We Got the Funk!
Okay - so let me clarify that while George Clinton's type of funk is fun and makes you bob your head to the beat, the funk I'm actually talking about it that feeling of despair you get every now and again that nothing you do is helping and the world just isn't going your way.
That's the kind of funk I'm going to address today - because for whatever reason I'm in one. See, this week's blog was supposed to be all about how to prioritize and create action plans around your goals, but those were sideswiped by the shadow that descended around me late last week.
Sometimes there are great reasons for feeling down - like a crappy day at work, or a relationship breaking up, and other times it comes for no real explicit reason. This is me, and I'm not sure if it is a case of the end of summer blues or just I'm subconsciously beating myself up for something I "should" have done differently. We all carry around these dark clouds that sometimes appear out of nowhere.
How do you deal with these when you get into one such funk? I usually handle it in a couple of ways. This week, I had my kids with me, so no matter what I'm feeling I still have to get up and be their mom. I have to put my pants on, taxi them to school and sports and make sure they are fed and that I'm doing my job so I can keep the electricity on. For the most part, they don't see this dark cloud. They see mom bustling around the kitchen, smiling at them from the rearview mirror as they tell me a story on the way home from school. They don't see the frown on my face after they (finally) go to bed and I am alone with my thoughts about all the things I didn't accomplish today because I just didn't 'feel' like it. They don't see the the blocks I had when I couldn't think of something creative or witty to write. These are thoughts and emotions I reserve just for myself and things I ultimately beat myself up over. But you know what? I made it through the day and faked the smile to make sure everyone else was taken care of. Fake it till you make it (or feel it as the case may be). Now, this is not the best way to deal with emotions, but sometimes it is a necessary thing until we can make the time to properly address and deal with them.
If I'm just annoyed, angry or sad - I will try to snap out of it by doing something creative, fun or joyful. For me this might be listening to some great upbeat music, taking the dog for a walk out in the beautiful sunshine, or just playing a board game with the kids. I know sometimes it's easy for me to kick the blues to the curb by merely doing something I enjoy. However, if it's something a little bigger than that, I know it's time to get a little introspective.
The other way I handle being in a funk is to try to delve into its root cause. Why am I feeling this way? Where did it come from and how do I resolve it? We all get stuck and sometimes there is a driving force in your life that is bringing up old thought patterns and emotional responses, and it is these things that are creating the self-imposed funk you're living in.
With self-awareness comes growth and opportunity. It is during these times that I spend a lot of time journaling. After a day or two, I look back at what I've written and look for a pattern to emerge. I look at it from a 50,000-foot viewpoint to see a bigger picture that is often hard to see when you are right in the muck of the swamp. I look at these pages and see if there is something in my past that is contributing to this reaction. For example, am I feeling excessively angry about losing the big client because it would have been a great achievement or am I angry because as a kid I was told I was a girl and not capable of achieving such success in the business world? This then translating in my mind as: when I fail at something in the business world, that person was right, I'm a girl and can't possibly succeed. This then sours my mood into something way more complex than just not closing the deal.
Our subconscious has more to do with our actions, reactions, thoughts, and emotions than you probably ever imagined. These little subconscious messages, that unless you recognize them and can change them, will continue to wreak havoc on your life. This includes all the random things you were told (and subsequently believed) as a kid that you're continuing to use in order to rationalize why you do the things you do. Fun, right?
There are quite a few different methods to release the stranglehold of these old outdated thoughts and emotional patterns have on you. I utilize many of these tools not only in my own life, but helping my clients to clear away their blocks too.
I thought it was appropriate to write about how all of us experience these times of feeling worthless and remind you there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a way to get out of the funk - no matter how deep. So much of what we see on social media is contrived and created to appear like everyone has their life together, and I wanted to be honest and say - I'm not perfect. I'm doing the best I can and to remind you that it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to need some help - either from a mental health professional or in some cases from a life coach, like me. I've been there, and know how you're feeling and might just be able to give you some tools to deal with patterns of behavior that aren't working for you anymore.
I see the rainbow just coming into view and know the funk has run its course. I will be back on track and helping you with your goal setting and action plans next week. I hope you will forgive my interruption this week - but believe honesty, integrity, and authenticity is important, even when I don't like showing up to a party in anything other than a smile plastered on my face. Thanks for letting me remove my mask for a bit!
I hope you'll contact me if you'd like to explore how to clear away emotional and mental blocks that might be keeping you from truly being successful or living your dream life. I'm available and still have a few slots open for my September Promotion for a free 50 minute coaching session on September 28th. There is no obligation to you, I just want to give back to my community and those who may be a little timid in trying something new.
Let me know your favorite ways of getting out of a funk! Leave them in the comments below.
Until next time,
It's Suicide Prevention Week
Remember, if you are having suicidal thoughts
Please go to this link to access a list of international suicide hotline numbers. You aren't alone, and life will get better.
I am not a medical professional - please seek a mental health provider if you are feeling depressed and/or suicidal.