Navigating Through the “Trough of Disillusionment”


There are clearly days when you realize the challenge may be greater than you anticipated.  Here we are on the last day of the first month of the year.  31 days have passed.  744 hours.  44,640 minutes.

Did you make any progress?  Did you start to change bad habits into good habits?  Did you step out of your comfort zone and try something new or do something different?

We’ve all heard the phrase: “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”.  And yes, that statement is true.

But frankly – life gets in the way sometimes.  You get sick or injured or someone in your family does.  Your <inset major appliance> fails.  You get laid off or your spouse does.  The government shuts down for 35 days and you don’t get paid.  Unanticipated events occur.  It’s how you manage them that matters.

Control what you can control.  That is all you can do.

When we are trying to make changes in our lives – whether it is diet or exercise or learning new skills, etc.  the path is not linear.  In fact it is often full of zig-zags but almost all follow this cycle:


The Trigger is the moment you decide you do something.  And you go all in.  Enthusiasm is at an all time high.  You are seeing some progress and think to yourself – “I’ve got this!”.  But then your progress slows and perhaps you plateau or you just can’t seem to make anymore progress.  You’ve been going at it at 110% and now maybe you are just a bit burned out.

The Trough of Disillusionment will be the biggest challenge you face and the point in the process when most people simply give up.   When I first started macro counting – I hit this point mid way through my session.  I wanted to quit.  All I wanted was to go eat pizza and ice cream and by this I mean greasy, cheesy pizza and full-fat ice cream.  I was tried of weighing my food and tracking everything I ate.

When I started my own business – I hit this point about 6 months into my new company.  I could not get any new clients to sign up with me and I was getting burned out doing all the work.

And in both instances I had to dig deep.  Remember my “why”.  And fight through all of the negative thoughts and doubts that had enveloped me.

And then something happened.

For my company, I learned that I had missed the budget cycle or that people were waiting to see if I would continue.  And I did.  And the following year I got into the budget and gained new clients.

For macro counting (or diet or exercise or playing the guitar) it was like learning to jump rope without the double hop.  I just kept at it and one day everything fell into place.  During this “slope of enlightenment” – I learned that if I kept my focus “good things would come to those who wait – or in this case work.

This blog post is about encouragement.  Its about reminding you that many things take time and its about the small victories that add up to the bigger win.  Its about managing expectations and realizing that if it took 6 months for your to gain the weight – it will probably take you as long or longer to lose it.

It is about the long game.  The marathon – not the sprint.  Its about just doing it.  Stop thinking and just do.

Have the hissy fit.  Yell and scream if it helps.  Then get back to work.  If you failed – try again.  At least you tried.  That beats 99% of the population.  Start over.

But just start.


Thanks for reading…Teresa

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