Inevitably, in the course of any human endeavor, you will encounter a road block. Something will stand in your way between where you are and where you want to be and you will have to figure out how to navigate around or through it. 

In the context of the Project Mood Curve, we refer to this point as the Pit. When you’re stuck in the Pit, all you see is the darkness around you, and it can be easy to despair. 

The Project Mood Curve

When you start on the Project Mood Curve, you’re in the Forming Stage, gaining information about the project and figuring out exactly where it is you want to go. But, just as soon as you can visualize your destination, something gets in your way and obstructs your view. 

This is the Storming Stage, where you fall into the Pit. The Pit is hard to get out of because you can become so focused on your current challenges, you can lose sight of where you’re going. If you can’t see your There anymore, then it’s easy to forget why you started in the first place. 

The key to getting out of the Pit is to not give up hope. 

That’s part of the reason why your Transcendent There should not be based on competition or achievement. You don’t have to hold out a false hope that you will achieve some far off dream in order to successfully be striving towards your There. You don’t have to be the best at whatever you’re setting out to do in order to meet your There. It’s about taking small steps every day in the right direction, and adjusting the Path as necessary. 

Once you get out of the Pit, you enter the Norming Stage where you re-establish reality and realign the Path towards your There and then finally reach the Performing Stage before the mood curve restarts again. 

The Inevitability of Hardship

Oftentimes, when we encounter difficulties we assume it’s because something is wrong; either with us or with the project. We think that the activities we are meant to pursue will be easy, and if it’s hard then that means we’re not good at it or should stop pursuing the goal. 

But difficulties are inevitable. Just because you encounter hardships does not mean that you should automatically quit. Experiencing struggle is a part of life. We should not seek to circumvent it or go around it. The only way out is through. 

Holding On to Hope 

We’ve all heard the phrase “seeing is believing.” But in this case, it’s not true. What makes getting out of the Pit so hard is that when you’re in it, the trials are all you can see. You can’t see your destination; the light can’t get in. 

Having hope is believing that light is just on the other side, even though you’re surrounded by darkness. When you’re living in the Performing Stage, try and take a mental picture and capture what that’s like. Then, when you find yourself in the Storming Stage once again, you’ll have those memories to look back on and remind you of what’s on the other side. 

 Gracie McBride is the Content and Systems Coordinator at The Crossroad.