What to Do When You’re Stuck in a Funk

Blog April 28, 2013

We are all that Girl on Fire.On the way to school for morning drop-off recently, I was doing my best version of Alicia Keys’ “This Girl is on Fire” and my little man was NOT enjoying it.  Rather than kindly ask me to stop singing, he opted for whining, so I kept singing.

Generally, he likes when I sing.  I actually have a half-decent singing voice for a lawyer/mom/coach chick.  But that morning he kept changing his mind about whether he wanted me to sing or stop.  After about 15 minutes of trying Ms. Keys’ long-held “Fiiiiiiire” note, I gave in and offered to turn on the radio.

I pressed the power button, and right in that moment, there she was.  Alicia Keys.  “She’s just a girl, and she’s on fire….”  I couldn’t believe it.

Me: “Wow, that’s amazing!  I’ve been singing this song the whole car ride, and the moment we turn on the radio, here it is!  Can you believe it?!?”

Little man, with bright eyes, brows raised, and mouth wide open: “That’s uh-larious!  It was in my head too!  Wow, Mom!”

And there you have it.  We totally bonded in that moment and jammed out the rest of the car ride.  When the radio version ended, I pulled it up on my iPhone.  (At a red light, I swear).  We gave it 3 full listens.

Good stuff, I tell you.

Anyway, that song has been my anthem this year. I’ve been taking some massive action, and the universe has been responding in big ways.

But – in recent weeks, I fell into a bit of a funk.  Too much going on, too many interruptions in my workflow, too much pressure on myself to create and produce and serve with not enough time.

We all know it’s normal, and it happens to everyone, but sometimes it can be hard to get out of the funk and move forward.

So, this week I’m sharing with you my simple formula for what to do when you’re stuck in a funk.

It’s nothing fancy; just keeping it real.  And it’s the only way I know.  And it works every time.

1.  Be in the funk.  When the funk sets in – you know that feeling – the “ugh I thought I’d be so much further along by now; I don’t even know what to do next; I’m so overwhelmed” stuff – allow yourself to experience it.  Be in the funk.  You’re allowed.  You’re human.  This means DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP for being in the funk.  That is counterproductive.  Makes the funk bigger and last longer.

2.  Witness and release.  Witness the attack thoughts in your mind that woo you to stay in that funk, and as you witness them, release them.  Rather than magnify the thoughts, which will only keep you in the funk, focus on where you want to go, what you want to achieve next.  As Star Jones said from the stage Friday at a conference I was attending, “Your attention sends you in the direction that will ultimately determine your destination.”  Aint’ that the truth.

3.  Forgive yourself.  The more pressure we put on ourselves to produce, achieve, accomplish, the more frustrated we are when we fall short of getting it all done in the limited timeframe we at first allowed ourselves.  If you’re beating yourself up about it, you’re making it even harder to move forward on your priorities.  Get a black belt in self-forgiveness.  It’s the only way to move forward.

4.  Buckle up, and reignite your inner fire.  How?  Check your excuses at the door and take action.  One small action.  Write it down.  Put it in your calendar.  Tell people what you’re doing so you build in some social accountability.  And then do it.

We are all that “girl on fire.”  We just sometimes have to remember to get out our own way and let that fire burn.

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