Are you a passionate person? Do you want to be? Passion is one of those pieces that makes life more exciting and more enjoyable. It’s tied intimately to joy and carries us through difficult times when we’re deeply tied to a cause. Passion can carry us away with excitement and energy, it can fuel us, it can totally change the way we experience our lives, but there is never a place where passion is more void than when we’re in a slump. We’ve all experienced it.
Days sometimes turn into weeks and weeks can turn into a couple of months. I know for me, I’m at a higher risk for developing mild depression during these times and life fulfillment and wellbeing? Forget about it. I lose all energy for most things and disengage pulling that slump down even further.
Slumps are normal. They usually occur when we’ve experienced a life change recently or there hasn’t been enough change (hello monotony). When there’s been a life change, we all go through an adjustment period. When we have difficulty adjusting, we can even be diagnosed with adjustment disorder, which is a diagnosis given when we experience difficulty during a life transition. This usually lasts 1-3 months, but can sometimes be longer depending on the individual, and can be characterized with anxiety and/or depression.
Monotony, on the other hand, can be soul-draining, boring, and feel all around complacent zapping our energy and excitement for life. Neither experience makes us feel good, which is why there’s one little secret tool to get you feeling better in no time.
Passion is a very strong emotion. When we feel it, we feel good. We feel energized, alive, eager for what the day will bring. We’re open minded and open hearted, more aware and present of the positive aspects of our lives. We tend to be more fulfilled, full, happy, and joyful. Passion also increases our wellbeing because we tend to be more engaged in life. So what do you do when the passion fades and engagement slides off the deep end?
Simple. You focus on creating engagement (i.e. wellbeing) in several life areas to re-spark your passion. Wellbeing is tied to engagement in 5 distinct life areas. They are:
1. Career: how you occupy your time or simply liking what you do every day
2. Social: having strong relationships and love in your life
3. Financial: effectively managing your economic life
4. Physical: having good health and energy to get things done on a daily basis
5. Community: your sense of engagement with the area where you live
When one of these areas is off, we tend to experience less wellbeing. When all of these areas are well taken care of, our wellbeing increases creating a much more likely environment for passion and zest to return.
Gallup, one of the leading research organizations on success and wellbeing has estimated that 60% of the population experiences wellbeing in at least one life area while only a meager 7% experience wellbeing across all areas. What does that tell you?
What it tells me is that there are a lot of people out there who are not thriving at their potential. They aren’t experiencing everything this life has to offer and some change and attention is needed. How do you stack up?
As you look at the 5 life areas, which area(s) tends to be lacking the most? Are you liking your career or is it feeling stale? Are you surrounded by friends and making time for social interaction, even if that’s just talking on the phone? What about finances? Are you sticking to a budget? Do you even have one? What about physically taking care of yourself? Are you eating well and working out regularly? And lastly, what kind of organizations are you associated with? Are you giving back in any way?
All of these matter when we talk about getting out of a slump. If you want to reignite your passion, the fastest way to do it is through action (i.e. increasing your engagement). Get involved. Join a group. Start a workout. Meet a new friend. Evaluate your job. Find something meaningful in what you do every day. Set a financial goal. All of these actions will create a shift for your passion to return.
The most important piece is to take action, which can be hard to do when we’re in a slump, right? I tend to be less motivated, more lethargic, more withdrawn than ever when I’m in a slump, which is why a little bit of accountability can be life changing as can be a good ole’ fashion pep talk to get your butt moving in a new direction. (p.s. I’m great at pep talks!)
Many of my clients underestimate the impact small changes can make, but the real change (the powerful kind) is in the simple steps we take every single day. You’ll be surprised what one small change can do AND lead to once you get moving. So, get to it! Make a game plan and if you need some accountability, you know where to find me!
And just a few closing words… a lot of us (at least the majority of people I talk to on a daily basis) are actively searching for their purpose. Purpose is intimately tied with our ability to find our passions and our ability to find our passions depends largely on our wellbeing as this creates a healthy environment for us to be open minded, open hearted, more aware, etc. So, if you’re struggling finding your life purpose and struggling finding your passions, start with wellbeing first. This will instantly create an increased likeliness for you to gain clarity in both areas. And of course if you need help with that, therapists and coaches would both be good advocates to seek out. The sooner the better. Don’t do everything alone. It’s the number one way for you to stay stuck longer and two heads (and hearts) are always better than one!
Light & Love,