My last weeks have been a total struggle. Huge loads of work made me feel like nothing is working out for me, I felt disappointed and overwhelmed and I saw no way out. After 15 hour of work each day I come home exhausted just to take a shower and fall into bed. My personal projects I follow outside of work got ignored and I spend less and less of my time with them because of this physical exhaustion I was experiencing. I know I had to change something, or I would break.
At first I tried to focus again because I believe that you can change so much with just the right attitude (and I was clearly having the wrong one over the course of the last week). My thoughts have been scattered the whole week, my productivity was lost and so was my motivation. It seemed like I lost my drive, just because I felt so exhausted and I just couldn’t come up with enough energy to do what I set out to do each day. I skipped my daily principles and routines and told myself that it was OK to let go for just ONE day. But this is not how it works. When you come up with one excuse the first day, it becomes SO much easier to come up with an even better one the next day. And sooner or later your good hard-earned habits are gone. It takes a huge amount of leverage to build up habits, but it seems that it is so easy to let go of them again once you lost your reason behind actions.
This is what happened to me and I knew that I had to intervene immediately or I will find myself in a deep hole (digged personally by myself).
I immediately took action. My inaction and passive “victim-lifestyle” was the reason I found myself in this mood in the first place. So I started a 10 day positivity challenge: no bad thoughts for 10 days straight. When you are focusing on a negative or toxic thought for too long you have to go back to day one. I decided to do the extreme and put the limit to five minutes. Five minutes or more of dwelling in self-pity means a reset to day one. This is an extremely useful first step to resolve bad thought patterns as I found out. When you are not allowed to have toxic thoughts you have to switch your focus extremely fast. So I did. Whenever I had something that was dragging me down, I had to find the upside of it. I had to force myself into believing that there has to be something good in it (or I would fail my 10 day positivity challenge, and this might lead to even more self-doubt, which I really could not need at this stage! =)
Usually if you find a need for something you also find a way. You might become really creative in finding some solutions when you have to find some. “What could possibly be GOOD in this scenario?” I heard my inside voice talk loudly (also a side-effect of me skipping the daily meditation and letting my thoughts and doubts rush free in my mind). But I focused and found stupid answers for it, just to make my stupid little doubting me shut up. “Who would have the ability to persevere all this struggle? Who could do this other than me?! I am awesome!” It was stupid and maybe delusional but it helped me to feel better again. It made me focus on my strengths again. I felt amazing again because whatever you focus on tends to become “your truth”. Suddenly all the challenges I had to face in this extreme crunch time were “fun” to me. My perspective changed into something that made them appear as gifts sent to me. “Wow another challenge I have no idea how to cope with, I guess this will be pretty though, but once I finished it, I will become such a much powerful version of myself!”. Again, stupid delusional thoughts, but yet: any positive delusional (maybe cocky) thought is better than a whiny self-doubting and toxic one. I knew that when I can cope with whatever is thrown at me, it gives me the skills to do better quality work the next time. My limits were pushed further and further and I knew that the next challenge will not face me at all, because I can already cope with all the stuff I am doing right now. Whenever others are swimming in self-pity and self-doubt (like I did for quite some days), I will be in front of them setting the course.