The summer might be heating up but I’ve been slowing down – literally and figuratively! I was sick for almost two weeks this month and spent a few days in bed catching up on sleep. When my body shuts down like that I know it’s trying to tell me something. The message this time was loud and clear: Slow down, girl!
In the weeks before I found myself bed-ridden, I had been pushing myself to keep working towards the goals I had set for myself and my business in January. But those resolutions felt far away, and instead of moving towards them joyfully I found myself struggling to make progress. I felt like no matter how hard I worked it wasn’t good enough, so I pushed harder and moved faster, trying to get some momentum going again.
When I woke up so congested I could barely breathe, I realized it was time to face the facts:
I’m in a slump.
I know I’m not alone in this experience! Anyone working towards a goal will inevitably hit a point when things aren’t working – in fact, if you don’t get stuck , then your goal isn’t big enough.
A slump is really a feeling, a mental or emotional state of feeling stuck. It’s an icky feeling, for sure, and it’s tempting to avoid facing it, especially in June when we have warm weather and summer plans to distract ourselves.
I resisted acknowledging my slump because I thought it meant that I was not capable of accomplishing my goals. My fear was blocking my ability to see the opportunity for personal growth hidden within the struggle.
I believe that every challenge presents us with an opportunity to learn, and here’s what I’ve learned about slumps: The fact that you’re in a slump isn’t the problem, it’s the way you’re thinking about it that causes you grief.
I now see that the feeling of being stuck has nothing to do with my abilities, it’s simply a signal that my actions are not getting me where I want to go. Once I re-framed my perception of my slump from “I can’t do this!” to “What else could I try?” I no longer felt so bad.
A much needed breath of fresh air.
If you think you might be in a summer slump but can’t pinpoint what’s not working, begin by simply noticing the feeling of being stuck. When you catch yourself thinking “I can’t …”, you’ve discovered a key to understanding your struggle.
Next week, we’ll look at ways to actively transform your slump into momentum. Remember, being kind to yourself, even in a quiet way, is a great first step to moving forward.
Lisa Zamparo is a financial strategist and lifestyle optimist, as well as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), business coach and personal finance expert in Toronto who helps people make intentional decisions with their money. As a one-on-one coach, her personalized approach to financial planning helps her clients achieve their goals by aligning their spending with their priorities. As an inspirational educator, Lisa leads workshops that infuse mindfulness principles with financial concepts delivered in a fun and approachable style.