What to do when you're in a Funk
I've been running this program for a few months now with a wonderful group of women. My role in the program is facilitator but I am also a participant working on my own business and one of my personal goals is to write and share my writings. But my day job has been really, really hard. Emotionally and physically hard. Many days my confidence is on the floor.
My goal for the last few weeks has been to write something that I am not terribly embarrassed to post. Literally, that was the goal - something I am not embarrassed to post. But when I am down, I have a hard time with inspiration. I struggle to find my voice.
And for the third time in so many weeks, I had failed to complete my commitments. The whole purpose of the program is to provide accountability through a group of peers as we work towards our goals. So falling on my commitments is total anti-everything I am teaching and encouraging.
So I decided I needed to get out of my funk. Here's what I did:
- Take a break. I decided to take a break from the thing that was weighing me down. You can't always do that in life but when you can because the thing lacks urgency, it's OK to take a break. It feels counterintuitive in a culture that emphasizes leaning in to our problems but taking a break often opens us up and gives space for clarity.
- Shift my focus. Since I couldn't focus on writing, I decided to focus on other things that I could do. Not busy work, but other things that are part of my plan where I can make some progress towards my goals. I needed to work on my website and that does not require the same level of emotional digging that writing does. I made some good progress there. I also helped a friend with her site and it felt good to help someone else.
- Give yourself some credit. It's been a rough few months for me but I decided to take a look back to where I've been. And I was amazed. One of my personal goals is to reduce debt and buy less non-essentials. When I looked at my finances, I saw that I had made great progress in this area. Savings was up, debt was decreasing at a nice pace. This felt really good and I got a boost from making progress there.
I also realized that while my writing was not going as fast as I wanted, I was doing well in other areas. I had gotten real clarity in almost every other area of the program. I had done some really great things at work that helped others work better.
Give yourself some credit for the things you have done. Maybe life has taken you down a different path and there's good in that too.
- Practice gratitude. I find that I can break out of negativity by practicing gratitude. I do this naturally as I don't like wallowing in negativity because it's physically uncomfortable for me. But I decided to look intentionally at what I have in my life and the list just kept growing.
But maybe you have a busy life with kids or parents to take care of. Or two jobs. Or are dealing with illness or unemployment. And it's great for me that I've been able to make progress in other areas but what could you possibly say?
When I think of gratitude, I think of the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. I remind myself that I am grateful to have my eyesight and see the beauty in everything around me, and that my heart is working well (Book: The Energy of Mindfulness). When I am really down, I remind myself of how lucky I am not to live in a war-torn country where people are living in constant devastation. I envision what that must feel like and my heart aches for those people. But I realize how incredibly lucky I am to live in what Nhat calls 'paradise'. Here's a post that guides you through creating a Gratitude Practice.
So what happened you might wonder? I was able to write something. You know this because you are reading this. And I am more motivated than ever because I also got some clarity from taking the break and refocusing. I got energy and motivation from celebrating other good things.
What do you do when you are stuck?
Read my previous post on the pilot program: Word of the Week: Focus