How To Cheer Yourself On When You’re In A Slump
Life is made up of constant ups and downs, and sometimes we occasionally find ourselves in slumps – feeling demotivated, uninspired or simply tired. During such times, it’s important to be surrounded by friends and family who would support us. However, being content with life also stems from being internally at peace with ourselves.
Without us realizing it, we are actually constant in pursuit of balance – there is a concept in psychology known as cognitive equilibrium, “a state of balance between individuals’ mental schemata, or frameworks, and their environment. Such balance occurs when their expectations, based on prior knowledge, fit with new knowledge.” Essentially, we are constantly trying to reconcile new sets of information with old ones; and it sometimes frustrates us when it cannot be reconciled. Similarly, we sometimes have certain expectations for ourselves; and it is frustrating or disappointing when reality does not reflect our expectations.
Whatever the situation, it is important to be our own cheerleaders. Here’s how you can try overcoming a slump:
1. Change the way you talk to yourself.
Often the most judgmental voice is not those of our critics, but of our own. We are a lot harsher on ourselves than we need to be, and sometimes we are even unkind to ourselves. It is important to be intentional about the narrative we feed ourselves because it has the power to manifest (also known as the self-fulfilling prophecy).
People make mistakes all the time, but that is how we learn – as long as we have the mindset to continuously improve, there’s nothing we should be ashamed of.
2. Be patient with your journey.
I’ve never been very physically fit, but I’ve had a few episodes recently that made me feel very out of shape. After a LASIK procedure, my eyesight took forever to recover. I also recently sprained my back. Throughout the recovery, I kept wondering: why is this taking so long? why did my body betray me? why is it so hard to be healthy? I realize that the body just needs time to heal. I can try to drown myself in eyedrops or force myself to keep walking, but it might worsen my condition instead.
Similarly, be it in work, friendships, relationships or figuring out your own passions – be patient and trust the journey. There will never be a one-stop solution, or an actual “destination”, but it’s about continuously healing and learning. Things might not be the way you want them to be at this exact moment, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not where you are supposed to be. Trust that there is a reason as to why things happen, and be patient with it.
3. Understand that you are a growing being.
Our bodies change throughout our lifetimes and our opinions evolve as we gain more exposure – we are growing both mentally and physically, and it is important to be able to accept and love that part of ourselves.
For example, our metabolism rates slow down as we age (unfortunately) – our bodies will no longer work as they used to before, and it’s a frustrating process. However, instead of being ignorant of these changes, or just being angry about them, take time to understand why and what can be done to transition or adapt better.
Our opinions – personal or political – also evolve as we discover more, or as the climate of the world shifts. Changing our thought processes in no way suggests that we have betrayed or abandoned our values or principles, but it’s just an indicator that time is changing, and we need to change with it.
I think this makes us and life more interesting, that we’re not stuck in a static mode but are always growing, learning, and experiencing new things – which is something worth celebrating and embracing!
4. Do better.
We sometimes can’t help but feel disappointed at our own output, which to a certain extent, is fine. However, after a good amount of internalizing (and even sulking), the only reasonable next step is to simply do better. After processing your emotions and feeling what you need to feel, pick yourself up and do better – just do it!
Come up with a plan, educate yourself, learn from your mistakes, and work on yourself so you can make yourself proud (and to even prove the haters wrong). Just like a cheerleader, sometimes you just need to pick yourself up and try again. Keep at it, practice, work on it, and eventually one day you’ll be able to nail the trick.
The world is a harsh place and we don’t need yet another critic to judge us and our choices. Instead, we need to be able to cheer ourselves on so we would be able to find the strength to press on. This isn’t just about false positivity, but being able to support yourself to make good decisions and grow.
Still stuck in a slump? Here’s an article you can read on how to overcome the afternoon slump when you’re at work.