Fighting Your “Dip”

Picture this: it’s your first day at your dream job, an entry-level position at a top-notch architecture firm. You’ve been excited about this opportunity for a long time, and throw yourself headfirst into your work. The learning curve is steep, and the fact that you’re developing new skills fuels your enthusiasm. It seems like you’ll be a world-class architect in no time at all.

Fast-forward a few months. The excitement is gone, things seem much tougher. You’re not quite where you want to be, but it’s harder and harder to motivate yourself to put in the effort. No matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to make progress. Your original goal of being a world-class architect seems to be slipping away…

Has this ever happened to you? If so, don’t be alarmed – it happens to all of us. Marketing guru Seth Godin even wrote a book on the concept – “The Dip.”

The Dip happens when your effort doesn’t seem to be producing immediate results. It’s easy to be motivated when you see that you’re learning and contributing. But as you get better at something, your contributions and personal improvements often get more subtle. The problem with The Dip is that most people give up on their goals and don’t get far enough to see the true results of their efforts.

All of us go through The Dip at some point. The trick is to identify the psychological change and quickly adapt to it. Here are a few tricks to fight your Dip:

Pick Your Battles: You can’t win every fight. Don’t be afraid to quit on stuff that isn’t working out – but make sure that your decision is objective and not just based on something being “too hard.” This can stop you from being sucked into some black holes.

Play to Your Strengths: Figure out what you’re good at, and focus on that. It is much easier to compete at something you are naturally good at. It’s hard to win when you aren’t good at something (or don’t enjoy it on some level). See my post on this for more thoughts.

Rekindle Your Excitement: The Dip usually occurs when we hit a wall – we aren’t making progress or enjoying something as much as we used to. If this happens to you, take some time to remember why you were excited to begin with. This will help you refocus your energy and give you the motivation to get over the hump

Remember the End Goal: Being the best isn’t easy, but it is worth it. The rewards in life go to the big winners. Remember, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it! It sounds straight forward, but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget this when we get down on ourselves. Just because it’s tough for you does not mean it’s a cakewalk for everyone else.

Have You Ever Gone Through a “Dip?” How Did You Overcome It?

2 Responses to “Fighting Your “Dip””

  1. Interesting and practical points.
    Dip happens when we are off the internal motivation. A burning fire to achieve something and self motivated heart produce wonderful results.
    Nice article.
    You may want to check a similar article on my blog which was titled "10 Tips for Achieving Great Success in Your Job"

  2. [...] For more on giving up your blog see: Why Real Creativity Requires Significant Work and Top 100 Blogs Have An Average Age of 33.8 Months and What it Takes to Compete With Top Blogs: 3 to 10 Posts a Day and Fighting Your “Dip”. [...]

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