Sometimes your love life just doesn’t budge no matter what you do.
You go on dates, meet men, get phone numbers, but everything fizzles out. What’s the deal? You know you are doing ok – you have friends, a career, things to be grateful for, but you know things are not as great as they should be in ANY area of your life, especially considering how hard you’ve worked. You think about giving up. You want to pull the sheets over your head and stay in bed because you feel so disheartened. You just feel overwhelmed, like you have no more effort to give at this point.
In this episode of LOVELife I talk to a caller who desperately needs out of this situation. I talk step-by-step about WHY we get impatient in our love lives and how you can turn a bad situation around and feel positive about where you are right now, so that you can keep going even when the results aren’t coming (yet)!
Stuck in a Funk? Here’s How to Get Out Fast…
Matthew: Shannon, how are you?
Shannon: I’m okay, Matthew. How are you?
Matthew: I’m good. Thank you. I’m good. I’m so glad you called in. What did you have to ask us today?
Shannon: Well, I’m in a bit of a life-funk. So I could use some advice on how to stay motivated and positive when things are going…everything seems to be going wrong. I’m trying to make a career change and that just doesn’t seem to be moving fast enough or anything happening like I would like it to.
And in the dating world, I keep meeting guys and I go on dates and it seems like things are going well and then it just kind of fizzles out.
So I feel like in both aspects of my life, as much as I want things to happen, there are so many things I want to have happen in my life and just nothing seems to be happening or going right, right now. And I just…I’m in a funk where I want to give up and stay in bed and pull the sheets over my head and just not even try anymore.
So I’d love to know ideas of how to stay motivated and positive when you feel like nothing is going right.
Matthew: It sounds like you might be overwhelming yourself by thinking about everything that’s not going your way at once.
Matthew: I think a part of this is how you choose to focus because I’m so…if I asked you, what’s going right in your life right now? What do you have to be grateful for? What would you say? Couple of things.
Shannon: Oh my gosh. Honestly, I’m actually a really positive person. I really feel so grateful for just my life in general. I feel like I’m so lucky to be living the life I have and living where I do.
And even though I feel like my career isn’t happening the way I want it to and my love life isn’t happening the way I want it to, I still feel so grateful and happy every day.
I’m really, really positive person so if it takes a lot for me to end up feeling laid down and like at a give up point. I am grateful and thankful for everything, honestly.
Find Small Wins First
Matthew: What I would do from here then is, I would actually…I would really chunk down in each of these areas, what it is you’re trying to achieve. Because if, for example, let’s say in your love life you goal is to meet someone great. If your goal is to meet someone great, anything that falls short of that is going to feel like a disappointment right now.
But of course, there are so many different things that can happen in one’s love life in between that represent small amounts of progress that should be valued and treasured and in their own way exciting.
And the same is true in our careers, you know, many of us…you sound like someone who’s ambitious, you sound like someone who has goals in each area of her life and you want those things to happen. But sometimes when we have big goals in our career, everything that falls short of that can depress us.
And I know that feeling because I’ve been there before. I’ve had huge goals in my career and when it doesn’t happen fast enough that’s when I feel myself getting frustrated and I lose my energy and my momentum.
But I think one of the key ways for you to confront that problem is to look at your love life and your career and start with some really, really small wins that you want to get.
It might be in your love life, for example, that a small win is going out and having a couple of really great conversations tonight and seeing where those take you. They don’t even have to take you to a date but it might be the benchmark right now is, I want to go out tonight and speak to people I would never normally speak to.
Maybe take a risk I would never normally take and just have a great conversation. And enjoy the fact that I’m having a great conversation with a stranger that I never would have met had I not taken that risk.
Those little mini-moments of progress are things that actually can give us a lot of energy and momentum.
Take that big picture and actually break it down into some small wins that aren’t going to create this either-or picture, either this part of my life is going well or it’s not. Actually, I think there are so many steps in between that can still give you energy along the way.
And what I’ve found is that one little win can change everything. I’ve had times…I’ve had dry spells, for example, in my love life when nothing is happening and I look at it and I’m like, “Oh my God”.
You know in Austin Powers where he gets his mojo stolen, I don’t know…if you’ve ever seen that film. He has Dr. Evil steals his mojo. There are times when I felt like that, like someone stole my mojo. I don’t know how to get it back and then all of a sudden I meet someone and have a great time and I’m like, “Oh, there it is.”
I was building this up as if it was some trend in my life, I lost it or nothing was happening when in fact all I needed was a win. And when you get a win it puts you back on track.
Use Tiny Progress to Get Big Results
So here’s what I would do. Don’t overemphasize this story that you have right now about my career and my love life are both not working out the way I want to. Because the more you build that story and add detail to it, the more it becomes kind of self-fulfilling. I don’t want you to overemphasize that story. Instead break it down into very, very small compartments and aim for little tiny amounts of progress in each area.
Because when you aim for tiny progress you can actually guarantee that you’re going to get some wins along the way. And when you get those wins, you’re going to start saying, “Oh, wow, okay, there’s progress being made here. It may not be all at once but there is progress being made.”
And I think one win can change your whole state and your whole energy towards a certain part of your life.
You want to build up your psychology again so that you’re going, “Oh, okay and everything’s not as bad as I thought. Things are moving.” And it will take…a difference a day makes one day can change all of that. And it’s just a day where something happens.
But things will happen if you continue to put in effort in these areas.
But what will happen if you stop putting in effort, because you lose that energy, that’s when things really will dry up not just in our imagination but in real life too.
Simple Forward Motion
So the one thing you must not let yourself do at any cost is stop putting in the effort in these areas because then things will dry up. So right now I think you’re just in a bit of a funk and that’s fine because you can change that.
That’s just a psychology but whatever happens do not stop putting in the effort because the effort is going to give you the reward and the byproduct is going to be progress and that’s what’s going to put you back in the right psychology again as well.
Shannon: That’s true. Very true.
Matthew: All right, Shannon. Thank you so much for calling in. Such a pleasure speaking to you.
Shannon: Ah, thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate everything you said. It really…
Matthew: You’re so welcome. And you have a great energy, by the way, even just from speaking to you. You have a great way about you…don’t let it grind you down.
We all have those moments in our lives where things aren’t going quite the way we want them to and it doesn’t seem like it’s happening fast enough. But those moments, if you keep putting in the effort sometimes they’re immediately followed by a growth spurt where you can’t believe you were ever in that funk.
So just know that you may not be able to see that far ahead right now but just know that the road in front of you is long and this little slow-down you’re in right now isn’t going to last as long as you keep going.
Shannon: I hope so. It sounds to me like impatience. Impatience is something I try to work on because I feel I want things to happen and I want them to happen now because I just want my life to start happening the way I envision it. So I feel like impatience tends to be a roadblock that I need to just try to get through.
Matthew: Yes. And you know what, impatience is a wonderful thing and it’s also a dangerous thing.
So, sometimes impatience is good because impatience makes us take action, it makes us say to someone, “Enough is enough.” It makes us have a standard in life but we also have to be aware that sometimes our impatience with ourselves or with our progress is the thing that creates the stress not what’s actually happening.
And when we realize that it’s like, “Oh, I’m the cause of this stress. It’s not that life is doing something to me, it’s my own impatience right now that is doing it.”
So use your impatience at times and at other times just be wary of it because it can actually get you more stressed out and more depressed than you really need to be.
Shannon: Very true. Yeah. That’s probably where I am right now.
Matthew: Well, you’re fine. You’re motivated and I don’t believe for one second that you’re going to stop putting in the effort. So just keep doing what you’re doing in and get past this period. And reward yourself for effort never for results. Always reward yourself for the effort.
Shannon: Oh, I like that. I like that. I will keep that in mind for sure.
Matthew: Very cool. Well, Shannon, thank you so much and call in again sometime and let us know how you’re getting on, okay?
Shannon: Ah, I appreciate that. Thank you. I will.
Matthew: All right. Take care.
Shannon: Okay. You too.