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Posted by in The Career Connection

The Career Connection: Turning Slumps Into Opportunities

The Career Connection: Turning Slumps Into Opportunities

By Carol Holm ~

At some point in your life you have probably experienced a slump; a period of time when you feel down and frustrated and it just seems like nothing is going your way.  It could be anything from a break up to losing your job.  Or perhaps it’s simply that your life isn’t going in the direction you want it to.  Whatever is causing your slump, you now find yourself struggling to remain upbeat and optimistic.
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It’s important to realize that a slump is not just a bad day here and there; everyone experiences those once in awhile and they come and go with no real affect on you.  On the other hand, it is also not the same as dealing with depression, which in many cases requires medication to help fight the symptoms.  A slump falls somewhere in the middle.
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Slumps are usually accompanied by a drop in self-confidence and feeling down on yourself; however the paradox is that breaking out of a slump is entirely up to you – that same person you feel frustrated with!  With the help of the following simple yet effective strategies, you can get yourself out of any slump and use it as an opportunity to make your life even better.
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1. Keep your body functioning properly

Your body produces key chemicals that help you learn and retain information while at the same time giving you an over all feeling of well being.  Nutrition, exercise and sleep are key factors in keeping these chemicals at sufficiently high levels.  Two of these important chemicals are adrenalin and serotonin.  Adrenalin gives you a burst of energy when you need it while serotonin makes you feel at peace and happy.  Another advantage of serotonin is that it also converts to melatonin at night which helps you sleep.  Exercise increases your level of serotonin which is why you often feel more up beat and happy and why you tend to sleep better at night.  Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night allows your body to rebalance your chemicals and you wake up with new supplies of adrenalin and serotonin in your system.  When you consistently get by on insufficient sleep you end up with lower levels of these key chemicals.  Getting deep sleep, eating well and exercising regularly all help produce the chemicals you need.
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2. Set small achievable goals

When a boxer finds himself in a slump, his manager will schedule some matches with a few easy opponents so that he can start getting some wins under his belt again and in turn, get his confidence back.  Now is the time for you to jump on the offense and take charge of your life.  Make a list of the 10 most important things you want to accomplish.  Once you know the direction you want to head, start by setting small, realistic goals to help get you there.  After you achieve some of these small goals, you will find you feel more confident in your abilities.  Continue setting higher and higher goals for yourself as you regain your confidence.
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3. See the world as being full of abundance

Slumps can often occur because we allow ourselves to be concerned about our “lack” – which can be anything from lack of career opportunities to our lack of a significant other, or a lack of money, etc.  The world is full of abundance; there will always be plenty of jobs, relationships and money for those who are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that surround us.
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4. Act as if you are already confident

If you don’t feel confident and successful, act like you are any way.  In other words, fake it ‘til you make.  People are drawn to others with a high positive energy level and when you create that energy, things start to go your way again.  One of my favorite saying is from the Dale Carnegie course and it goes “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic.”
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Slumps happen to all of us and they occur for a number of different reasons.  The key to being in a slump is to use it to your advantage – when you are not struggling you may not be as willing to make the painful changes that are necessary in order to improve your life and set it on a new and better path.  A slump can be the perfect opportunity for you to take a hard look at your life and decide how you want it to be.

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About the author:

In 1999 Carol became the first female in the history of New York Life to lead the company in sales.  During that time she co-authored the book titled “Have You Bought the Ticket?” in which she shares some of her studies about the laws of success.  She has spoken about the power of the mind to audiences all over the world including speaking on the Main Platform at the Million Dollar Round Table in San Francisco and Thailand.  Carol has been in the financial services industry since 1977 and is currently a financial advisor for the firm of Carol Holm Financial.

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