In this month’s series of articles on coaching, we’ve covered everything from whether you really need a life or business coach, what benefits you can expect (and a few you can’t), as well as what to look for in a coach before starting on your new personal development journey. But what happens if you don’t have a coach? Perhaps ongoing coaching isn’t your vibe, or maybe you just haven’t found the perfect “fit” with a coach yet. So where do you go and what can you do to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start making some headway in your life?
At one point or another, we’ve all experienced the feeling of being stuck and uninspired. Man, I’ve had my fair amount of rough patches and apathetic slumps. They’re so treacherous, and if left unattended they can spiral quickly out of control, affecting your relationships, your job, your business and even your own sanity. It’s times like these that if left unchecked, you risk slowly suffocating the beautiful, intelligent, creative being that you are.
Whether you care to admit it or not, you are a huge source of inspiration. Yes, I’m talking about you! Within you lies a wealth of insight and ways to express yourself that will guide you straight out of the dispirited doldrums.
Here are 5 great ways to reignite your passion for purpose and zest for life.
One sure-fire way to reset a lethargic and lackluster state of mind is quite literally to shake it off and get active. Even short bursts of physical activity will assist in recalibrating your brain chemistry. Moving about not only improves your general mood but also floods your circulation system with all the “feel-good” hormones we know and love.
Go for a jog, hit the gym, catch some waves surfing, or unroll your yoga mat and salute the sun. It can be as simple as doing a bunch of jumping jacks on the spot, anything that gets that heart rate up. When I have to produce content, such as making a video and need a quick boost of energy and inspiration, I do 10 jumping jacks on the spot.
Think I’m crazy? Try it right now if you don’t believe me! You’ll be amazed how the energy in your body and mind changes.
The best thing that I’ve ever done is to start writing and documenting my thoughts, a habit that I picked up as a young girl. I’ll admit that there are times when the mere thought of updating my journal seems excruciatingly exhausting and it’s simply too difficult to pull myself out of a slump and put pen to paper (or pixel to screen).
That’s why I’ve created a book of mind maps as my journal. There’s no particular template of what it should look and sound like, simply a collection of messy ideas, thoughts and feelings on paper. But at least it’s out of my head and on paper, providing me with some form of respite. Perhaps you’re the type who’d prefer to doodle your ideas, thoughts and feelings.
My suggestion is to find a medium of expression that works best for you, and only you. You’re not journaling for anyone else but yourself.
This is not a journal. I repeat. This is not the same as a journal. A journal gives you permission to delve into the deep and sometimes dark recesses of your mind, exploring every cobwebbed corner that it may have. A Book of Wealth concentrates on the things that make you feel great. It’s filled with all those wonderful things that invigorate the soul and make you smile uncontrollably.
A simple exercise that’s great for getting your Book of Wealth started is to create a “Magic Moments List”. This is where you document all the magical and wonderful things that have happened to you (the one’s that lift your spirits and make your heart soar). It’s incredible how easy it is for us to forget all the good things that happen to us when we don’t document them.
In my Book of Wealth, I have a Confidence Letter too. We all go through slumps and this letter is a helpful reminder to myself that I’ve got this, I know what I’m doing, I know more than I think I do and that I should take care of myself first and foremost.
When you find yourself in a slump, reviewing a list of your fondest memories, achievements and highlights can be the welcomed boost your confidence needs. Sometimes all it takes is a quick look at your Confidence Letter to help reassure you that you can get there again. You have the power, you’ve got this!
As far as buzzwords go, “gratitude” is thrown about with such gimmicky frequency that it’s become the one-size-fits-all solution to an astounding array of scenarios. It’s the quick-fix for anything as banal as improving your dog’s anti-social behaviour in the public, to more hard-hitting issues such as managing anxiety. If it’s as simple as rattling off a list of things that you’re grateful for, then why doesn’t work as easily as advertised? Sometimes it can even feel as though we’ve neglected to read the fine print?
Yes, an attitude of gratitude is a well-lit path to a fulfilled life, but all too often our laziness kicks into gear and we take shortcuts. We think about gratitude, when in fact, gratitude is a matter of the heart, not of the mind. If you ramble off things that you’re grateful for, most likely you don’t really feel it. The gratitude does not encompass your entire being to a point where tears of inspiration stream down your face along with the watery remnants of your mascara (it doesn’t always, but it can).
Having a heart full of gratitude and having a head full of the same, is completely different. They both feel different and each yields different results. One way to achieve a deeper sense of gratitude is to take the time and go into detail about why you’re thankful for that particular thing. Instead of saying, “I’m grateful for the roof over my head,” it would be more helpful to list all the things that you love and appreciate about your home. So zone in, get out your fine-toothed come and get stuck into the details. Rambling off lists of what we’re grateful for often allows us to zone out. The key to gratitude is zoning in.
We have access to an extraordinary amount of epically beautiful and inspirational stories that can be found in books, articles and the far-flung corners of the internet. Have you compiled a list of treasured books or favourite articles that strike a heartfelt chord every time you read them?
The beautiful tales held between the pages of your favourite book can make you feel more at peace and leave you with a renewed sense of hope. I highly recommend that you write down at least 3 go-to books/articles in your Book of Wealth.
Why not go a step further and write down your favourite passages and quotes for a quick and easy resource that can be grabbed when you’re feeling down.
And guess what? This resource comes from you. And remember my friend, within you lies an incredibly deep well of inspiration and a plethora of experiences that can guide you back onto the right track.
Word of warning:
When we’re down in the dumps, we tend to attract people into our lives, particularly friends and family, who feel sorry for us, and who unknowingly feed into our very own pity party. We tell them what’s wrong and they automatically agree and validate the way we feel. This is not always wise or constructive. In order to really get out of a slump, we need to break a pattern, not reinforce it with people telling us that we’re right. If you do confide in anyone, make sure that they can give you unbiased advice.