When you get dejected and start wondering, “What’s the point?”

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There’s nothing quite like being in a dejected, downward spiral.

It doesn’t matter why — maybe it’s because something you really wanted to work out isn’t happening, or maybe you have no idea what you want out of life and going to work every day is draining you beyond measure — getting to a place where you’re asking, “What’s the point?” is a pretty shitty place to be.

Personally, I think the worst part about feeling dejected is how heavy other things in life feel on top of it. Suddenly, everything has the potential to make you feel terrible and sullen: how your clothes fit that day, that ugly stain on your carpet you’ve been meaning to steam clean, the countless emails in your inbox that need sorting.

Even if they seem trivial and non-important, everything can feel heavy, difficult, and a little hopeless.

I could go on and on about why you feel the way you do, but I don’t have 10,000 words and you don’t want to read that much. And besides, that’s what actual on-the-phone coaching is for. It’s much more efficient to get to individual whys one on one.

I’M MORE INTERESTED IN TALKING ABOUT WHAT TO ACTUALLY DO WHEN YOU’RE IN A DEJECTED DOWNWARD SPIRAL.

Honestly, it can boil down to just two choices …

Option A) If there’s a better path than the one you’re on, change the path.

Option B) If there’s no better path than the one you’re on, change how you feel about the path.

EASIER SAID THAN DONE? MAYBE.

Let’s talk about Option A for a hot second.

If you’re feeling dejected and hopeless, you’ve got to figure out whether or not the reason is changeable. And keep in mind that you might think your situation is unchangeable when it actually is. {I’m a coach … I see people rethink seemingly “impossible” situations all the time.}

Maybe you’ve got a job you hate, but you can’t figure out what else you’d rather be doing. That’s certainly changeable. Maybe you don’t make enough money and feel trapped by your financial situation. That’s changeable, too.

I could give you an exhaustive list of stuff that’s changeable, but I think it would be faster to just skip to the big old caveat: Most things are changeable, with knowledge and effort.

That means you’ve got to take action to switch up your path, and that action might feel scary or uncertain. Fear is typically the “price of admission” for getting past a situation you don’t like. You can’t get around it, but you can learn how to pay it wisely.

AND NOW, ON TO THE PART I STRUGGLE WITH ALL THE TIME.

Option B plagues me pretty often, to be honest.

Sometimes, going after what you want feels great. And sometimes, it can feel like months (or years) of uncertainty and struggle. It seems like it’s not paying off for a long time and all you want to do is lie in bed and wonder, “What’s the point?”

In moments like these, I like to reevaluate the path I’m on by asking, “Is the end result of what I want … still what I want?”

In other words, is the ultimate vision of what I want actually worth what I’m going through right now to get it?

If the answer is no … then see Option A.

If the answer is yes … then it’s time to change how you feel about what you’re going through.

THE EASIEST WAY TO ALTER HOW YOU FEEL IS TO REFINE YOUR VISION.

In moments of spiraling dejection, it’s pretty typical to have lost sight of the “big why” of what you’re doing. Reconnecting with the purpose and really visioning how you’re going to feel when the work pays off can be a much-needed shot of inspiration.

For me, that means reconnecting and remembering the “point”: Impacting and inspiring as many people of my generation as I can to find their passion in life and actually pursue it.

I picture what it’s going to feel like when some of our big business dreams come to fruition, and it feels awesome. The fact that it still feels awesome means I’m on the right path.

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO AVOID TAKING ACTION

Doesn’t matter if it’s jumping clear from one path all the way to another or just tweaking how you feel about the path you’re on … you’re going to be required to do something (or think something) differently.

You can’t maintain the exact state you’re in and get different results. But change also doesn’t have to feel impossible or incredibly scary.

{Slightly secret aside: That’s why Kristen and I are almost ready to announce a new program we’ve been working on. We were inspired to create a short, inexpensive, and powerful coaching experience that makes it no big deal to create big changes in your life. We’re excited about it, and we’ll tell you more in a few weeks.}

So, which path is more accurate for you when you’re feeling dejected? And what is it you’re going to have to do (or think) differently to get out of your spiral? Let us know in the comments!

Much Love,

Rachel (+ Kristen)

2 Comments // ADD COMMENT

2 comments

  • Lucy Barber

    Hi Rachel,

    I needed the reminders in this post today. Not sure if it is just me, but I usually find my feeling of dejection comes from the opinions I hear from others. When I have those downward spiraling moments, it is because I have let the doubt of others cast a shadow on my own confidence. In changing how I feel about it (Option B) I’ll often ask myself if I’m giving someone else’s say-so power over how I feel right now and about the path I’ve chosen. When I realize I have, I can easily see the root of my dejected feeling as not coming from me which helps me to step back and reassess in a way that’s more in line with my vision, not anyone else’s. I just have to remember that others have different expectations and aren’t going to see the light in my tunnel as I see it.

    Maya Angelou often said that it’s important to love and forgive but just as important to say no. Not in a judgmental way but in a way to protect yourself from taking on other people’s doubts or prejudices. You can love and forgive people, but you don’t have to keep them around to influence you.

    Thanks for the post!
    Lucy

  • Laura

    I am trying so hard to figure out that special purpose that is just for ME. Not that purpose of being aa good mom, of getting my son the help he needs ( he has ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, tons of anxiety and who knows what else) It sounds awful but I’m sick of thinking about it. Not of being a good wife to a husband who tries but is inconsistent and not a positive but yet another thing I’ve got to fix, I have several chronic conditions that I loathe. I’m ve Type A, in my life now. I always have been but as a mother, I’ve grown more into my Type A ness, lol (anus.) Sorry. I had to do it. I have a seven year old boy and five year old girl. We talk about butts, farts. Doo doo and the like waaay to much.
    Back to my purpose. I’m beginning to hate my life! That’s awful but not a surprise. I don’t ever put myself first.
    I am an INFP, for the most part, on the Myers Briggs scale. There are very few of us out there. I’m smart, educated, motivated and defeated by my mind and body.
    I can still be useful even though I’m sickly. I get more done than many “well” people could ever think of, that’s for sure. I desperately need help with myself, someone to push me, listen to me cry but help me be mindful. I need a set of goals and a plan. I’ve got goals but my plan is often derailed by my illness and outside forces. In addition, being broke doesn’t help, included in the goals department. Help.