself still moving 30 minutes after that initial job. You might find your mindset in a much more upbeat state. Give it try.

You can’t stand on top of Mt Everest forever

I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall how many times I’ve looked at myself and thought “how did I get to this point?” You’ve got accustomed to achieving small wins over a period of time to then almost suddenly find yourself several steps back from where you recently were. You instantly look for reasons to blame your current position on. But only moments after you know all to well that you are to blame for this decline in performance.

We have a hard time pacing ourselves in life. We seek the ultimate, we crave gratification, we dare to go one more. But it often appears that we struggle to take our progress incrementally. And to also stop and appreciate the current state we’re in throughout the millions of moments we have had to get to where we are.

No matter who you are, you can’t stand on top of Mt Everest forever. In that, you should take solace in moments. Stop what you are doing and drink in the accomplishment, no matter the size, because time is always being stolen from you and you will never get that moment back. A picture sure, but a picture can only show you segments of a time. LIVE in the present and EMBRACE an accomplishment of yours.

Enjoy those mountain top moments

Self sabotaging

A lot of points we’ve covered so far can be put under the category of self sabotage.

It is the subconscious monster that tries to ooze it’s way into every beings soul. It will creep up on us through the vessel of time itself. In fact, it uses time to distort our paths of success and accomplishment to only drag us back to places we’ve known all to well in the past. Places we’ve tried to improve and move on from.

It’s these self sabotaging habits that we need to try and be aware of. You might find yourself eating a wholesome array of foods for months that has now turned you into a productive, lean and energetic athlete. But it almost appears to you in a flash, that you’ve been incrementally consuming more calories over the past few weeks. One day at a time you’ve slowly told yourself that all this good work has allowed you to treat your mouth pleasure a little more often now. And you’d be right. But, this self sabotaging tyrant has convinced you to treat yourself daily, like you’d done so in the past. So you almost suddenly, like being transported 3 weeks into the future, find yourself standing on the scales 3 kg’s heavier.

This is a common problem, this can certainly be a heart crushing swindler, self sabotage. But these are the moments where we need to be present with ourselves. Take the steering wheel back into our hands, and drive back the small wins that we know will set us back on the path of discipline.

Conclusion

So we now see that small wins are a tool for many a situation!

Whether we need a pick me up from a current low place, a reset from a deviated path or a kick start into a more productive self. We can use this tool to shape our life for the better, or at the very least, feeling of fulfilment.

Closing thought

If you only had one weekend, once a year, to spend time with 3 individuals you know, who would they be? Ask yourself, what qualities in them have brought you to this decision.

Can you adopt these qualities in yourself?

Nick Donnellan

Self awareness is progression

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