Have you ever had a bad day that turns into multiple bad ones?
When you have a bad day, you question everything you’re doing and lose your passion. In turn, it drains you emotionally and physically and you get to the point where you’re literally forcing yourself to work. All joy and motivation is gone.
I never thought I’d get to a point in my business where it was so bad that I’d want to quit. But I did.
After working ten hour days for months, it was finally starting to make a difference. I was getting jobs, people were coming to me for work. then I had a day that was so bad, it made me want to quit. This is how it all went down.
Happy Birthday to Me!
I’d applied for an ongoing assignment that I really believed I was perfect for. I’d made it to the very last three applicants. I’d been waiting for days for the final answer. On my birthday, I received the cold, flat rejection. OUCH! Very bad day!
I pushed through the day, in the hopes of waking up tomorrow fresh and new, ready to take the world by storm. It was another bad day, and then another. This lasted for weeks.
I teach mental skills for crying out loud! If anyone should know how to pull out of something like this, it should be me. I’m a fake, a fraud and everybody is going to find out! I just want to quit quit quit!!!
Battling the Subconscious
The first few days, I kept telling myself, I’ll just take it easy and goof off on Facebook and Twitter until I pull out of this. Those ‘few’ days turned into weeks. My writing was like pulling teeth. I was definitely on a bad day streak.
I’d write for a few minutes and then click onto my social media accounts, check my email, send some responses. I cleaned a lot and did anything but think about what was bothering me waiting for it to just go away.
Then my clients began emailing with more than the usual edits and changes. This horrible day slump was seriously compromising my work. Both my physical and mental energy were depleting quickly.
What the source of my ‘bad day’ streak? I had to dig deep. The true source was my deep seeded fear of failure and rejection. I’d wanted something so badly that I’d placed it up on a pedestal.
Subconsciously, I convinced myself that this one job was ‘it.’ If I didn’t get it, I wasn’t important. I didn’t matter. Somehow, my subconscious had programmed my entire being into thinking that just because I didn’t get this job that my entire purpose is useless. This was the beginning of my downward spiral.
“If you put someone (anyone–clients, customers, friends) up on a pedestal, then guess what? They can only look down on you.”
-Ben Settle (from email players June, 2014)
It was definitely time to take my own teachings and apply them to me. Here are the exact steps I took to break my bad day streak. If you apply these to your situation, it will catapult you forward instantly.
Step 1: Reestablish Positive Core Beliefs.
I always harp on the importance of positive core beliefs. Sometimes, in life, you can’t do everything on your own. It’s important to have a set of people who will steer you in the right direction and be a positive influence.
Don’t ever be too proud to pull from thee individuals. since I’d spiraled so far down, I began restructuring my own beliefs with the words of those whom I respect.
“The opposite of SUCCESS is not failure. It’s mediocrity, and not trying hard enough to do what you need to do.”
“This isn’t a judgment about you at all – Regardless, you’re on the cusp of very big things – I’m very proud of what you’ve already achieved, and I know there’s a lot more to come. :).”
“I really wouldn’t worry about it. You rock. You’re ready. And I think you just needed to show yourself you could do it (which you clearly can, from the feedback).”
-Laura Leigh Clarke
“This is not an ‘OUCH.’ THIS IS AN oh my gods [name removed] WAS THIS CLOSE TO HIRING YOU AND THAT MEANS YOU’RE F-ING AMAZING! Like if Miss Arizona wins the all-states beauty pageant, it doesn’t make Miss California any less pretty. You get me?”
“LET GO OF IT before it pulls you under! These things happen but they do not change who and what you are. What you’re doing right now isn’t fixating on you. It’s fixating on what other people have done. you actually NEED to come back to thinking of yourself instead of thinking of them.”
“…but it’s amazing how far you’ve come in such a short time. Have faith, and have a very happy day regardless.”
Step 2: What would my mentors do?
Within each of the aforementioned quotes, although their words provided encouragement, there’s something far more valuable in them. Within each one, there was a glimpse as to what each of them would do in a situation like this. As I pulled from this, I learned several things:
– There’s always much more to come.
– You’re always ready to handle more.
– Being rejected from one job doesn’t define who and what you are.
– Focus on your business, not on other people or their business.
– Never lose faith in yourself.
– Try harder when you’re knocked down.
Step 3: Think rationally, not emotionally.
I went back to what triggered my current state. It was the rejection. Therefore now, being fulled with the positive beliefs from my mentors, I viewed the rejection rationally. I went back and read what the rejection email said:
“It’s not that you’re not skilled and smart — far from it.”
“We were impressed with your ambition and the way you handle yourself.”
Thinking rationally, the reality of the situation suddenly hit. There were 3 finalists. Only ONE could be chosen. That’s all there was to it.
Step 4: Simplify Daily Routine
Having just reestablished positive core beliefs, I needed to find a way to focus my energy on my business based on my beliefs. I set daily time aside for writing, marketing, emailing, etc. Then, I systematized each task so that I could perform each one without expending much mental energy. As a result, I could sit down and follow the steps, while my mental energy was focused on reinforcing my positive beliefs.
I completely overhauled my step by step procedures and broke them into tiny steps so that during the tasks, I didn’t use up energy trying to remember how to do the next step. It was all on ‘autopilot.’ This had a profound affect on my productivity.
Step 5: IPA Activities
Thank goodness I had some really strong leads that were easy to covert into consultations. I also emailed three of my writing clients with suggestions for articles. All three took me up on the offer. Doing this alone greatly enhanced my income. By directly focusing on activities that produce income, I was able to restore my confidence as well as begin reinforcing my self-worth.
Step 6: Step up the healthy diet.
All energy in the heart and the mind is derived from healthy diet and exercise. I took five days and juiced fresh fruits and vegetables. Inadvertently, this not only cleansed my body, but it cleansed my mind. The concentrated amounts of nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables do wonders for both physical and mental energy, especially after the third day.
If you’re not into juicing, that’s okay. Just take a few days and eat an extra amount of fresh fruits and vegetables and cut out the processed sugar. The results of staying off of processed foods and sugars for a few days is absolutely astounding for the mind.
Step 7: Release the Garbage!
This is the most valuable technique I’ve learned and it’s made a monumental difference in both my personal and my business life. We all have things in our past that continue to influence our daily decisions and reactions. Most of the time, it’s natural instinct to just move on and not focus on these things. We bury them.
The trick to releasing is to take these thoughts, regrets, pent up emotions and allow them to surface. Take a few minutes and simply sit in the emotion. See it, taste it, smell it. Really feel it. Then picture putting thee feelings into a helium balloon. Exhale a large breath and let them go. They’re release d in that helium balloon once you exhale.
Step 8: Form New Mental Models
Now, immediately grab hold of your positive core beliefs, your mantras…whatever you wish to call them and hang on tight. Let them play in your mind over and over.
Picture them so vividly that you see, her, taste and smell them. what you’re doing is attaching a positive emotion to your core beliefs. This is a mental mode. Mental models always come with emotion attached to them. It’s very powerful to form ones that carry positive, motivating emotions.
We all, at some point or another in life have a day that is so bad it makes us want to quit. What we need to remember, is it’s at these points where our character is strengthened. You may have to continue releasing and forming your new mental models repeatedly at first, but I guarantee that if you continue to do this, the power of the mind will gradually maneuver your entire being into a state of motivation and success. Because you’ve gradually reprogrammed your subconscious, you will never again have such a bad day that you want to quit.
Featured image: Omar Gurnah’s Flickr