Today we’re talking about what to do you when you fall off the horse with the whole building your big dreams thing. What do you do when you’ve been working really hard and then, all of a sudden, you just can’t seem to do it anymore? What does it mean and what do you do when you just can’t muster up the energy or desire to take even one more step along this path that was so exciting and energizing for you when you first started on it?
Stalled on the plateau
While this kind of energy flatline situation can happen at any stage of dream-building, you tend to see it most often when you’re dealing with that dreaded “plateau”.
So, maybe you’re in that boat where:
- You’ve been working so hard for so long but you’re still not where you want to be yet; or
- You’re discouraged because you still haven’t made any money/sales/found clients/etc.; or
- You feel like you’re talking to the wind; you’ve got all these great ideas and you know you could really help other people, but you can’t seem to reach the right people, and it just feels like nobody is listening to you.
Basically, you’ve been pouring 200% into building this dream of yours and you’re looking around at everything you’ve done and realizing that there’s been zero, or next-to-zero return on all that effort and energy you’ve expended.So #frustrated by lack of #progress you feel like giving up on your dream? Try this! Click To Tweet
So you pretty much just run out of steam because what you’re doing feels like it’s just not working.
You grind to a halt in exhaustion and confusion and despair.
Never, never, never give up
What’s a dreamer to do when the doing just isn’t working?
First of all, here’s what NOT to do: DON’T GIVE UP on your dream just because of this little setback. I know it probably feels like the end of the dream, but believe me, it’s not. It’s something that we all deal with, and we all deal with it more than once along our paths. That’s just the way it is; every journey has its ups and downs.
Instead of thinking of this situation as a final curtain call telling you that it’s time to cut your losses and go “be reasonable”, change your perspective and think of it as a speedbump telling you that it’s time to slow down for a bit, pace yourself, and proceed cautiously before you inevitably pick up speed again further down the road.
Listen to your mind and body
Here’s why: when you have these kinds of energy crashes, your mind and body are trying to tell you something. They’re telling you to stop and recharge your batteries.
When you’re building a big dream, especially when you’ve got other responsibilities and maybe even a standard day job, and you’re trying to scavenge time to create this thing that is so important to you however you can… it’s easy to burn yourself out and forget that everyone needs a break once in a while.#Burnout is common when you're working on #BigDreams. Here's how to avoid it: Click To Tweet
Now, when these energy crashes last more than a week or so, it can really take a toll because you start beating yourself up for “being lazy” or “not hustling hard enough”. You may even start to question whether you’ve even got what it takes to build this dream of yours. Also, inertia tends to kick in and it can be really hard to get yourself back into action mode after you’ve been out of it for a while.
What to Do When You Fall Off the Horse
So what I’ve got for you today are three tips to help you get through this kind of situation and get yourself moving again after you fall off the horse.
Tip #1: Stop and give yourself a break.
Remember what I said about energy dips being a normal part of the dream-building journey. When you’re working on a really big dream, it’s so easy to forget how much energy you’re pouring into it. When you’ve got a “real” day job, you get vacation time, and you need to remember that it’s completely OK – necessary, even — to give yourself a vacation from building your dreams once in a while, too. This is especially true when your dreams are long-term goals that require a significant investment of time.
When we forget to give ourselves that scheduled downtime what ends up happening is that we crash. Our “vacation” time then ends up being forced on us through illness or stress, and that’s not really a vacation at all!Regularly scheduled downtime helps to keep you energized! #successtips #recharge Click To Tweet
Regularly scheduled downtime helps to keep us energized. It gives us a new perspective on things and, in the end, it helps us to be better at what we do.
Life is not about how much great content you can generate or how many clients you can serve — if you’re not living and enjoying your life, you can’t give your best to those you’re trying to help anyway. It’s that whole empty vessel analogy — if you keep pouring out and never filling back up, eventually you run out of what you can give. You need to look after yourself and keep your cup full if you want to keep sharing with others.
Tip #2: Re-connect, re-align, and re-evaluate
When you run out of steam, it’s often a sign that you need to take some time to reconnect with yourself and recalibrate your inner compass. When you hit a wall, one of the best things you can do take a step back and re-evaluate what you’re doing and where you’re going.
Ask yourself if this dream is still important to you. Take a moment to reconnect with your WHY. Why did you start down this path in the first place? Where is it that you want to go with it? What do you want to achieve, experience, or become by doing this?
Once you’ve grounded yourself in your why, then take an objective look at what you’ve been doing up to this point. What have you been doing that isn’t working? What have you been doing that HAS resulted in some kind of progress for you? This harkens back to that 80/20 principle, where 20 percent of your effort produces 80 percent of your results. Figure out where most of your results are being generated and refocus your energy into doing that, and don’t be afraid to let the other stuff go (or farm it out to other people if you’ve got the budget for outsourcing).
Tip #3: Try something new.
In the same way that a change of scenery (working from a different location you usually do) can help you overcome procrastination, doing something you’ve never done before can help you get back on track when you fall off the horse.
Whether it’s signing up for a course that you’ve been wanting to take that will help with some aspect of your dream, or whether it’s something completely non-dream related, like taking up a new hobby, the energy and excitement that you generate with this “new thing” that you’re doing will often spill back into your dream-related activities and inspire new bursts of activity or new ideas to get you where you want to be.Try something new as a way to kick-start yourself back into action mode. #novelty #newperspective Click To Tweet
Exposing yourself to novelty is a great way to kick-start yourself back into action mode and get you back on track to building that dream of yours because it starts creating new pathways in your brain and gets you thinking about things differently and looking at things from new perspectives.
Summing it up
So, let’s sum those tips up really quickly. When you fall off the horse with respect to your dreams and you’re finding yourself stuck in an energy crash, the first thing to do is to stop and give yourself a break – remember the empty vessel analogy and that you can’t give anyone what you don’t already have; the next thing to do is to re-connect, re-align, and re-evaluate – remember your WHY and take an objective look at what is and isn’t working with your efforts up ‘til now; and tip three was to try something new to shake up those neural pathways and re-energize you, which will have a cascade effect into your dream-building work.
Recognizing your Achilles Heel
Now, if you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I’ve been MIA for the last several weeks. Fell off my own dream-building horse for a while, so that’s why there haven’t been any new posts, videos or podcasts lately. Like I said – these energy crashes are SO common, and they’re something that we ALL deal with.
My personal Achilles Heel with this stuff is the time off. I tend to feel really guilty about taking time off from building my dream – so I don’t do it — and it ALWAYS catches up with me and I just crash completely. And the Universe, being oh-so-obliging that way, keeps happily repeating this lesson for me over and over because, apparently, I haven’t learned it well enough yet.
So that’s something I’m going to be working on – learning to deliberately schedule time off every week where I’m not allowed to do “dream-work” stuff. I’m also going to be better about creating content upfront so that I can disappear every now and again and still keep things running smoothly on the Vibe Shifting front.
Now what I want to know from you is this: Have you struggled with falling of the horse with your own dreams? Did you give up on that dream, or did you find a way to get back up and keep going?
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)
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Oh, the dreaded plateaus! And how does this coincidence keep happening: the subject about which you’re posting always seems to be right on target at that given time for me, too. Was just taking time to update my personal journal last night and wrote about how discouraging it is for me to hit those plateaus–and I always do.
But I learned the hard way and missed quite a lot along the way, by not taking a break now and then and enjoying the now, not getting proper rest, both physically and mentally. I kinda burned myself out and then was just exhausted of all of it, with not much to show for it. Felt like I’d been spinning my wheels for too long, and not going anywhere. It brings to mind a topic you covered a while back dealing with inspired action. When nothing is coming to me in spirit and things aren’t really panning out with something, I have learned that it’s really OK to put that one on the back burner (but still let it simmer!) for a while, and then rest, tend to my family, friendships, my garden, or other projects. I think this also helps to quieten our minds and spirits, to sort of hit the reset button, so to speak, and then this allows a cleaner slate on which we can formulate a new plan of action, wait for inspired action, and truly hear what message from Spirit comes through. Admittedly, this recent plateau seems to be a rather large one in scope, but I am just going to roll with it, enjoy more of the now, and do what I can do “today”.
Thanks for the wonderful message, Nathalie! Best always to you.
Hmm. I wonder if there’s some weird planetary alignment or some such thing happening. Again (much like the last one you wrote), you could have pulled these thoughts right out of my own head. Exactly what I’ve been dealing with over here, too, complete with the whole “it’s been worse than the usual, to-be-expected plateaus that you know you’re going to hit every once in while.
Absolutely agree — sometimes it just has to get pushed to the back burner to simmer while you let yourself rest and recharge. We need that time away to focus on other things, and I think part of the problem (certainly part of my problem, anyway) is that we’re so bad about giving ourselves that time away. We either don’t do it at all (until we’re forced to because we’ve crashed out of sheer exhaustion) or we do it, but feel so guilty about it that we don’t actually get that rest and recuperation time that we need, so it doesn’t really count.
Lessons I still need to learn…
I always love the story you tell about the bagless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson. That guy worked on it since before I was born and kept on going until decades later it was recognized at an expo and then decades later it went on the market. This is a perfect story. I am sure he had plateaus as well, didn’t he? What were the behind the scenes? He must have known he was going to make it and if he could not pay his children’s tuition for school, then he could later on buy them houses as adults. I know most people freak out because they cannot give their young families much in the beginning, but one can always contribute to one’s family.
A question that keeps coming up is, when we see people doing what we want to do, is it okay to feel these plateaus? Like, sometimes you feel elated, others you feel “that should be me” and others you question how in the world did she do that? It is all over the place, as you can see. How can we feel to make our journey a smoother one? Are these feelings okay or should we work on being excited all the time (which is possible you just have to get in the knowing state)?
Dyson’s is a great story, I agree. Definitely a good reminder of how to view our failures as part of the process, and I’m sure he did have his own plateaus and moments of doubt, same as the rest of us do. He wouldn’t be human otherwise. 🙂
It’s always OK to feel whatever you’re feeling. Remember that your feelings, in and of themselves, are neither bad nor good — they are just an indication of where your own alignment happens to be. Your feelings are feedback, and if you can start viewing them as such (rather than getting swept away in them, as we all so often tend to), they become a tool to help you refine your alignment.
Don’t try to force yourself to be excited all the time — if you’re not feeling it, trying to deny what you are feeling will just make it worse (what we resist, persists). You can try using tools like gridwork, or pivoting to try and refocus your emotions, and I always recommend that people regularly take time throughout the year to sit and reconnect with their WHY and review their annual plans (or update their vision boards) to help keep themselves in a good emotional place where their dreams are concerned.