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How to Climb Out of a Dark Hole

by Kim Ades March 3, 2017

Our top five mindset strategies that you can use when you find yourself in a dark place and want to climb out.

You’re laying on the couch and trying to relax by watching a little TV after a long day at work. Suddenly, your child throws himself on the ground right in front of you and thrashes about with an obnoxious tantrum. You feel your blood pressure rise and wonder why you ever thought it was a good idea to have kids.

You’re at a dinner party with friends, but the conversation has turned into a heated, political battle. What you hoped would be a pleasant, stress-free evening turns into one of anger and resentment. It’s an ugly scene.

You have a fantastic position at a great company, but you feel despondent and bored. You feel like you are faking it – putting on a smile on the outside while on the inside you are dying a little more each day. You don’t really know how much more of this you can take.

It all piles up – bringing you to a dark, dark place. You feel lethargic, blue, somewhat resentful and a little dispirited. The feeling has been growing for quite some time. You feel like you are sitting alone in a pit of ugliness.

The question is: How do you get out? What tools can you use to climb out of that dark hole?

Here are some mindset strategies that you can pull out of your back pocket when you find yourself too deep in the mud and want to climb out.

Trade Up
Think about one thought that makes you feel slightly better. It could even be a sarcastic thought – but one that helps you feel just a little less bad. For example, while you are still miserable with your job, you can, for a brief moment, appreciate the fact that you are getting paid for a period of time until you figure out your next move. Although that thought doesn’t radically change your situation, it helps you feel just a little bit better and allows you to start to think about your next career move.

Turn your attention to something completely different. If someone is getting on your nerves, excuse yourself from the conversation or the environment. For example, if your friends are choosing to engage in a heated political discussion, it’s okay for you to completely change the subject and redirect the conversation. If that doesn’t work, it’s also okay to remove yourself from the conversation and take a little break. Go for a walk, make a call or even go to the bathroom. A change in scenery can do wonders!

Focus on Gratitude
Allow yourself to think about all the things that are good and right in your world – and say thank you! So what if one thing isn’t going your way? There are so many other things that are. Do you have a place to sleep at night? Clothes to wear? Food to eat? Yes! Take a moment to acknowledge that and all the other things that typically go unnoticed or unacknowledged every day.

We often forget where we are heading and allow small things to distract us. For example, we may have one unproductive conversation with a potential client, triggering a downward spiral of self-doubt while causing us to entertain the idea of quitting. A huge secret to success is to continually remind yourself to pivot in the direction of your desires. Use your mind muscle to turn toward your goals. Ask yourself, “What do I want?” Deliberately leave the distractions behind and turn once again in that direction.

Leverage Contrast
When you experience something you don’t like, use the contrast to increase your clarity of what you’d rather have! If you become aware that something in your life is less than desirable – an important relationship, your job or your home for example – think about what you’d rather have and use that clarity to take action to create a better picture.

Flipping the script doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You may find that all the tools in the world are useless without personal support and coaching. That happens to be our specialty! If you are interested in learning how Frame of Mind Coaching™ can help you, reach out.

The best place to start is by assessing your Frame of Mind.

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