The Anatomy of a Slump: Why it Happens & How to Handle it

The Anatomy of a Slump: Why it Happens & How to Handle it

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been in a writing slump for the better part of a year. It’s been increasingly challenging for me to find topics worth exploring in-depth, and worse so, finding the drive to write. This shouldn’t be that difficult, right? There are millions of subjects and angles to be tackled, yet here I am, struggling to put fingers to keys. Sure, I have been busy improving other areas of my life, but that is no excuse. I haven’t forced myself through these slumps, and that is where I have failed. I’ve ignored the words of the great writer Steven Pressfield, when he says, “the most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” 

Writing is my side hustle, something that began in January 2014 as a way for me to share my experiences and commentary with the world. I began my chronicles with the goal of helping as many men as possible overcome their fear of women. Eventually I moved into the self-mastery space, crafting longer form articles exploring various topics around self-reliance, tenacity, grit, and mindset. I mixed in the occasional fitness article, and even made a free resource available (with my newsletter here). The latest evolution of Shameless Pride was combining self-mastery with great books I have read; exploring how to take the experiences of great leaders of the past and apply to our own lives. From learning success from Genghis Khan, to understanding adversity from George Washington’s heroics, we can use the experiences of others to avoid pitfalls and setbacks on our road to fulfillment.

Now let’s get back to slumps. The slump has gotten to me, suffocating my sense of creative drive. That much is certain. But in thinking about it, a slump is nothing more than the manifestation of adversity. The only way to overcome it is to fight. Fight hard. Day in, day out. Keep fighting until I shake it off and conqueror it completely.

I slump. You slump. Bill Gates slumps. It happens.We all slump at some point in life. Probably many times. And that’s okay. Remember, a slump can apply to anything – maybe you’ve slacked in the gym, been unfocused at work, or lazy in your relationship. Whatever it may be, if we fall out of a great routine, it can often become harder and harder to get back on track. We just have to attack it head on. The longer we wait, themore difficult it will be

We can’t let it affect our self-esteem or our sense of purpose.

A slump is simply fear in action. Steven Pressfield sums it up perfectly:

“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.”

A slump is allowing fear to run our lives. Most people waste their lives away, living a boring existence, going through the motions day after day. When the end comes, these same people are tormented by regret.

Such inaction keeps people at boring jobs, unsatisfying relationships, and attached to hometowns and “friends” that offer nothing beneficial to personal growth. The majority of people are born and die in the same city or town. Misery is accepted because it’s easier than risking failure. The fear of change (and the unknown) is so great, that we are willing to sacrifice the best years of our lives to keep the status quo intact.

I promise to attack this slump with everything I have. I implore you to do the same. Don’t let fear win. Don’t let inaction rule the day. Embrace risk and work through hardships with everything you have. The reward will be worth it. Celebrate the small victories and watch them snowball into significant accomplishments.

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