Did you ever experience that you got super excited over an idea, that everything felt possible and you just couldn´t stop talking about it, but then, all of a sudden, you mysteriously lost faith and started to doubt it all instead?
This emotional rollercoaster is all too familiar to me – I’ve lost track on how many times I’ve gone from being filled with energy, my head bubbling with ideas about what I wanted to do, being totally speedy, waking up in the middle of the night because I had so many ideas I just needed to write down etc. to, all of a sudden, a crash.
No more talking, regretting every word I had said to anyone about my ideas. How could I be so stupid, believing I could do this?! When in this stage I’m typically fighting with the tears wanting to come up in my eyes, feeling like the biggest failure on earth, with no energy to do anything, what so ever, just wanting to hide.
It´s a good thing, I´ve now learned about “the three stages of excitement”!
So, you know what, these days I actually welcome the crash! Or, maybe not really welcome it, but instead of just thinking, “OK, so now the fun is over. Once again I was wrong. Hopefully, the NEXT time I fall in love it will be for real.” I recognize it as a necessary step to get through on my path to getting what I want.
Now, what is this thing about crashing as a way of getting what you want?! Well, this is probably one of the most important things I´ve learned from Barbara Sher: When we get a new idea we are IN LOVE. And just as when we fall in love with a person, we´re not very objective at the time. In fact we´re filled with hormones changing our perception in a way so we can only see the positive. When we´re in love, we can see what no one else can see. So many details! So many possibilities! It´s a wonderful feeling, don´t you agree? And if you´re anything like me, you would like to stay in this stage forever.
But, to be honest, it´s also pretty exhausting not being able to sleep or eat or think about anything else. So, just as when we fall in love with a person, sooner or later, this crazy state of mind has to end – or we would get sick! And, in order to save our health and protect us from doing anything dangerous while blinded by love, nature throws us into a small depression. Or maybe it´s just because we run out of the “happy hormones” since we´re over using them, who knows. Never the less, the result is often terrifying. The feeling of total hopelessness. Of Total lack of capacity.
And, for most of us, this is where the story ends. We bury our ideas deep down where no one will ever find them. We feel embarrassed and promise ourselves we´ll never get any crazy ideas again. After all, who do we think we are?! And, slowly, we try to get back to normal life, accepting the state of reality, going on with our everyday lives as if nothing had happened. Until, at some point, the next idea strikes, and the process starts all over again.
Personally, I´ve lost count of how many times this has happened to me. I started projects while “in love”, but when the crash came I abandoned them and never could come back to them. Over and over this happened until I started to believe I would never be able to finish anything. And then came Barbara Sher and explained this was totally normal! And, what more, that there was a way to get through to the other side and actually reach those dreams – even though you´ve started to think you hated them!
So how is it done? First of all, remember that when you´re in love you ARE a genius. The things you can see in this high state are really there – it´s just that no one else can see them, not even you will be able to do that later, so you have to save the impressions for yourself. You have to write down all the wonderful details about your idea, make it really vivid. Make drawings, an inspirational collage, whatever works for you, and remember, this is your “treasure map” – the tool that will help you to find the way back to your idea once you recover from depression. It should be so detailed that even if you woke up with a memory loss you could understand it! And then save it in a really safe place. If you´re one of those persons who have a tendency to burn or otherwise destroy things when you get into a negative mood, you should give it to a trusted friend!!!
And when the crash comes, DIVE INTO IT! Because, on the contrary to what we are taught to believe, the more we allow it to come, the faster it will pass! So stay in bed, eat crappy food, pity yourself and roll into your negativity until it bores you to death! Sleep a lot and allow your body to recover from that high-flying, exiting but exhausting trip you´ve just been on. If you feel like crying, cry – there´s probably no more healing cure available on the market!
And when you get really bored (after a day or a week or whatever it takes (but if you do this really well, it cannot take more than a week, I promise!) it´s time for the THIRD PHASE of excitement. In the beginning, this might not feel very much like excitement at all. This is about getting back on the horse. Swipe away the dust from your clothes (take a shower, go out for a walk…) grab those reins and get up. Sure you´ll be a little bit shaky first, but take out those drawings you made and give them a second look. Not so bad, right? It might not be the best idea anyone had in world history, but sure you could do something with it? And now, your eye sight is clear, so you can see some things that maybe should be different, and you can make a sustainable plan.
But, and this is VERY important, You´ll need support. Bringing a new idea to life is like going out on a long adventure. You´ll need someone to hold your hand once in a while. So if you have a good friend, or a success team, or a coach, bring them in to help you. Make sure you have someone who´ll check in on you once in a while. Because without anyone counting on us, it will be very hard to stay on track.
Thank’s to learning this, I’m now, slowly but steady, getting on with my work. Not always as fun as when I’m “on speed”, but much, much more sustainable!
Over to you: What do you do for getting back on track after a confidence crash? Most welcome to share your wisdom in the comments below!
PS. Did you find this article useful? Please feel free to share it with others who could benefit from reading it, by using the buttons below. And don’t forget to sign up for free updates to be the first to know when there’s a new article 🙂