Its ok to have an ‘off’ day
“Inhale. Exhale. Everything is going to be okay. Actually, it’s going to turn out better than okay. You’ll see”
Here at Semester, and in the personal growth field in general, we are consistently seeing messages about ‘becoming your best-self’, ‘chasing your goals and dreams’ or ‘reaching your full potential.’ There is nothing wrong with these messages, in fact, we wholeheartedly believe in them, if we did not, we would not have chosen this path.
However, I also want to make you all aware that sometimes you can have an ‘off’ day. The personal growth field would at times make you believe that every single day you must be working at 100%, full throttle…always. We previously wrote a blog on how you often must slow down to speed up and how taking regular breaks can most definitely serve us.
In this instance though, I am simply talking about an ‘off’ day, or a ‘bad day at the office.’ I am speaking from experience here (Joe), as yesterday, was one of those days…
I understand my goals clearly, I had set my focused few, I knew what I needed to do to make progress, but despite this, I wasn’t ‘feeling’ it.
I also felt I had a lot on my mind, I went to my usual tactics of journaling, or ‘brain dumping’ my thoughts (very solid tactics to apply) but I was not able to see any visible solutions to my concerns. I was most definitely beginning to feel overwhelmed. In addition to this, despite knowing what I needed to do, I was struggling to fathom the energy to do it.
There were a few options I had. I could have simply chosen to power on through and get what needed to be done, done. I have done this on many occasions and if I was approaching a deadline for example, I would have had no choice. The option I chose, was to walk away completely. In fact, I went for a run, some nice food, and just put everything down for the day. I parked the bus…and I was completely ok with this.
The truth is though, this was not a planned break. It just so happened that I decided to step away.
The reason I have highlighted this ‘off’ day is I want to make you aware that here at Semester we are human. Yes, we believe in pushing people to reach their potential, including ourselves, but some days we also have days when we may struggle. The same might apply to you, and this is totally ok.
Now if in this instance, this bad day turned into an unmotivated week, which then turned into an unmotivated month, then we have concerns we most need to address, and there are ways in which we can find solutions.
However, I want to make you aware that you can sometimes you can simply have days where you’re not quite feeling it. It is also worth noting, that the joy of planning efficiently, and engaging in this personal growth work daily, means you can be cut some slack when such days arise. If you had an assignment due in tomorrow, and you were not feeling it… then circumstances are most definitely different.
However, should you find yourself having one of those ‘off’ days, I want to offer the following advice.
- It is completely ok to step away completely for the day if you wish (take some time to rest, unwind, and recharge, you can come back to it.)
- Do not be too hard on yourself, if you cannot generate lots of energy this day, accept it and acknowledge it is ok to have a dip sometimes.
- If you feel up to it, identify why you might feel like this, get to the bottom of it, here you may uncover where the resistance is coming from, and it gives you and area to focus on. This may be more important than your goals at this stage, especially when it comes to your wellbeing.
- Remember WHY you are doing what you do and use this to remind you. Connect back to your why, what is it that drives you? re-engage in the coaching task. (See our previous blog post on this).
- Visualise the long-term outcomes, this is similar to your ‘why’, but visualising the bigger picture can often serve as good motivation. How will you feel once you reach your goal?
- You could aim to complete even one task out of your three focused few (your most important), completing one task could create momentum, or if not, you have still made a little bit of progress.
- Speak with someone, in my instance I expressed to the other co-founder how I was feeling, and this helped, you could speak to one of your fellow students and this could help with how you feel. A good support network can be valuable.
- Optimise your environment, perhaps you have been trying to complete your assignment shut off from the world in your bedroom, could you head to the library where other students are working for some company, or even change environment altogether, head outside or work from somewhere which could perhaps create a different ambience for you.
Note: There are several different approaches listed here which vary, and some could be more applicable to others depending on how you are feeling. However, most importantly remember that its ok to experience such feelings.
In concluding, yesterday was just one of those days, today I got up and got back to working on my vision. I recited my goals this morning and remembered the bigger picture. I headed to the co-working space and was surrounded by other professionals. I completed this blog and hopefully served others. I remembered I was human.
I hope this has been of value to you. If so, please share it with your fellow students. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us where we would love to support you.