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How To Get Out Of A Slump and Prevent Burnout 
You’ve been coasting along, doing well enough with your business to keep you generally satisfied, and you may have even had some particularly sparkling months creativity-wise and sales-wise. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, you hit a wall and nothing is going right. Can you feel it – the slump? 

A slump can be a sneaky thing. It might smack you down when you least expect it. Or it might creep up behind you and wrap you in such a fog that you don’t know how to even begin to get out of it.

Let’s look at the reasons you think you’re in a slump versus the reality:

  •  My spouse/partner doesn’t understand me. 
  •  I’m working hard and feeling unappreciated by those around me. 
  •  The economy is in a downturn. 
  •  The world feels like a dangerous place. 
  •  People don’t seem to want to spend money on optional extras. 
  •  I’m tired of dealing with new or existing clients who want me to deeply discount my work. 
  •  The marketing ideas and techniques that I used successfully in the past are not working now. 
  •  What if my work really isn’t that good? 
  •  What if my clients decide to hire other photographers who work for less? 
  •  I’m questioning my reasons for going into photography in the first place. 
  •  I’m suddenly feeling insecure about my future. 
  •  I’m so down in the dumps that I don’t want to be around other people. 
Here’s the reality of all of those statements. They may have some validity and they may also be your perception of the world.
 
You are human, you are not perfect, and you are allowed to feel less than 100% turned on by life every single day of the year. That’s completely normal, so don’t beat yourself up about it mentally. Beating yourself up is a self-perpetuating action and may cause you to go further into a slump. So let’s turn things around at the first sign of that dreaded word.

Your spouse or partner isn’t the source of the slump and neither are any of the other items on that list of statements. The truth is simple – but it frequently makes people cringe to admit it. They’re stressed, whether moderately or more significantly. And stress is one of the biggest triggers of a slump.

Now – how are we going to turn all of this around?

Let’s begin by going back to basics. Try one or ALL of these techniques so that you can pull yourself out of your slump and get back into a productive place.

  • 1. Move! If you aren’t already doing some sort of exercise or physical movement every day, now is the time to start. The chemical changes in your body are almost immediate and will clear your head so that you can begin to notice the truth about situations instead of viewing your life through a filter of negativity. Yes, it’s hard to face the idea of pulling on your jogging or walking shoes when you’re in a deep funk of depression, but beginning with even 5-10 minutes of movement per day will start to alter your brain chemistry rather quickly.
  • 2. Be social. Social isolation is a guaranteed way to slide into depression and then straight on into a business slump. Aim for at least one non-business-related social gathering per week. It gives you something to look forward to and it too, just like movement, turns your attitude around rather quickly.
  • 3. Network. Do you think that you’re the only person who has ever gone into a downhill slide and lost their creative spark? Notice too that the people who pull their socks up and keep moving are the ones with smiles on their faces and very few tales of woe or negative reactions to life.
  • 4. Copy and paste. Emulate the positive people that you know and begin to reduce or remove the people from your life who always have a sad story or negative attitudes. Cultivate the gratitude for life that they seem to have. Copy the happy attitudes and speech patterns of the upbeat people that you know and paste that onto your own face!
  • 5. Be contagious. Happiness and generosity are contagious. Once you have ‘borrowed’ some happiness from the upbeat people that you know, take it a step further and begin to activate a greater sense of generosity. The fastest way to get out of your own headspace of depression and lack is to give back to the world around you – to share with those less fortunate. Try to find at least one worthy cause or opportunity to pursue each week and you’ll immediately notice how your perspective on your own worries changes.
  • 6. Learn something new. Take a class, join a group that is learning a new activity, sign up for language lessons, buy and actually read challenging new books or listen to podcasts that stretch your brain past the mundane and familiar.
  • 7. Pay attention. Notice the small things – the way a scent wafts upwards into your nostrils as you brush by a certain shrub on your way to the car – the way the room feels when you change the lighting to amplify your mood – the way certain music makes you feel when you listen to it – the way people are beginning to react to you again now that the cloud of gloom is dissolving and you are an easier person to be around.
  • 8. Refuse to reverse. Make a firm commitment to yourself to keep on feeling good, optimistic, and generally soothed about the direction of your life.
  • 9. Success breeds more success. Successful people -- and potentially lucrative clients -- are drawn like a magnet to people who are calm and confident, People who exude happiness and curiosity about life. Having pulled yourself out of that slump, maintaining your forward momentum will be dependent on the attitude and actions that are emanating from you in the future.
  • 10. Keep it up and keep moving forward! 

About Andrea Polito

Andrea Polito is an internationally acclaimed master-lifestyle photographer sought after by thousands of individuals. After 13 years in the high-end wedding industry and having photographed more than 600 weddings, Andrea has been focusing her time helping photographers to grow their own businesses to Six Figures and Beyond.
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