If the title of this article caught your attention, I’m guessing that you might be going through a slump with your work. The good news is you’re not alone–we’ve all had slumps. But I’ve learned a few things about work slumps, and I wanted to share my observations with you here.
First of all, slumps many times happen when we aren’t in tune and satisfied with who we are.
To truly know where our work should be, we must understand who we are through self-awareness. Without knowing who we are, our work can never be an extension of ourselves. And to stand out in a world full of both good and bad work, turning it into an expression of yourself is a good way to grab an audience’s attention. The issue with this can be that we all want something physical to point to in order to prove our self-worth, yet self-worth can only be found internally.
But even though you are much more than merely the work that you do, if you’re having trouble understanding who you are, a fun exercise is to find the work that you gravitate toward, and then go do it. While finding one’s self before putting in the work is a perfect scenario, many people find themselves by putting their time, effort, energy, heart and hands into something beautiful and coming out on the other side with a deeper understanding of themselves and a renewed passion for what they are doing. And slumps have a very difficult time lasting when passion is present.
Second, slumps often happen when we believe that there’s only room for one person at the top.
When we negatively compare our work to the work of others, hoping to gain approval or to somehow “beat” others to the top, greed and envy tend to cloud our vision. And let me tell you that none of these things are beneficial driving forces. Rid yourself of anything that kills the soul. There’s more than enough room for you and everyone else to find success.
Third, many slumps happen when our work lacks direction.
Finding motivation with one’s work comes from knowing that their labor serves a purpose. So if you are currently experiencing a slump, it may be a sign that you need to clarify what it is that you actually want to do with your life’s work. And if you have already clarified your work’s purpose and things still aren’t better, this may be a sign that you are too fixated on the past to make an impact. When we are able to see the positive possibilities our work can bring to ourselves and to other people, we can begin moving from slumps to thriving with our work. In other words, many times the only way to remove ourselves from a slump is to produce better, more meaningful work.
If you feel your work isn’t gaining the traction it deserves, choose to persevere and create better work instead of complaining that more people aren’t paying attention. That’s the most sure-fire way to beat a slump.