Have you ever experienced this before, or you might even be experiencing this right now? You work hard towards something, and when you finally reach it, it is not at all what you thought… You’ve reached your milestone: you did it, it is over, and yet, you wonder: so what, what was all that hard work and excitement about…? Not at all how you thought you’d be feeling: no joy, no happiness. No, instead you are tired, exhausted, numbed, lost, sad, depressed, overwhelmed, moody, empty…
This happens with any milestones and applies to both your personal life – from passing an exam, to graduating, to getting married, to finding out you’re expecting, to having a baby, to celebrating a special occasion, such as a birthday or Christmas, to training and participating in a marathon, as well as your professional life – from launching a new product or service, to being promoted, to leading an event, to speaking at a conference, to writing and publishing a book, etc.
This is called an anti-climax, or the blues; it is a phase experienced after reaching a milestone. And, you know me, I’d never write about anything that I have not experienced myself. I have had LOTS of anti-climax phases and before I knew what it was, I stayed in those phases for weeks, months even, at a time, until I found out ways to deal with these.
As long as you do not deal with your anti-climax phases, you will hinder your success. You see, when you do not know how to deal with your anti-climax phases, the risk is that your last one impacts you so much that you just decide that it is not worthwhile to go through this again, and it makes you rethink your next milestone, and you decide that there is no need to accomplish it.
The main key is not in avoiding anti-climax – because actually you want to experience one as this is a sign that there was a climax in your life, there was a culmination you had proudly reached; so, in fact, the key is in learning how to deal with your anti-climax phase, so that you reduce its impact on you and your life, and you continue to move ahead.
Do not fear your anti-climax phases either; remember, we’ve talked about that before: Fear is only your enemy as long as you dread it; befriend it today to support you on your success. By not allowing yourself to experience it, it might come back months down the road and it’d usually hit you harder. Accept it, as being part of your journey; this is a phase and it can be reduced.
Here are my ways to help you deal with your anti-climax phases:
NORMALISE – this is very common, and it is normal. It actually happens to all of us, and we tend to notice it more when it is something BIG. I have found, both personally and with clients, that the bigger the milestone is, the bigger anti-climax you’ll experience. What’s however exciting is that the ways I am sharing here with you today work for all of these: the same principles will apply and work as you long as you follow and implement them. The best way to deal with it, is to normalise it by consciously acknowledging that this is happening, and in no circumstances, label this anti-climax phase as something negative. When people do that, and for instance, let’s use the word “depressed”, you label yourself with something that is seen and known as so negative that it actually has a very destructive effect, and it prevents you from dealing with it by boxing you in.
ANTICIPATE – you have control as you actually can forecast your anti-climax phases, since you know they’ll follow you having reached your milestones. The best way to deal with it, is to anticipate these phases by planning them in advance in your diary. Review your next 12 months, identify your milestones, and ensure you allow yourself for your anti-climax phase, as in, allowing yourself to accept it comes, and by doing so, ensuring you also let it go too.
RELATIVISE – you did it, you have achieved your milestone, and you have indeed added an additional piece of jigsaw to your ever-growing jigsaw puzzle, that represents your whole life, career, and business, but this is only the beginning. The best way to deal with it, is to relativise by taking a moment to place this milestone into your BIG picture. This will help you see it as a single milestone along your journey, and not as an end (think of you putting YOUR jigsaw puzzle together, piece after piece); there is a lot more excitement to come.
PLAN – before even reaching one of your milestones, now that you know that it is one milestone on your success journey, ask yourself what will come next. The best way to deal with it, is to plan in advance by deciding and committing on what your next milestone will be. This will ensure that you have something exciting to look forward to, once this particular one has been accomplished and, it will fill the void, so that you are not left wondering what to do, and you’ll make the most of it.
CELEBRATE – one of the first things you want to do once you’ve accomplished your milestone is to celebrate. Do not avoid this, thinking that the faster you go from one milestone to another, the better it will be, as you will burn out. The best way to deal with it, is to celebrate by booking something or at the very least having decided what your celebration will be. That way, as soon as you reach it (YEAH, you!), you know already how you are going to celebrate it: be proud, you did it.
REFLECT – as soon as you’ve celebrated, take the time to reflect. Again, here, do not avoid this, thinking that the faster you go from one milestone to another, the better it will be, as you will miss out on an important lessons learned process. The best way to deal with it, is to reflect by letting yourself be in the celebratory moment. And, you need to time your reflection time, so depending on you and your milestone, decide what the length of this time-out will be: 1h, 1 day, 1 week…? This will not only allow you to process and learn, but also to be in the present.
DETOX – you’ve accomplished something big, and it is time to detox. Whatever your milestone was, often, from experience (personal and with clients!) our health falls into second place. The best way to deal with it, is to detox. Your anti-climax phase is an ideal time to hit the reset button and detox; you can detox your office, by decluttering it, your body by following a juicing programme, or your mind by relaxing and meditating (my Reach New Heights audio track helps you do that!), or all 3.
So, to recap: this is normal; I am normal; everything is fine with me: I have reached this milestone, and I am now in an anti-climax phase, which is normal. Then, you move onto the next ways by applying them straight away. All of these ways will help you deal with your anti-climax phases, thus boosting your performance as these allow you to go from one milestone to the next, and move forward.
Your success is a journey, where you achieve milestone after milestone along the way. Click to tweet!
See these ways as a series of activities to help you transition easily during, what I refer to as, your “M3 Triple A Success Journey”: anticipation => achievement => anti-climax, followed by anticipation => achievement => anti-climax, and anticipation => achievement => anti-climax, see where I am going, right?
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever experienced any blues? What are your tips for managing it? Are you experiencing one right now? How are these shifts going to help transition out?
Please leave a comment and join the below conversation!
Until next time
To your Mountain Moving Mindset,
Some of the comments received via Twitter:
@IrishSmiley dang. That explains so much that I never thought of!
— Chrissy Arsenault (@ChrissyArsenaul) November 22, 2013
— Paula Grant (@paulaiphone) November 22, 2013
@IrishSmiley Great read especially as a business owner / entrepreneur… Thank you for sharing…
— BBL Builders, LLC (@BBLBuildersLLC) November 25, 2013