You know that feeling of excitement you get when you start a new job, decide to pick-up a new hobby or start dating someone for the first time?You can’t stop telling everyone about it and you invest a lot of money into a new wardrobe or supplies.
You feel fueled by a new found love for life only to find that after a few months you’ve come crashing down from your high, completely unmotivated to continue on.
This is called the dip. The crash. The “now what the hell do I do?”.
Seth Godin coined the term "The Dip" in his New York Times bestseller of the same name. It resonated so deeply with me that I couldn't wait to share it with all of you.
The dip is the point where you are faced with a tough decision -- quit entirely or forge ahead to higher, more stable, more successful ground.
From the time we are children we are told that winners never quit. This is terrible advice. True winners know when to quit...strategically. When to stop wasting their time on failed efforts and redirect their energy towards something that they might actually succeed at.
Quitting is a really good idea. But quitting in the dip is just stupid.
So what’s the difference?
Excellent question! Smart people will quit before investing a lot of time, money and resources into this new endeavour. They are able to assess the situation and make an educated decision as to whether or not they are really going to dedicate enough of themselves to survive the hard points.
If you begin a new project and then quit in the dip you can’t recover your lost time or money. You also don’t have the payoff that you would get if you followed through and survived the dip. It’s a lose--lose situation.
For example, let’s say that you decide you want to take up ballet at the ripe age of 35. Great! You buy a tutu, ballet slippers, and an expensive package for monthly ballet classes. You’re super excited at first but after a month or two the excitement has worn off -- you realize it’s going to be a lot of work before you see a pay-off, and you eventually just stop going to classes. Now you are out a lot of money and wasted time.
But if you had taken a moment to reflect on whether or not you would really follow through with your ballet endeavor you may have decided it wasn’t worth your time and redirected your energy into a hobby that you were more likely to continue on with long term. The same can be said for your career, relationships and even diet--remember that time you went Paleo just long enough to hate life?
It is important to recognize when you have reached a dead end.
In The Dip, Seth Godin discusses the invaluable importance of recognizing when you are in a cul-de-sac; a dead end. Maybe you’ve been working hard at your job for 5+ years knowing that your big promotion is coming any day now. And then it happens. Craig gets the promotion and title you’ve been waiting for. No one even likes Craig, but there he is sitting at what should be your desk in what should be your office -- flirting with Jenna who should be your big-chested assistant. This is the point, where if you’re smart, you will realize that you have hit a dead-end. You need to look for a new job asap if you want to move forward in your career.
These are my 3 tips to help you keep going when you find yourself in a dip or a cul-de-sac.
1. Be realistic. Before changing careers or quitting one hobby for another-get real with yourself. Are you currently in a dip or are you in a dead-end? If you are in a dip, decide what you need to do in order to push through it and come out better than ever. If you are in a dead-end then quit before investing any more of your limited time and resources. And if you haven’t yet started analyze whether or not you will move this idea through the dip or get stuck at a dead end. If the later, just walk away now and redirect your focus to an endeavor you may have more success with.
2. Ask for help. We all need it but so few of us feel comfortable asking for the help and support we want. You aren’t an island. If you are serious about propelling your career forward or being the best that you can be in your new hobby, seek out others who can help you survive the dip. You’ll be amazed how big of a difference this will have on your life.
3. Don’t survive the dip just because you can. Have you ever pushed yourself to complete a self assigned task just to prove that you can? But once you got to the finish-line you were completely worn out and realized how meaningless it all was? All of the hard work that you had put in had very little pay off...but hey, you did it! A challenge is not the only thing that makes surviving a low point worthwhile. The outcome matters too and valuing the end result can make a huge difference in how you push through.
REMINDER: My new program Generation Underwhelmed and Over burdened: The 7 Pillars to Working Less and Earning More starts Wed. July 22nd and runs for 7 weeks. Space is limited, click here for more info.
Written by Kelsey Fain; HC Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
Kelsey relates to her clients food struggles because she has had her own. A country girl turned New Yorker, Kelsey combines her innate passion for people feeling their best with a “say it as it is” attitude that is refreshingly honest and empowering. Click here to book a free Breakthrough Session with Kelsey now and experience the life changing tools she’ll share with you.