“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~ Mary Engelbreit
“Urggh! I can’t do anything right today! Everything I touch is falling apart!” Have you ever felt like this? Once your day starts off on the wrong foot, is your whole day shot? Or do you have a sure-fire way of resetting your emotions, so you can get over it faster? Do you know how to get out of a funk quickly?
We’re not always up and peppy. I don’t think humans are meant to be, do you? There are ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Most of us go through a predictable cycle of peaks and valleys. However, it can become a perpetual problem, if we spend too much time focusing on the negative. I agree with this beautiful expression from TinyBuddha.com:
“Our minds are like oceans. Like the tides, thoughts come in and then retreat back. When your mind is stuck, the ebb and flow of your thoughts are all negative. Each new thought process makes the negativity even stronger, creating a snowball effect.”
Being in a funk is normal; staying there is not a healthy option. A funky mood is signaling that it’s time for reflection to make a change in your life. Give yourself space to do that and then move on. Otherwise you’ll experience these effects of a sustained funk:
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Loss of energy and enthusiasm
- Isolation and withdrawing from friends and activities
- Lack creativity
- Persistent feelings of hopelessness or despair
- Inconsistent and irregular sleep patterns
It’s taken me years to recognize the signs, and still at times I can spend precious time in a pretty deep funk before I can get out on purpose. But the good news is that we can all learn how to get out of a funk through practicing mindfulness.
Previously I shared five ways to mindfully shift your level of happiness. Here are some additional ways to show you how to get out of a funk and back to enjoying life to the full:
Listen to what your body is telling you. It may be a case of just needing restorative sleep, good nutrition or self-care to regain your emotional balance.
Identify the negative, reinforce the positive. Your feelings help you understand and explore why you’re in a funk. Allow them to guide you, without judgment. Try writing them down. Start with how you’re feeling. “I feel ” then “I feel anxious because .” Keep digging until you get to the root cause so you can extinguish its power over you.
Take a break and do something creative. You may not think you have time, but how productive are you going to be in your funk, anyway? You’re not. So give yourself a break and restore your energy by getting out of your head and into your body. Creativity helps you process your mood and express things you can’t with words alone.
Break a sweat, get the endorphins pumping, and work the funk out. I use a number of exercises to bring myself out of a funk. If, because of injury or limitations, you need a low impact solution, try The Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Re-education. Learn to release the tension in your body and you’ll release the tension in your mind.
Use NLP to do a reality check. Connect with when you were at the top of your game. You’ve been there before. You’ll be there again.
It may be tempting to blame other people or circumstances, but we are individually responsible for our own mental state. You get to change how you internalize and deal with what life throws at you. I would love to partner with you and share personalized techniques for excellence with you. Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” ~ Henry Ford
You do it. I do it. We all do it. What? We come up with a great idea or a good intention, but because we don’t jump right on it, we never get around to doing it. “I’ll do it someday”, you promise yourself. But you never do.
Jim Rohn coined a phrase for this phenomenon: “The Law of Diminishing Intent.” Which means that the longer you wait to do something, the more likely it is that you will never do it.
When we put off taking action, we lose emotional energy that would be used to fuel that action, and inspiration fades away. And when you do take action, you’ll still go on an emotional roller coaster like this…
Inspiration. When inspiration strikes, you’re on the top of the world and feel invigorated, convinced this is the best idea ever!
Doubt. You start second guessing yourself and you begin a downward slide. You tell yourself why it won’t work.
Fear. Because you fear failure or wasting your time and resources on something that might not work, you quickly plunge downward.
Disappointment. Because you expected it to happen in a predetermined manner, you hit bottom when it’s not as easy as you thought it would be. You may be ready to give up.
Ignite Resiliency Skills. You mindfully make a choice to override what your brain is saying. You pick yourself back up and start up the hill again.
Perseverance. You’re conviction and self-esteem increase and propel you to the next step.
Joy. You’ve done it! You’ve reached the top!
Do you see that engaging your mental and emotional resiliency skills is the pivotal point for making your inspiration a reality? It’s important to know that your mind is only trying to protect you from doing things that are painful. And it’s encouraging you to do what’s pleasurable. These are just mechanisms in place to protect you. Knowing that, you can mindfully choose to create workarounds when these feelings become roadblocks.
Firing up your resiliency skills means you can adapt and be flexible as things unfold before you, because you’re not wedded to a specific outcome. It keeps you focused and determined despite setbacks. Resiliency and fortitude gives you the tenacity to learn from your mistakes. It gives you the strength to control your emotional responses and manage any unrealistic expectations as you purposefully push forward. It forges a strong connection with your purpose and motivation by always having a solid answer for the question “Why?”
If you want to live without regrets, learn to take immediate action, but don’t go in blindly without a next-step strategy. You don’t want your ideas to simply die. But test them to make sure they’re feasible. Think of your inspiration as a seed that you’re planting in your life garden and your resiliency skills as your gardening tools…
- Plant your inspiration. Capture it by writing it down.
- Let your inspiration germinate. Within 24 hours, seriously think about it with pen and paper (or tablet) in hand. The Law of Diminishing Intent says you only have a 48-hour window of opportunity to act.
- Cultivate your inspiration. Break it down into steps and schedule when you’ll accomplish each step. Pull the weeds of doubt and fear. Fertilize your idea with a clear vision and strong emotional attachment.
- Watch it grow. Your ability to listen to and follow daily inspirations is a huge factor in attaining true happiness. So don’t let your ideas fade away. Don’t wait. Don’t put off. Now is the moment to listen and get the momentum rolling.
If you’d like an accountability partner as you develop greater mental and emotional resiliency skills, please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo
This time of year there’s a lot of talk about setting life goals and achieving life goals. But the most important conversation centers around this question – are you setting the right goals? Rather than settling for what’s comfortable and easily within your range, are you aiming high enough?
Archery is one of my favorite activities and I often think about how it’s a great metaphor for achieving your fullest potential in life. There are a number of life lessons you can learn from archery. Here are a few:
Lesson #1: Without a target, there’s no purpose.
What would you do if I handed my bow and arrow to you? Your first question no doubt would be, “What do I shoot at?” When you have a target to aim at, you gain a sense of purpose. It changes how you feel. You become excited about the challenge before you. The first time you hit the target is thrilling! Adding a target changes the way you view archery. It gives context and meaning to it.
The same applies with life goals. They change how you feel about life. They alter how you approach each day. Without them you’ll merely exist and meander through life without direction and without much accomplishment.
Lesson #2: Anchor yourself for success.
One of the first things you’ll learn about archery is how to position yourself and hold the bow and arrow. When you take your stance, you need to create an anchor point – the fixed position of the bowstring hand on your jaw or cheek while aiming the arrow. It gives you the strength and balance to shoot safely and effectively.
For life goals to be effective, it’s important to incorporate the practice of centering yourself, which helps you feel still and aware as you connect with your inner being. When you know who you are, then you know how to create life goals that get you to where you’re going.
Lesson #3: Aim high for the long-term
The first time you shoot an arrow you’ll pick a target that’s close to you. As your skill improves, you’ll want to move the target farther away to see what you can really do. Yet, as the distance increases, your arrow may fall far short of the mark. Why is that? You have to adjust your aim a little higher than the bulls-eye to compensate for the pull of gravity.
You want life goals that push your self-limiting boundaries. And to do that you’ll want to aim higher than you can ever imagine it possible to achieve. And when external forces make you miss your mark, you’ll need the flexibility to adjust and try again.
Lesson #4: Measure your progress
Of course, you don’t expect to hit the bulls-eye the first time you shoot the arrow. You’re happy just to nick the target. Then you’re thrilled to hit the outer ring. Each ring gives you something to measure your progress by.
Worthwhile life goals need to be specific and measurable. When you see where you were and how far you’ve come, it promotes self-confidence and builds momentum for further progress.
Lesson #5 Partner up for accountability
Being a member of an archery club makes you show up on time. It’s a lot more fun and motivational when you see how others are hitting the mark!
When you have an accountability partner for your life goals it holds you to a deadline. And you’ll be much more likely to push through the days when you don’t feel like it.
What are your life goals for 2017? My colleague, Nando Raynolds, and I love helping people become outstanding by teaching both the “what” and the “how” of extraordinary success. Come and check us out at our next free talk on January 12th on “Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet!” Click here to get the details.
Does your work make you long for the weekend so you can escape? If so, you’re not alone. Feeling trapped has caused many people to think it’s time to make a change in their lives. You may want freedom to spend more time with your family, focus on your passion and to make a difference in the world as you fulfill your purpose in life.
So, is it time for you to make a change? Perhaps you’re thinking of starting your own business. How do you know if the time is right for you to make a change? Here are five ways to tell…
Do you want to escape? This signals that it’s time to go on a journey of self-discovery and uncover what’s not working and find out what you really want.
Do your priorities match your daily activities? Are you making time for your top priorities? Consistently doing what matters most is vital to feeling fulfilled.
Do you still feel excited about life? Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you’ve lost the spark, look for it. Do less of what drains you. Try something new. Do more of what inspires you.
Do you look at others and think, “Why isn’t my life like that?” When you’re truly satisfied with your own life, you won’t be comparing yourself to others. Figure out what’s missing and fill that personal need you have.
How long has it been since you stepped out of your comfort zone? Growth only happens when you stretch yourself.
Just the fact that there’s so much talk about creating a work/life balance proves that many business owners are struggling. Does there really have to be a clear line between the two? Not necessarily. Don’t many choose to run their own business so they can blend all aspects of their lives together?
Think about an artist who doesn’t quit thinking about form and color when she’s doing the dishes or going for a walk with her loved ones. She delights in sharing her discoveries with those she loves and later she applies them to her work! In the same way, you can blend every aspect of your life in a harmonious way. How? Your life is the canvas and you can paint on it whatever you like by becoming mindfully self-aware.
Yes, mindfulness is a powerful tool, like the paintbrush in the hands of an artist. When you are centered and have greater mindfulness, your life takes shape as you make decisive choices instead of reacting to situations. Your choices become ultra-refined as you know what will enhance your life’s vision and what will not. You create a joyful palette of “colors” (activities, attitudes, intentions, emotional states, habits, mentors, friends) that work for you. They keep you from getting sidetracked by every bright “color” that comes along. You don’t get blindsided by mistakes because you’ve developed adaptive coping strategies. No matter what happens you can handle it for you’ve mastered your emotions and can see the whole picture as a life lesson.
Life is too short to spend it without living up to your full potential. If you know it’s time to make a change, why not start reassessing your life by taking my 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment, as it will help you pinpoint areas that need your attention first. Click here to download your free copy.
Do you really want to improve the quality of your life and the lives of those around you? If you do, it’s going to require serious effort to become a better version of yourself. It doesn’t work to keep living the same old stories you’ve been telling yourself for years.
What do I mean by telling yourself stories?
Every day we change for the better or worse. Over time a person can become so beaten down that they lose all self-confidence and start telling themselves that they’re stupid and they don’t deserve any better. It’s just a story, but they believe it and act in accord with it! On the other hand, shy, introverted people can build confidence and become world leaders by telling themselves that they have something remarkable to share with the world. And because they believe it, they actually do it.
As you can see, your story is formed by how you view yourself and how you react to the world around you. It’s very empowering to realize that you are the ultimate storyteller of your life and you can rewrite your story at anytime. Even if you’ve heard negative and limiting things your whole life, you don’t have to believe them.
How do you gain independence from your past self?
Recognizing that there are things you want to change about yourself is the first step. This discontent with self will start you on the path to becoming a new person. It won’t matter who you were yesterday. Do your best as you mindfully live in the present moment.
Yes, this is easier said than done. We all tend to bring self-imposed limitations of yesterday into today. That’s what keeps us stuck. So how do we break free?
Here are three steps to gaining independence from your past self…
- Create a burning desire to change by understanding your “why”. You may want to exercise daily, write a book, or start a business, but until you know “why” it’s so important to you, you won’t have the motivation to make it happen.
- Envision exactly what your life will become. Start planning. How will each day be different? In great detail, list the ways your life will be better tomorrow and five years down the road. It works a lot better to set intentions as you move toward these goals. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll create momentum. Each day you’ll like yourself better. Even if you stumble or fall back into old patterns, you’ll be able to pick yourself up and keep going, because you’ve had a taste of becoming the person you want to be and you’ll see it, not as a failure, but as a learning experience.
- Rewrite your story. Start living the life you want. Trade in your jeans for the dress slacks that make you feel like a professional businessperson. Treat yourself to a monthly massage. Eat healthier. Get up earlier and enjoy more productivity. Speak positively of others and of yourself, not allowing any negativity to enter your story. Step by step, create the life that you want. Believe you can and you will achieve the progress you desire. Because you’re really enjoying the improvements in your life, you’ll look for ways to continue on. Your new story will work for you, because it’s in alignment with your desires and actions.
Don’t allow a moment, a situation, or an experience to define who you are. You may have a moment of depression, anxiety, or anger. But that’s not who you are. You have the power to identify what triggers those emotions and you get to choose how to deal with those emotions. Take my 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment to see areas in your life where you want to rewrite your story to become the best you possible. Click here to download your free copy.