I’ve been talking to a lot of you lately and there’s a general sentiment that this year has been tough for many of us. Many admit that they’ve been in a funk. And so their momentum in business has stalled.
I feel you. That’s been my year too.
It’s not so much about what has happened this year. I’ve had tough years before.
But this time, it felt different.
My thinking became catastrophic. I lost my objectivitiy. And I got caught in a cycle of negative thinking.
I was in a funk.
You see, after several years of rebuilding my life and business, 2021 was a year that FINALLY felt like I was back on track.
I felt financially secure for the first time in years, not only because I was paying myself a proper salary but I’d also built up my cash reserves to a healthy level.
My working hours were less intense, my team had grown and I had more and more clients, opportunities and revenue coming my way. I no longer felt anxious and was in a great rhythym with everything I was doing.
and then BAM! A LOT of sh*t happened.
My relationship had a dramatic and traumatic ending.
I found myself pregnant and completely alone.
I suddenly had a bunch of unexpected expenses that completely ate away at my financial safety net.
My revenues decreased because of the global economic conditions and election uncertainty.
Members of my team moved on to new opportunities and I had to pick up the slack.
I had to completely cut my salary so I could continue to pay operating expenses, which meant I had to take on debt to pay my living expenses.
And I’ve had to mentally process the HUGE life changes that come with all of that.
you can’t stay in a funk forever.
But you do need to give yourself the time and space you need to get through whatever it is that you’re going through.
The more I tried to force myself to “feel better” or to “focus on the positive”, the worse I felt. Because doing so really denies the reality of the human experience. And the more we suppress our true feelings, the harder it is in the long run.
sometimes you just have to allow yourself to hit rock bottom
Many months passed before I was ready for solutions.
I didn’t want the opinions or advice of other people. No matter how good their intentions were, I never felt that my situation was truly understood.
And feeling misunderstood made me feel even worse. I isolated myself for a long time and accepted that it was a season for me to experience alone.
But eventually I was ready to come out of isolation and no longer wanted to be in a funk.
when you’re ready, here are some things you can try…
1. accept what has has happened
There is absolutely no way to control the things that happen to us. And there is no way to change the circumstances of life, no matter how much we may wish that we could.
Eventually we have to accept it and make a conscious decision to move on from it. We cannot continue to live in the past, replaying painful scenarios over and over again.
That only adds to our suffering.
2. be clear about what you need
Usually with good intentions, people will offer advice and opinions to help you get through what you’re experiencing. But that was not what I needed.
I needed someone to just listen, while I processed everything I was going through. And so, I had to be clear about that.
I also needed different support from my team, such as more frequent reminders of tasks I needed to complete. Or, at times, for them to alter our strategies to accommodate my lack of headspace or capacity.
From my broader network, I needed them to keep me in mind for opportunities. So I had to put myself out there, speak up and tell them what type of work I was looking for and ask for recommendations and referrals.
3. decide on a new way forward
When things happen which you weren’t expecting, you will likely also need to alter your future plans too.
You may need to consider new timelines, different business structures, alternative ways to make money, and changes within your personal life, too.
Here’s where it not only helps to be open-minded about your possibilities, but to rebuild your confidence in your abilities and trust that everything is going to work out just fine.
Once you decide on a new way forward, you can start to put plans and action around that vision. This will help you shift towards more positivie thinking and increase your sense of control.
still in a funk?
It’s ok to admit that you’re not ok.
Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes those downs are really hard to get through.
Sometimes you need to be the priority and everything else has to wait. Allow yourself to take your foot off the accelerator and take a step back from your business if you need to.
Give yourself grace.
Eventually, you will come through the other side. I promise.