Sludging Through the Slump

Sludging Through the Slump

Sludging Through the Slump. It was July 2019, at Cheyenne, Wyoming, when I had a heart-to-heart conversation with Hope Thompson. Hope confided in me that she was in a “slump.” She had missed calves and missed opportunities to capitalize on many breakaway roping runs. Mistakes were preventing her from getting the results she wanted on her timeline. I listened with empathy, as I had been there myself, and I’m certain many of you have been in this place as well.

NEVER use the word “slump

I told Hope that I NEVER use the word “slump.” I have eliminated that word from my vocabulary. Instead, I have replaced the word “slump” with more productive words such as “opportunity,” “challenge,” or “training.”

A WINNNER – Inside and Out!

Hope Thompson is a WINNNER – Inside and Out!  She took my coaching to heart, implemented the strategies, and took one-hundred percent ownership of her situation.Fast forward to just one week later, at the Spicer Gripp Memorial Roping where Hope won the short-go and won second in the average in the Breakaway Roping. It was not winning at the Spicer Gripp that got Hope out of the “slump.” Hope got out of the “slump” the moment she made the decision to frame her situation differently.

Words are powerful

Here are a few things I know for sure:

  • Words Are Powerful.
  • Thoughts Are Powerful.
  • Perspective is Powerful.

Your words, thoughts, and perspective have power to either empower you to level up and get better, or spiral down and be bitter. You get to choose; get better or be bitter.

Sludging through the slump

Here is how I explain the “slump.” I call it “Sludging Through the Slump.” No one purposely enters a slump, but I do believe entering a slump is NOT by accident. It is a choice to stick your toe into the sludge of the slump, wade a little further in, first ankle deep, then hip deep, and finally, neck deep. It is a CHOICE. The choice begins with your words, thoughts, and perspective.

Are you joining these clubs?

The slump can mean different things to different people. In the roping arena, it may look like not getting the results you are desiring, or circumstances (which are out of your control) not going your way. You may find yourself joining some really popular clubs, with like-minded people, such as the “Ain’t It Awful Club,” “Poor, Pitiful Me Club,”  “The World Is Against Me Club,” “Why Me? Club,”, “If I Could Just Catch A Break Club,” or the “I Wish My Luck Would Change Club.”

While sludging through the slump, life looks dark, feels hopeless, and debilitating emotions take over your talk and thoughts. You may feel stuck or want to “throw in the towel” or “throw your sucker in the dirt.”

Your focus is powerful

Your focus is powerful. Your focus determines your future. If you continue to focus on being in a slump, you may continue to get more of the slump. If you are just waiting for things to turn around (so you can decide to get out of your slump), you may be waiting a while.  If you think all you need is a win to leave the slump, that might be possible; however, waiting for something outside your control to change your trajectory might make the wait longer than necessary.

Giving your power away to things you cannot control sets you up to “sludge through the slump” repeatedly. Every time you stop winning, or something doesn’t go your way, you may find yourself sludging through the same ole’ slump– again.

Get high on your own supply

To stop “Sludging Through the Slump,” do this strategy, which is tested, tried and true.  I call it “Get High on Your Own Supply.”  My goal is to Keep Spiraling Up.  I want to be consistent in reaching higher levels and Be the Best at Getting Better. Here’s the deal.  Inside each of us is a LIMITLESS SUPPLY of Hope, Faith, Trust, and Love. You are not lacking in this supply, but at times, you may be “blocking” these attributes. Here is a quick breakdown of how these attributes apply to staying out of the dreaded sludge-filled slump.

Possibilities exist

Hope – “Hold On, Possibilities Exist.” “If it’s not happening now, it’s just not happening yet!” are mantras that I choose to use when my circumstances are not what I want them to be. We each have limitless potential, and life has limitless possibilities. I unequivocally believe this, with my whole heart, and this gives me HOPE.


Faith Hebrews 11:1 reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This continues to be a powerful Scripture for me, as I rundown my Bold Goals.  I encourage you to frame your situation as temporary. Believe with every fiber of your being that the future will certainly be better than your present situation. Seeing your situation in this frame is powerful and empowering, in helping you keep moving forward.

Do what you say you will do

Trust – DWYSYWD “Do What You Say You Will Do” is one of the fastest ways to build trust with others—and with yourself. The Latin root of confidence is “intense trust with oneself.”  When working to change the results, double-down on doing the things you were doing when you were getting the results you desired. Get back to the basics, as in DWYSYWD!  This is the time to commit to the mindset of having unshakable trust in yourself. Embrace a radiant, unwavering belief that you have the ability to find a new pathway and turn this situation around.

Practice gratitude

Love – Practice gratitude, self-compassion and giving yourself grace because these things are necessary to keep a productive perspective.  Falling in love with the process of running down Bold Goals is not only loving the good times and getting what I want on my timeline times, but it means embracing ALL challenges, as well.

How can I grow?

I encourage you to work from the perspective that everything you are experiencing is training for something. You may begin asking yourself productive questions such as, “What can I learn? How can I grow from it? What is the lesson? How can I take a step forward?”

It is keenly important to surround yourself with an Elite Inner Circle who will take the option of “Sludging Through the Slump” OFF THE TABLE! They will be in your corner cheering you on, coaching you up, or kicking your butt– whatever it takes to help you take the next step forward.

Eliminate the word slump

I want to encourage you and give you COURAGE to eliminate the word “slump” from your vocabulary. Here are replacement words I have found that empower athletes, like yourself, with momentum to rundown your Bold Goals, when things go “off the rails.” 

Opportunity and Challenge

OPPORTUNITY: This is an opportunity!”  Here is an opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve. It’s an opportunity to level up your skills. This is an opportunity to expand your Elite Inner Circle. This is an opportunity to bounce-back up quickly.

CHALLENGE:  “I am being challenged!”  Being challenged helps you focus. Being challenged is what you signed up for…right? If this roping thing was easy, you may have chosen to do something else. You tackle challenging things really, really well. Embrace the struggle. I encourage you to frame your struggle as a steppingstone to level up to a new level.  “This is training for something later in my life!” (Possibly as soon as tomorrow.)

Growth comes from challenge

The experience of adversity, and not getting the results you want, makes for discomfort. I want to encourage you to take a nice, deep breath, before you read the following statement:

 No one grows being comfortable, complacent, and unchallenged.

Growth happens as we are S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D! Being stretched grows our character, gives us opportunity beyond measure to level up our potential, and makes us the best version of ourselves.

Achieve your bold goals

Running Down Bold Goals is a wild adventure!  I have never regretted Digging Deeper and Doing the Work.  Once you commit to Digging Deeper and Doing the Work, your life will never be the same.  If you are in a place in life where you are ready to “Master the Art of Winning,” it would be my honor to coach you. Contact me at to begin my 90-day Mental Performance Program. I would love to help you run down your Bold Goals.