What is Gumption?
Gumption is often defined as spirited initiative or resourcefulness. Others describe it as the ability to decide what is the best thing to do in a particular situation and to act with energy and determination. Others might call it strong will. Informally, others might say that gumption is similar to mojo.
If you were searching about how to find or return to your gumption, maybe you are thinking about how to get back to a person who is in control of their life, and knows what they’re doing and where they are going. Maybe this is about confidence, and happiness.
To Get Your Groove Back, First Take Stock Of How You Get Here
The first step to getting your gumption back is to figure out what happened to it. Take a look at when or where in your life you felt like you had this feeling that you had gumption, that you had courage, guts, or moxie.
Was this during youth, or during a time when you were very successful in your job, or in your family life? See if you can pinpoint where the highs and lows occurred, or if it has been just a gradual decline over time. If you can figure out where you came and where you have been, that you will be able to more easily direct where you need to go.
Action Items To Get Your Gumption Back
In general, as you work to get your life straightened out and get back into the driver seat here is a list of several things that you can do to pave the way to getting your gushing back.
What Are Things You Used To Love, and Can You Get Back To Them?
If you looked back at your life and could see the progression of confidence and how it changed, you probably also saw yourself doing a lot of different things that you no longer do. Can you return to doing those things, that used to make you feel confident and happy? Perhaps work or children have made it difficult. Sometimes making some priority shifts in your life can make some room for those old activities that used to bring you so much joy.
Take A Look At Your Stress and Reduce It Whenever Possible
Take a look at your stress level. When you have a lot of stress in your life, it makes it incredibly difficult to feel like you are in control, because you are always dealing with something that is troubling you or something that is difficult or distracting.
Stress has a very harmful effect to your body in mind. It causes inflammation and swelling throughout your body and joints, and your brain doesn’t function as well either. In general, while stressed, you don’t feel like the best version of yourself because your body is fighting battles whether you were thinking about your stress or not.
If you can’t take control of your stress levels by removing the stress from your life, such as switching jobs or ending a harmful relationship, try getting help to cope with your stress, either by spending time with trusted confidants or even seeking the assistance of a counselor.
Ramp Up Your Self-Care
Next, take steps to work on your self care. If you are struggling to get any sort of physical activity and your life, returning to a routine physical activity can dramatically improve your outlook on life and help you feel more confident in all of your personal and work life situations. It could be as simple as adding a 30 minute walk to your daily routine. If you have time or the ability to do so, I recommend that you employed higher level fitness activities or weightlifting.
Feeling down in the dumps is also a great time to look at look at your nutrition. Sometimes, just changing up how you eat can have a drastic impact upon your outlook on the world, because you feel GOOD rather than tired and depressed from eating food that is awful for you.
You will be amazed with how much better you feel, and this feeling of health will transfer to all of the rest of your activities.
Cut Out Pointless and Mind-numbing Distractions
The next thing you should consider doing is removing distractions. I don’t even think most of us realize how much time we spend distracting ourselves with things, when we could use it that time for better use. How much time are you spending on social media, such as Facebook or Instagram. If you are spending 20, 30, 40, 50, 90 minutes, or even hours, on social media scrolling and looking at other peoples posts, you are not spending that time getting control of your own life.
In fact, spending a lot of time looking at how other people are living their lives has been shown across the board to make us feel less positive about our own lives overall. It may not be that you’ve lost your Russian at all, it could just be that you find yourself comparing your life two other people’s social media versions of their lives, and that is the reason that you are struggling.
Instead of watching television that has no purpose but to numb you from thinking about the day or your life, try to engage in activities that encourage growth in your life. Take up a simple hobby, or read something. ANYTHING (most people in the world don’t read a single book in a year). Do something that causes you to grow rather than stagnate or slide backwards. Having something new to think about or talk about can definitely improve your own feelings about yourself.
Change Your Crowd
Another thing that I recommend that you do while you were working on returning to a place of self-awareness and confidence, is to surround yourself with like-minded people. If you spend your free time around people who are negative, who are also struggling with confidence, or who are stuck in are doing nothing in their lives to improve themselves, it will be very difficult for you to pull yourself up and return to that time of life when you felt like you were confident and in control.
Seek Out Struggle, and Give Yourself a Chance to Succeed
A lot of times when you are struggling with self-confidence, it is because you have not had opportunities to overcome a struggle and achieve something. When we are young, these opportunities presented themselves often. Perhaps we are engaged in sports. Or school where artificial challenges are posed in class for us to overcome. Everything was about growth when we were young.
When we get older, these challenge/growth opportunities get smaller and smaller, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent or have a job that is routine and consistent. It may mean that you need to pick up a hobby that is challenging, where you can grow and learn and then finally achieve some goals. You’d be amazed at how much better you feel about yourself when you set up a goal that is difficult for you and then you manage to find a way to achievement. Running your first 5k might be an example of a goal that you could set for yourself and achieve. Learn how to quilt, start volunteering, just do something that is new and different for you that takes you out of your comfort zone.
Get Some Perspective By Doing More For Others
Struggling with self-confidence or feeling that life isn’t going quite the way that we want to is normal, but it is very self-focused and internal. Sometimes what we need when we are feeling down about ourselves is to get some perspective. If you are solely focused on yourself and how you don’t feel like the best version of yourself, this is a great time to go out and volunteer to work with those not as fortunate as you. It could be as simple as volunteering at the local mission, hoping out with local food banks, or one of the many other volunteer opportunities in your community that may exist. Seeing some very strong reminders of how fortunate we actually are and how well we are actually doing in our lives can do or self-confidence a world of good.
I also recommend that you try to spend some time thinking about how you can help other people in your life, not just through community volunteering. Could you make someone else’s life better by a small act of kindness? Helping an elderly neighbor weed her garden or take a load of branches to the yard waste center? Take flowers to your assistant? Buy someone random a coffee? Donate to the school theater when they are raising money for curtains? You can make a huge difference in the lives of others with small acts, and that broad impact can drastically impact how you feel about yourself.
Change It Up
Take yourself out of your normal routine. Feeling stagnant and struggling with confidence it’s often the result of doing the same thing over and over. Instead of your normal before work routine, get up a little earlier and stop by your favorite bakery on the way to work. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Try new foods or meet some new people. Sometimes a small shake up can do a world of good.
In the same vein, sometimes a BIG shake-up can do a world of good. If you can afford to do so, this is a great time to take a trip, especially out of the country. An international traveling opportunity is one that will provide you numerous instances to meet new people, see new things, be faced with traveling challenges and overcome them. It will provide you with new perspectives about yourself in the world, and like most traveling, you will come back a changed person. You will shake off all of the old dust and much of your negative thinking and feel re-energized about the role that you live in.
When Nothing Seems To Be Working
If you are diligently working on returning to a period of self confidence and happiness, but aren’t getting anywhere, you may want to consider that there is a physical impediment that exists. Sometimes, our feelings negativity or self-worth are the result of chemical imbalances in our bodies or in our brains. It could be that the addition of a simple vitamin could drastically impact how you feel in a given day. Perhaps seeing a specialist to review some blood work, to review your daily diet and physical activity schedule, and to talk about how you were feeling good get you back to where you want to be.
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Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the screen when the kids are occupied. She can be reached through the Contact Us page.