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In February I had a huge case of the blues.
I actually don’t even know what it was.
I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, unmotivated, not like myself, and more exhausted than ever.
Was it burn out? Stress? Hormones? I couldn’t tell you. I just know I didn’t feel right and I don’t like that feeling.
I shared this post on my Instagram while I was going through it, and I promised I would write on it.
I wanted to share my process of overcoming negative emotions and energy because I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it from time to time.
Disclaimer: Obviously I am not a doctor, psychologist, etc. I also DO NOT have depression/anxiety. That is not what this was. These tips may help you if you do suffer from depression or anxiety, but please always seek professional help if necessary.
I can tell you how/why it started
Personally, I am someone who takes on a lot of things and tends to be hard on myself. In general, I am a very positive person, constantly laughing and look at the cup as half full. However, I am a very sensitive and emotional individual.
I go through phases of negative emotions and have mini mental breakdowns more often than you would think.
Back in February, it got worse than usual though. I was kind of just doing the bare minimum.
To be honest, the bare minimum for me includes quite a bit, but I usually do more and keep my overall energy high. During this time I felt exhausted and unmotivated to work on my things. I wasn’t working on my personal development as much and I felt a creative block.
Also, my lack of progress (or what I considered a lack of progress) in my online work really took a toll on me.
It’s all mindset
As I’ve been taught by the wonderful Natalie Bacon: all circumstances are neutral. We have thoughts about those circumstances which create feelings. Those feelings lead to our actions and therefore our results.
With that, I was able to realize that I was creating a story about everything.
I was making my lack of motivation and progress mean I could never succeed as an online business owner.
I was telling myself I was failing at everything I was doing.
But that simply wasn’t true and STILL isn’t true.
It seemed I was experiencing burnout, but that too is a mindset.
Sure, burnout is a very real thing, but you can shift your mindset to think/see the situation differently.
I decided I don’t want to be burnt out, so I’m not.
How did I switch my mindset?:
i) Recognize I have a great job that is meaningful and important
ii) Recognize I am making the decision to run an online business with multiple parts so I was the only one putting this pressure on myself (taking responsibility)
iii) Recognize my thoughts were the real problem, not my to-do list (more on this below)
The other important shift for me was going from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset.
You may think it’s a good idea to step back and just relax for a while. That may work for you but I don’t function that way.
If I stop working on my passion, I will get more stressed.
Instead, I started fresh.
I changed things up a bit, set new goals, and made a plan.
I decided to go from 3 YouTube videos a week to 2. I decided I would go back to publishing a new blog post every Sunday because it keeps my writing in a flow state. I decided I would implement some positive habits and track them. I decided I would start reading daily again and take part in group coaching again.
I wasn’t going to let those negative emotions consume me and get in the way of my goals!
You have to push through that resistance and take action. Motivation doesn’t last so I never rely on that anyway.
Talking it out
Fortunately, I was able to discuss my emotions with my life coach. She helped me to realize I was sabotaging my own damn self and encouraged me to work on my thoughts.
I also vented to my boyfriend during this time. He listened to my frustrations, consoled me, and supported me. I am so grateful for him.
I know not everyone has either type of person in their life, but I encourage you to talk your feelings out to SOMEONE who cares about you. You may even need to go to a therapist if you don’t already (no shame in that!).
It was reassuring to hear people tell me the opposite of what I was thinking and encouraging me to push through.
Making more time/effort to nourish myself
As I mentioned above I took more action. This also means I took more action on caring for my mind and body.
I extended my morning routine to include Ayurvedic practices, personal development, and movement.
I spend more time at the gym enjoying my workout and stretching properly.
I gave up added sugar and increased my vegetable intake.
I cut back on my consumption of social media and YouTube videos.
All these things added up to help me to feel better overall.
Looking at the big picture
With the help of my boyfriend, I was able to look at everything from a different perspective.
As I mentioned earlier, I switched my focus from scarcity to abundance in all areas of my life.
I took a step back and truly felt gratitude for everything. I created my current reality and it’s actually quite beautiful.
-I have a beautiful apartment
-I have a great job
-I run a small online business and have amazing supporters
-I am paying off debt and making other smart financial decisions
-I constantly work on my personal development
-I am healthy and strong
-I have access to a variety of amazing foods to nourish my body
-My family is alive and healthy
Basically, I realized that I was doing a lot better than I thought, I was being too hard on myself, and everything was just fine.
There wasn’t actually anything REALLY going wrong, I was just thinking things needed to be different.
Of course, we all have different things going on and different lives, but you can take a step back and make a similar list of the amazing things in your life.
Of course, I’m not someone who relies on motivation or inspiration to get things done, but when you’re feeling how I was feeling it helps a TON.
The first thing that inspired me greatly was the book The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. I actually was doing research on “thinking big” for a coaching client of mine and came across this gem of a book.
I found the audiobook version for FREE on YouTube, so I started listening to it while I got ready in the morning, during my drive to work, and while doing mindless work. I finished it within a few days and absolutely love it. I’m definitely going to listen to it over and over.
It made me want to push through the resistance I was feeling and just do the damn thing.
The next thing was coaching. Luckily in group coaching for the month of March, the topic was ‘Mindset.’ This couldn’t have come at a better time.
The material made a huge impact on me and I realized how much more I needed to make the effort to work on my mindset and thoughts.
I started implementing the work into my morning routine and practicing new thoughts.
Hearing things from a different perspective is really impactful and both of these truly inspired me to want to work harder and be better.
Constant thought work
Mindset work requires daily effort.
It’s impossible to be happy all the time. It’s impossible to think only positive thoughts.
However, the more you become aware of the negative thoughts, self-doubt, and self-sabotage, the more you can fix it.
Some days are better than others, but I have been journaling and making an effort to practice new thoughts just about daily.
I’m more aware of when my brain starts thinking things that create doubt in myself and I automatically say, “No, no. I’m doing this. I will do this.”
In moments like this, it’s easy to get bogged down by your emotions and consumed by your lack of motivation.
Recognize that this is normal and only temporary.
This is just an obstacle in your journey and you can overcome this challenge. Turn it into a project to work on.
Without obstacles or hard times, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good things.
Push through. You’ve got this.