Episode 71 - 15 Jun 2020
Getting Out of a Slump
Have you ever been in a slump? In this episode, Adam and John sit down to talk about what leaders can do to get out of a season of discouragement, apathy, or ineffectiveness. For show notes and other podcast resources, check out www.watermarkresources.com/clp
7 Ideas to Help Get Out of a Slump
- Don't Waste It - We always want to get out slumps immediately and get on to the next thing. However, before we do, we should take a second and ask, "How is it I got here?" Chances are there will be things that you shouldn't gloss over. What lessons have you learned in this season? Don't try to move on without realizing that the Lord might be trying to teach you something in the present, however difficult it may be.
- Get Some Momentum - If you are stuck, you have to do something, however small, to get moving and build momentum. If we simply wait for something to happen and get us out of the slump, we will descend into apathy and do nothing at all. Instead, find something to do. It could be incredibly simple. As you look at everything you have to do in life, pick one small tasks in the next 30 days that will give you some momentum. It might be one small thing with your family or one small thing with your spiritual life. Finishing even an easily accomplishable task will help build emotional momentum. Throughout this process, resist the urge to focus only on results. It is okay to fail.
- Do Something Fun - When you are discouraged in your current role or season of life, don't hesitate to seek out something fun. If in a previous season you enjoyed writing, speaking, creating art, etc., schedule time to do some of those things on the side! Find something you were good at before, and pick it back up. Ask for opportunities to use those gifts in your current role. Spending time using your gifts is a great way to add motivation back into your life.
- Don't Do Anything Dumb - Avoid rash, hasty, and destructive decisions. In a slump, there will be temptations to run away, quit your job, sever relationships, blame others, or any number of other things that make recovery difficult. While you can come back from dumb decisions, you don't want to be compounding bad behavior. Resist seeking to numb your pain with junk food, media, alcohol, or drugs. These are not things that will get you unstuck and even small decisions can eventually overtake your life. Instead, pray that the Lord would help you live a life of holiness and wisdom. Spend time in prayer that the Lord would protect you from temptation.
- Ask for Feedback - If you are in a slump, you are likely doing something wrong and are unable to see it. If you were able to see it, you would have fixed it already. This is where coaches, mentors, advisors, and friends can be incredibly helpful. Other people can help you to see the little details in your life that need fixing. Find someone who loves you and who you know can tell you the truth. Ask them what they would suggest you change. Doing this will also give you alternative perspectives you may have not thought of.
- Believe You Will Get Out - Henry Ford famously said, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't—you are right." This is usually the case. We often confirm with our actions what we believe about ourselves. So we see attitudes change when we begin to believe that God is in the midst of this with us. God is all powerful and capable of bringing about profound change in your life. Ask that you might believe it and grow in your confidence in him.
- Seek Out Some Encouragement - Remember that your success does not define who you are. You are where you are at for a reason. So don't get your head down. Find people who can encourage you and lift you up. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. If you are only hearing discouragement or pessimism, consider expanding the voices you are listening to. Listen to a new podcast or read a new book. Know the people in your life who are optimistic and fun. Seek to be around them.
As a church leader, when you are stuck in a slump, the church suffers. However, even in a season of doubt or confusion, God has a plan for you and wants you to use your gifts. When we retreat into ourselves or into apathy, we aren't living into the life Jesus has for us. Your family, company, and church needs you. So don't beat yourself up, simply take the next step.
Sr. Director of Watermark Resources
Cohost of Church Leadership Podcast