slump [sluhmp] -noun 1. a period of decline or deterioration; 2. a period in which a person performs slowly, inefficiently, or ineffectively.

A couple weeks ago we looked at your Confidence Journey from building a foundation, becoming passionate and creative and finally entering an altruistic state of confidence. As a result of much positive feedback and a few reader questions, this week we will look at how to handle one of the biggest challenges you’ll face throughout your Confidence Journey - a slump.

The following is one letter in particular that pretty much summarized and echoed the questions from the others.

Hey Scott,

I’m very confident and comfortable in the product I sell because I know it works and I know we’ve got a quality team. My question is this - do you have any tips for keeping that confidence UP in a slower market? I went through a really slow month (May) and it got me in the dumps and made me begin to question my abilities, but now all of a sudden, I’m on fire again! All through May I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out what I needed to tweak, what I was missing, what I needed to do better to get my numbers up and I couldn’t see what I was doing wrong, so then the self doubts and the questions started. But now the confidence is way back up. So at any rate, any tips for keeping confidence high through the lows?



This question and the others are excellent, excellent questions. However, let’s focus on Angela’s as the basis for how to keep your confidence while working through a slump. Starting out, she appears to be on the right track with reviewing the things she was doing in order to get better and break through her slump. This can be an effective course of action when dealing with many situations as it can help you identify where you may be slipping and get you back on track.

However, this can also have you spinning your wheels wondering what is going wrong. The downfall here is when you are looking for what is going wrong with what you are doing, it starts chipping away at your confidence. And when you don’t find anything to tweak or change, your confidence really starts taking a hit! My good friend Lisa would refer to this as looking at your situation from a “deficit” perspective.

Conversely, a shift in perspective may help not only break through a slump, but keep and strengthen your confidence along the way. This paradigm shift moves away from a deficit perspective to focus positively on your situation from an “asset” perspective.

(Keep in mind for the purpose of this article, we are focusing purely on “how” you can keep and build your confidence during a slump. The “what’s” that you can do is for a different article.)

Digging a little deeper into the asset perspective as it relates to making your “tweaks,” rather than look at what you may have been doing wrong or what you were missing (mentally processed as a weaknesses), look at what you have done or are doing great that led to your successes (mentally processed as strengths) and make your tweaks and reinforcements off of them. This will strengthen and build your actions and activities to push through a slump. This will also keep you focused on positive actions and feed your confidence.

One last thing on confidence… Remember that confidence and attitude is a state of mind. It is something that we can consciously control despite what we are going through. It may be tougher at times, but we can choose to persevere and take actions that build our confidence. With time, effort and attention, sustained confidence and positive attitude will eventually become second nature. If you have not yet seen the movie “Pursuit of Happyness,” it is an excellent example of pushing through your slump and maintaining your focus that in turn keeps and builds your confidence - even among the bleakest of times.

Wrapping up, your circumstances may make it more challenging sometimes, but remembering to look at those circumstances from an asset perspective keeps you focused, energized and confident. It is then - with focus and confidence - that you will be able to see the opportunities and the doors that are opening up to you, rather than the road blocks that are being thrown at you.

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