Before trying to get to the other side of your dip, let’s start with this little love note, dear reader:
Dips are an important part of any long-term process. And if we’re talking personal development, it’s actually where most of the growth happens. But, when you’re in it, it feels like you’re never getting out – and don’t I know it. 🙄
My personal and professional growth has been rather significant over the past year. And, of course, as you do, I started to hope/believe/expect that this also meant dips were a thing of the past.
Yeah. I know.
So now I’m here, at the tail end of my first real dip this year. Hoping the reminders that helped me get to this point can inspire you to help yourself through your next dip, too.
First stop, the stages of the dip
You’re probably already (all too) familiar with the stages of the dip, but let’s recap:
- Denial: ”It’s just a bad day, I can push through it.”
- Bargaining: ”Hmm, well, if I just do *this*, THEN it will all go back to normal.”
- All-or-nothing + labeling: ”I’ve tried, it didn’t work, so now I’ll be stuck in the dip forever. I suck and I will never ever succeed at anything in life.”
- Acceptance: ”Okay fine, I’m in the dip, it sucks, but it’s not a problem (and I’m still pretty cool 😎).”
But how do you actually get all the way to the acceptance part?
#1 The foundation of dealing with the dip is understanding it
You have seriously upleveled – proof is in the dip – and this is your brain’s way of recalibrating. (Note: just because you have normalized your growth, does not mean it didn’t happen 😙.)
As Sam Laura Brown talked about on her podcast The Perfectionism Project:
When climbing the Mount Everest, you don’t start at base camp and from there just ascend all the way to the top – you ascend, then descend a bit, ascend further, descend a bit, etc.
Your body needs the descends to acclimatize.
I don’t know if this is true or not (I don’t think my back will approve of me climbing even a little too steep of a hill 😂), but it was the perfect image to help me reconnect with the usefulness of the dip.
The dip is a worthy part of your development
You literally need to descend once in a while in order to get to the top.
Until the dip, it’s like you haven’t updated your computer in a while, but you’re already using all of the advanced software as if you did.
This is growth. First, you change your behavior, then, the heart & mind follow.
The computer needs to reboot to get the update. And that’s the dip.
Feeling like you’re regressing, and having all these all-or-nothing thoughts, is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Those thoughts and feelings are part of the dip.
It wouldn’t be a real dip if you didn’t believe you’d never get out of it. 😉
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Sidenote about future dips
The version of you that has the life you want, does not have less or shorter dips, they have more. Yup. When you get higher up, you need more moments of acclimatization to be able to further your journey.
(Such a lovely path we chose to walk, ain’t it? 😅)
#2 Getting through the dip is nice, truly allowing the dip is even better
The dip is here to do a job, your job is to let it. The best thing you can do is to let the dip get as big and bad and take as long as it needs to.
Give up trying to get back to your happy & productive self for a while. Delete some stuff from your calendar, if that’s an option. And don’t try to make yourself enjoy this freed up time. Let it suck, dear human, because it will anyway.
#3 Get your self-worth far, far away from the dip
Many of us subconsciously rate our goodness based on the amount of ‘’work’’ we get done, or, at the very least, the amount of effort we put in.
As clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson wrote: ”Being busy is the next best thing to being good.”
Just 2 weeks ago I thought of myself as a pretty decent human – maybe not the most awesomest person ever, but definitely smart enough, ambitious enough, productive enough, good enough.
If you think about it like that, it’s actually pretty weird. How can a few (in)actions change your whole opinion of yourself?
You are exactly the same person as before the dip. The purpose of the dip is to make you doubt this.
And knowing that, it’s actually going pretty great. 🙃
Cheers to your dip, dear human. Make it a good one. Or don’t. 😋
You’re pretty great anyway!
Hi, it’s me, Shirley!
A few years ago I decided to stop making my life any harder than it already was. And since then my life has been perfect.
Okay, that’s a lie.
But thanks to my self-compassion practice I now know how I can, time and time again, find my way back to my authentic self. And that’s what makes my life so much more easeful & joyful these days.
Let’s cultivate more self-compassion together!
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