How to Deal with Depression When It Comes to Our Goals?

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PE reader Jessica wants to know how to deal with depression when it comes to our goals. Have you ever felt depressed when it comes to working to your goals? Perhaps because you’re procrastinating, not taking as much action as you wish, and/or not seeing the results that you want?

You’re not alone.

In this episode of The Personal Excellence Podcast, I share my experience of how I felt depressed for a good chunk of last year about my goals, and how I’ve been addressing that. I share 3 simple tips to get out of your funk and stay out of it.

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How to Deal with Depression When It Comes to Our Goals? [Transcript]

Welcome to The Personal Excellence Podcast. The show that’s all about helping you be your best self and live your best life. Now, your host, Celestine Chua.

Celestine Chua: Hey everyone, welcome to The Personal Excellence Podcast Episode 2, I’m Celestine Chua from PersonalExcellence.co.

So today we have a question from Jessica, who wants to know, how do you deal with depression when it comes to your goals? I think Jessica is recording from her laptop mic so that’s quite a level of background noise. But do listen closely because she has some excellent points in her question. So here we have, Jessica.

Hello Celes, my name is Jessica and my name is Puerto Rico. I’ve been reading PE since I was 16 and right now I’m 21, so I’m a faithful PE reader. I want to ask how to deal with depression. In what sense? I’m referring to depression in goal setting.

For example, you have these goals and you wake up every morning and you say, ‘Wow, today I’m going to do this, today I’m going to do that. You know, I’m really prepared today, I’m really going to do that.’

But when it comes down to it, you realize the hours pass, the days pass, the months pass, the years pass, and nothing happens. And that can be very frustrating and eventually lead to depression. I think a lot of people can really relate to this, to this feeling of really, really wanting to do something but not being able to do it, possibly because they’re procrastinating or because they feel emotionally not ready. And that’s basically my question. Thank you.

Thank you so much Jessica for your question. So if I heard you right, I think you mentioned that you started reading PE when you were 16 and you’re now 21? So that’s been five years! That’s amazing!

And I love your question. Depression when it comes to your goals. How many of you guys can relate to that?

Maybe you are feeling depressed because you feel like you’re not taking as much action as you should for your goals.

Maybe you are feeling depressed because you have been procrastinating on your goals.

Or maybe you feel depressed because you feel like you should be achieving so much more than what you are seeing.

For me, I can totally relate to that. I was feeling quite depressed for quite a last chunk of last year actually, and I’ve been just feeling depressed because I feel like I’m not achieving as much as I should. That’s because I have just so many plans for PE, for all of you.

Like I want to be writing this article. I want to be creating all those different courses. I want to upgrade the members portal. I want to create all these new video tutorials. I want to do all these interviews. But somehow or rather, I’ve just not been able to do them as readily as I would like. It’s not because I have not been taking action. I’ve literally been taking action every single day. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a proper break.

I realized that the problem for my particular situation was that I just had so much on my plate that it was crazy. What got me out of the funk was when I thought about the things that I could do to tackle this. For my situation particularly, it was about getting help. This is obviously not relevant for all of you, but for my situation, where I was really overwhelmed with all these tasks in my business, I really needed to get help. This is where I have my assistant. It’s her first official week with me and she’s been helping me so much. That has really helped me in terms of moving ahead in the things that I want to do. 

Now for you, what’s causing you to feel depressed about your own goals? It could be a different thing altogether. Here I have three tips to help you get out of your funk and start moving forward.

1) Understand your WHY

My first tip is to get down to why you’re working on your goals.

Here, I have a question for you: If you can do nothing, nothing at all for the rest of your life, what would you do?

For those of you who have been feeling burned out, overwhelmed, maybe you want to take a week, a few weeks, a couple of months even, to go on a getaway and relax. And that’s perfectly justified. You want to do that and just relax, and unwind.

But how about beyond that? How about beyond those few weeks and a couple of months? What would you be doing then?

At this point, maybe you start thinking, Hmm, what do I want to do next? Perhaps you’ll start taking action on certain things, things that have meaning to you, things that you love, things that you enjoy, things that you want to do because you feel that it makes a difference to people.

This is the reason why you want to pursue whatever it is that you want to pursue. Ultimately, when you work on a goal or goals, you should be doing so because you believe in them. Because you want to. Because they mean something to you.

On the other hand, something is wrong when you’re pursuing goals and you feel like there is this huge burden on you. You feel like it’s this huge weight and you need to just pursue it to get rid of it. Then something is wrong. Something went wrong along the way because you really should be working on goals because you love them and not because you have to.

This is where I want you to take a step back and ask yourself:

  1. Why are you pursuing what you’re pursuing?
  2. Are you pursuing this for the right reason?

Know that you are not obligated to do anything at all. You have no obligation to do any of the goals that you have set. So revisit your goals. Are there any goals that you no longer feel passion about or you don’t believe in anymore? Remove them.

Keep the goals that you do believe in. That you personally love and the act of doing them gives you joy. Because this is why you should be working on your goals.

2) Take baby steps

My second tip is to take baby steps.

I wrote on the power of little changes at personalexcellence.co/blog/little-changes/. There I talked about how taking little changes over time can lead to enormous results that we don’t even know.

Unfortunately a lot of us, you know, being the perfectionists that we are, we feel like that changes are not enough. We want huge changes and we want them right away. This expectation puts this huge weight on ourselves, which in turn prevents us from moving forward. Now, how self-defeating is that?

I want you to know that everything starts from one baby step. I would like you to

  1. List everything that you want to do, that you feel passionate about (following Step #1 above).
  2. Pick one of the projects out of everything that you’ve listed that you feel most excited about, that is the most important to you.
  3. For that one project, write down one to two steps that you can take right away, right now that you feel excited about. One to two baby steps, one to two little steps that can help you move a little step forward in this project.

And then, that’s all. 

Maybe you’ll be asking, “Then what’s next, just one to two steps, that’s all?” Yeah, that’s all. You can think about the third step after you have finished the first one to two steps. After you have finished the third step, you can think about the next step.

The essence here is to identify the one to two things that you can do right now. And just to do that. That’s all. If you’re not feeling overwhelmed and you feel ready to take on ten steps, fantastic, then please do that.

But if you’ve just been feeling bogged down by your projects and overwhelmed, I recommend focusing on the now and what’s needed to be done, and most importantly enjoying the process and doing your projects because you love to.

3) Get connected

My step is to get yourself connected.

I want you to know that you are not fighting this alone. This is why I started this podcast, The Personal Excellence Podcast. Because I want this channel to be here for you guys. To let you guys know that whatever issue that you are facing right now, you are not alone. We are all in this together.

Challenges are totally normal in any goal achievement pursuit. It’s important to get yourself connected with the goals that you are working on. To get connected to communities, resources so that you have this support network to help you in your goal.

Maybe you like writing. Then maybe you can look up if there are any writers club that you can join. Maybe you love standup comedy. Is there any stand-up-comedians club that you can join? It is great to have this forum where you meet like-minded people, and you can discuss your ideas with them, get their feedback, and then you’re not alone in your goal.

Now there’s this site meetup.com, it is an excellent place to meet people. They have hundreds of thousands of meetups every single month and they literally almost have a meetup in every single country in the world. So I’d recommend you to check that out.

Also, you can check out other resources online as well. Online forums, blogs, and podcasts even. Lookup if there is a specific podcast on this particular goal that you’re working on. Start linking up with these resources so that you can get additional support. The more support you can get the better.

Usually, when we feel depressed or upset with our goals, oftentimes it’s because we feel alone in our problems. We feel like this is an insurmountable issue and nobody else has this problem. But if we just get connected, we’ll realize that many people face the same issue and it’s about how to tackle that.

End Note

So keep me posted on how things go Jessica as well as all of you guys. Thank you for listening and I look forward to speaking to you guys in the next episode. Bye guys!

End Note: Thanks for listening to The Personal Excellence Podcast. For more tips on how to live your best life, visit www.personalexcellence.co

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PS: Thank you everyone for your support! We hit over 1,000 downloads for the first episode in just the first few days of launch! Please keep listening and I look forward to recording many great episodes for you!

Update Sep 2016: It’s been 6 months since the podcast aired and Jessica has since followed up with an update!

“Just wanted to let you know that thanks to the podcast I was motivated enough to just finish wrapping up the first 5 chapters of my manga as volume 1. 🙂 Been doing that since March. Right now am starting volume 2. So glad to be working on something I love.” — Jessica

Amazing Jessica, so happy for you! 😀 Hopefully Jessica’s progress will inspire all of you out there who may be feeling depressed about your goals! Know that this feeling is normal and simply focus on the 3 simple tips I share! 🙂

Image: Rasmus Andersson

Love,

Love, Celes

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