A Mental Reboot When Times Are Tough

We’ve got a lot to talk about today.

When I started out in IM I was in school, didn’t have any job prospects, and I absolutely HATED the idea of working for somebody else. The fear that the average person has of not having a job and having no control over what happens to them, that’s what I have of going in to a gig every day and knowing I have to appease some guy every day or get thrown out on my ass.

"Look outside of yourself."

“Look outside of yourself.”

But when you’re in a bad situation it’s god damn close to impossible to push yourself up. You will really need to look outside of yourself for the intial push of focus and motivation. And that’s okay.

Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of new experiences you can have for free or for cheap. This isn’t exactly a plan for when your situation is desperate – here’s what you can do when your entire life is desperate and you need to give yourself a “mental reboot”.

Take A Few Days Off

If you can afford to take the week away from your business, do it. If you can take two or three days away from it, do it. You know when we were kids in school, we would get a couple days to take a break. And if you’re working a 9 to 5 gig, you usually get a couple of days off.

When you’ve decided to become self-employed, there’s a positive in that hey, you’re the person responsible for your financial outcomes and your financial future. But there’s a problem lurking underneath this freedom, which is that you’re basically working all the time. So, measure your hours and also give yourself some time and some room to rest and relax.

Your results from your business have nothing to do with the amount of stress you put into it.

Take some time and don’t think about money at all. And when you’re doing this, rest in an active way – go see a free show, go for a walk, volunteer, work out – don’t just sit and watch TV or play video games. There’s nothing evil or wrong with this, but it kind of switches your brain off and runs through time. You’ll look up, those two days will be over, and you’ll be in the same place emotionally. You don’t want that.

Mindset Therapy

You know, the fastest way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it – now, maybe you can’t afford to pay a zillion dollars to go to a motivational seminar in person, but you can – you CAN immerse yourself in positive energy and motivation. So, here’s the stuff that really saved my ass when I was in the depths of hopelessness and depression.

“No Excuses” The Power Of Self Discipline  (by Brian Tracy)

I was so angry and upset at myself because I was “smart” but couldn’t seem to get anything done. I’d get up and WANT to achieve and slowly get seduced by distractions, frustrations, exhaustion, the demands of friends and family members. And at the end of the day, I’d have nothing to show for it, I’d be broker and angrier than I was before.

This is the book that explained a lot of stuff that I suspected about my life and the people around me and just never clicked together.

  • Amazon
  • YouTube (there’s a lot of motivational books and resources here t00)

How To Stay Motivated (by Zig Ziglar)

This is more of a pep rally than an instructional course, but Zig Ziglar is an inspiring storyteller and somebody with the power to just cheer you up no matter how you feel at the time, and give you hope that anything’s possible. If you’ve got a $20 to drop, this course will keep you in a positive state for almost a full day – and you can re-listen as often as you want!

Brain Sync

Another problem I had was that I was kind of shellshocked. I was living in crowded, unhappy living conditions, getting irritated at every little thing around me. Even when I got out of the house, coming back would drain my energy and my faith in myself. If you’re feeling like you’re at the very bottom,  you can get yourself on that first rung  by using some hypnosis MP3s. Brain Sync does some AMAZING things and they usually have some awesome sales. Pick out the stuff you need and use it.

Motion And Emotion

Get off your butt.

If you’re feeling like you’re “in a haze” physically, you can get a lot of that out of the way by becoming more physically active.

You’re going to breathe more deeply, you’re going to improve your tactile senses and shake off that “dull” feeling like you’re running through molasses or something.

Go jog for fifteen minutes, do situps, pushups, crunches. Something with some intensity and do it 2 times a day, every day over the course of the week.

Push your limits and use the pride you get from getting something done. With all that put together, you’ll establish some positive momentum and give yourself a “reboot” BEFORE you embark on another system, plan or program.

If you have advice or resources for people who are struggling MENTALLY, PLEASE leave it in the comments.


  1. Micah, we must have met in a past life because everything you said, I can mirror and yes it took for me to switch off and go on holidays for me to realise I needed a mental detox and so I have come back to a better mental place. Yes who we associate with, the types of books we read, music we listen to and our past-times have a huge influence on who we are and who we want to become! Thanks for your personal tips!

    1. Author

      Orla, I really treasure your post. Thanks for taking a little time to leave the Skype room and pop in on me, I’m really hoping for your continued success.

  2. Micah,
    Great advice. While I don’t have additional resources to add, I can reinforce what you are saying. For me, it has sometimes been very helpful to blow off work for just 1/2 a day to mentally regroup. Overt the years I have also come to value The Silva Method for everything from relaxation to problem-solving, to creativity. Stress is an energy drain and being sensitive to the onset of stress and heading it off early can be a great help for me. I would also add: Have a Purpose. Once you know why you are here on the planet and have acknowledged the direct correlation between how extremely unique you are as a person (physically, mentally, emotionally, and by experience) and your equally unique calling, you will have insight to your purpose and you’ll find that you really do have the depth of persistence necessary to overcome any temporary set-back. The strength will be there when you need it. (Even if, like my mother of 7 kids, you find yourself saying “Dear God, Give me strength to survive this day, or hour, or event.) She survived, and we 7 kids survived, mostly.
    I know, on one hand, nobody needs more pressure on themselves, but the truth is that the only solutions to your problems will come from You, from within You, not from any external element. On the other hand, the sooner you acknowledge full acceptance for everything that happens in your life, the sooner you will be able to accept the crap hand you’ve been dealt and move onward, and upward (in large part, by following Micah’s advice above). Enjoy!

    1. Author

      Oh, you know I probably could have added the Silva Method. I remember buying it a couple years ago and really enjoying it (especially the intro) but the guy had a very weird accent and I couldn’t stay with it long term.

      And yeah, having a purpose that kind of blooms forth from your identity, it goes a very long way. 🙂 Thanks again.

  3. Even taking just a day off is enough for me to come back to my desk refreshed and ready to work. It really does help and can give you a much different perspective on your work than you had before!

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