I love the word dip. It’s a pretty simple and short word.
And since we all go through dips in our life, the key is to focus on making them simple and short…so that you come out better on the other side.
As I’ve studied the concept of The Dip, I have found there are 4 distinct stages. Understanding each stage helps you move through them easier, ensuring when you do hit The Dip, you’ll make it back out. Not everyone does. The truth is that The Dip can be found in almost every new thing we start, and thinking through it at the beginning helps to manage expectations up front rather than disappointments after the fact.
Stage 1: Uncertainty.
Starting something new can be exciting and full of uncertainty. Starting a new job, for example…will I like my new boss, how long is the commute, who will I sit next to in the office? Questions that come before we even start our first day. Anxious thoughts in our head that often never play out how we imagine them in reality, but we spend time in this first stage before moving to the next.
Stage 2: Honeymoon.
The job is great, your boss is amazing and there’s free lunch on Fridays! Talk of a promotion and a raise within the first few weeks and as the new kid in the office you’re making friends and getting noticed. Life is good at the moment. But just like a rollercoaster, what goes up, must come down.
Stage 3: Disillusionment.
A few weeks or months into something new, the blinders start to come off and we start to see things in a different light. The boss lets you down, forgets about a meeting to talk about advancement. Your co-worker starts to give you the cold shoulder and the commute starts to wear on you day after day. You start questioning why you took the job and did you make the right decision? You start thinking about your next career move…already.
But, before you jump ship, there is one more important stage you must go through.
Stage 4: Reality.
Sounds boring huh? Reality is day to day life. Waking up, and doing what you need to do to move forward. At work you decide that the job is not perfect, but you are learning new skills, paid well enough and there’s opportunity to advance. It doesn’t matter that Bob doesn’t really like you as much as he did the first few weeks…in this stage your perception about the job is not swayed by others. You’ve decided this is the best place for you to be personally and so you plant some roots and commit to the long haul.
So, how is this helpful to know up front?
Some people never make it out of The Dip. They hit disillusionment and never make it to the reality stage. They quit before putting in the work of the day to day. The boring, simple, but important steps in a job, a relationship, getting healthy, exercising, and so on. Everyone goes through The Dip, but not everyone comes out. If you know you’re in a Dip or someone you care about is in The Dip, recognize it, address it and make a plan to move out of it.
Some people slide into The Dip and think that life will always be this way. The job will always be too difficult, the boyfriend will never listen, the girlfriend will never stop complaining, you’ll never lose all the weight. It takes a new perspective to move out of The Dip. It requires seeing things in a different way, finding a way to win, or changing the story in your head (another blog)…in order to start moving back up to the point of Reality.
Have you started something new recently? Perhaps New Year’s resolutions? A new job, a new fitness regime, a new relationship? Do you recognize which stage you’re in? Have you gone through The Dip yet, or in it at the moment? Being self aware is key to moving through The Dip to the Reality stage quickly.
Don’t get stuck in The Dip.
Realize you may be about to go through it, presently in it, or coming out of it…and make a move forward. Reality is where the work is done and the magic happens.
Want to know more about starting well? Using startup principles and framework to ensure that you are building on a solid foundation that may start small but scale fast? Contact Lisa for a detailed step by step plan to launching and creating momentum in your business or organization – Lisacumes@gmail.com.