If you feel like you’re in a bit of slump right now, you’re not alone. These unmotivated, uninspired times can occur when we lose our focus and rush through our day-to-day life without a grounding intention. And they can happen to anyone, usually taking us by surprise.
It’s so easy to do. When I’m just trudging along, I often think everything is fine—telling myself, “Hey, I’m just trying to get through the week!” Then all of a sudden, in a random moment of clarity—on the subway, waiting in line for a sandwich, or lying in bed at night—I notice that I feel demotivated, lost, and even a little sad.
What can you do in these down moments? Tune into your intuition—don’t silence that little voice. And ask yourself these three simple yet powerful questions.
1. What isn’t working?
No matter how busy you are, if you suddenly realize you’re in a slump, something is not working for you—personally or professionally. Are you working in a job you hate? Are you neglecting your health? Are you serving someone else’s needs and not your own?
Ask yourself what’s missing. Go deep and identify what it is that’s lacking in your life. In a few moments of concentrated silence, your inner voice will tell you. Listen to it.
2. What is my why?
When you lose your “why” in life, you’re like a ship in the ocean without a destination, at the mercy of the elements and external forces. A truly fulfilling life is lived from the inside out. What is your why for being here on earth? Why are you dating this person, working so hard on that project, or neglecting your dreams?
So rarely we ask ourselves this crucial question: What is my why, my intention, my goal? I remind myself of my why whenever I face the sting of rejection. My why keeps me on track and allows me to get over the bumps in the road, which are part of the process when you are building anything worthwhile—an entrepreneurial venture, a creative pursuit, a healthier body. Your why is what keeps you going.
3. What do I need to do now?
A hard truth in life is that nothing works until we do. Action is the only thing that can get you out of a slump. Action is the ultimate antidote to worry, fear, and procrastination. You don’t have to build Rome in a day either. You can boost your energy with a simple task, like tidying your desk, taking a walk, or just getting around to those overdue errands. Motion creations emotion and momentum—two critical factors that are dormant during a slump.
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One of my clients recently cleaned out her closet Marie Kondo-style, which propelled a much larger action plan in her life regarding her career. Just doing one thing that was cleansing and constructive got her moving.
The enemy of a slump is activity. And one small step at a time adds up to real transformation. For my client, one positive change on a random Saturday in her home paved the road for more positive changes that are happening right now in her office.
Once you’ve answered these questions, ask yourself: “What small step can I take today?” Then get on your way! Your future self is high-fiving you from afar.
Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!