I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine in which he was venting his frustrations about work. Nothing seemed to be motivating him, he’s uninspired, he’s lost the creativity flow he once had.
I responded with, “It sounds like you’re in the dip.”
The dip, explained by Seth Godin in his book The Dip, is the idea that every new project or job starts out with endless amounts of drive, motivation and excitement. But then, deeper in to the commitment, it gets harder and less fun, until it finally hits a low point where it’s really hard, and not much fun at all.
You then find yourself asking if the commitment and journey you set out on is even worth the hassle. Maybe you’re in a dip; a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing.
The latter is trusting the process; trusting the intentional effort you put in will be the force that pushes you through the other side of the dip.
We all experience this and it’s something we know we are going to experience again. But, when you’re able to recognize it and be intentional with your actions, the dip experience doesn’t have to be as painful.
Here’s a short process in recognizing when you’re in the dip and for initiating the necessary actions to push through the dip:
Take responsibility for your dip experience
Often times it’s easier to point fingers at things or blame others for your lack of motivation. It’s so easy to always say it’s this or that, when in fact, it’s you.
It’s how you are approaching the dip, it’s how you react to situations that arise while in the dip environment. It’s not being aware that you are even in the dip.
Waiting for others, and the environment you’re in, to change will result to nothing. The two things it will do is prolong you from pushing through the other side of the dip and you’ll begin to create bad habits.
The dip characteristics start to become a part of who you are. They begin to seep into other areas of your life.
If you want to change others, or the environment around you, you need to change.
Confront your negative thinking
This voice is an asshole, but yet, we let it serve as our compass.
When in the dip everything has a negative and ugly side, as seen through the dip’s lens. These negative thoughts tend to be the only things we focus on.
The more time we spend focusing on them and repeating them to ourselves, they become the reality. Ultimately, making it more difficult to push through the other side of the dip.
Confront these thoughts, accept them not as your excuses, but your thoughts, own them. Get out your journal and write. What is that voice in your head saying? Get them on paper so you can see them with clarity.
Don’t continue to just act on them. Become mindful of the dip environment in which you find yourself in.
Until you take responsibility for your negative thoughts, you fall victim to them. You continue to surrender to the head chatter, allowing the dip to become your total reality.
Be intentional about your actions
Getting back your mojo is a frustrating task. When you slow down to reflect on the sources of the dip, it lays the foundation for how to fix it. It uncovers the holes, the gaps, the areas that are road blocks.
This is where you have to fall in love with fixing your flaws, your negative thoughts. As we’ve already stated; pushing through the dip is nobody else’s responsibility but your own. Own that. In fact, be grateful for it. This is where growth occurs.
Positive thinking alone won’t provide you with a one way ticket out of the dip, it must be coupled with intentional action and change.
Unfortunately, there’s not a step-by-step guide in getting through the dip. We all respond to things differently.
What must be present is your openness and acceptance to the change.
We all want to change, but there must come a point where your soul, your mind, your intentions all collide and are ready.
The process is a combination of learning how to handle, or respond to, those negative thoughts. It’s shifting your mindset and lens while in the environment of the dip.
Then, it’s putting those two things in motion.
It’s instilling the actions and habits that support your intentional journey out of the dip. This is the trial and error portion of the process in determining the necessary actions to push you through the other side of the dip. Often times, these evolve and change as you change.
Regardless, trust the process.
Have you ever experienced the dip before?
Eric Ungs is founder of the Unless You Care Project. He writes and coaches about leading a life of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook. Connect with Eric at unlessyoucareproject.com.