“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” — Hank Aaron
How do you get out of a slump?
A common cause of getting in a slump is low confidence.
To get out of a slump, stop focusing on what can go wrong. Instead, focus on what to do right and take action.
In Overachievement: The New Model for Exceptional Performance, John Eliot, Ph.D., writes about getting out of a slump.
The Real Problem is Low Confidence
According to Eliot, low-confidence is a common cause of slumps.
“Clients come to me with all sorts of problems. They’re in a ‘slump,’ they’re choking under pressure, they’re not performing as well as they ought to or want to.
Often, their real problem is low-confidence.
Long before they make an important sales call or meet with their boss or the board, they begin thinking about what might go astray, and end up doubting their ability. They actually are rehearsing potential disasters rather than programming their heads for success and developing confident solutions to roadblocks.”
Focus on the Steps and Why They’re Good Ones
According to Eliot, the key is that you need to change your focus. Focus on the steps you’re going to take, not the outcome.
I’m often amazed at how quickly people forget what got them where they are in the first place.
The person who is frozen with anxiety over meeting with the board to discuss the financial condition of the company has managed to ignore the simplest fact of the situation: He’s being called in to solve a problem, to help move the company forward, to give knowledge or defend viable strategic moves.
Instead of thinking about how he might screw up, he ought to be focusing on the steps he’s going to take and why they’re good ones.
Action is the Fundamental Aspect of Confidence
According to Eliot, action is a cornerstone of confidence.
“Lynn Katen already knew more about regulations around the country than anyone else at the bank.
Once she started acting on that fact, her confidence grew, and so did the bank’s confidence in her.
This underscores what I think is a fundamental aspect of confidence: Action.”
Key Take Aways
Here are my key take aways:
- Low-confidence is a common cause of slumps. When you lose your confidence, you start to focus on the wrong thing and you interfere with your performance.
- Action helps restore confidence. Taking action helps you break out of a slump. It’s a chance for you to build small wins over the things you can control. This will help you find your groove again.
- Focus on your steps. Focus on the right steps over focusing on what can go wrong. Focus on the things you can control and do them well.
The key to building confidence is taking action and moving forward despite the setbacks.
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