Exit a Funk and Sieze the Day

I am not in a funk now but I was back in February 2009 when I wrote this. It is one of my posts that (surprisingly) resonated with readers much more than I had expected. If the high of the new year is fading away, here's a little kick in the pants for you to take that first step towards a resolution, a goal, or a change.

I've been in a little bit of a funk lately.

Nothing dramatic, just a little restlessness. I am not exercising like I was. I am tired of my hair, glasses, and clothes. I want to move my department forward quicker, connect with others more, and do something different with my blog. The family is always on the run and we have little time to just be - together.

This is not my first funk and it will not be my last. I have been in and out of enough funks to consider myself somewhat proficient in funk navigation.

Would you believe that I find myself welcoming the funk? Each funk should come with a big sign, learning opportunity up ahead, because I learn something about myself and my choices each and ever time. After I make a change, it seems I can't imagine ever going back to the way it was before.

Entering a Funk

A funk is not generally an overall positive experience. A funk can bring you down, cause you to question your competence, sap your confidence, or blur your vision.

You may notice that you are working longer but not accomplishing more, fighting harder to hold your ground, finding fault with others or questioning the value of what you are doing. You may begin to take business decisions personally or blame all of your woes on another person. You may sulk. You may cry. Your fight or flight response may kick in to high gear and you may begin developing your exit (read: avoidance) strategy.

You may inadvertently let a funk control you.The longer you stay in a funk, the harder it is to get out. Do what you must for 48 hours and then stop. Stop sulking, stop blaming others, stop questioning your competence, stop being your own worst critic, stop minimizing your contributions, and stop letting the funk control you.

Exiting a Funk

You control the funk! A funk is not going to go away on its own so exiting a funk is up to you. How do you exit a funk? I haven't heard it said any better than in this recent Twitter update from Chris Brogan.

chrisbrogan I never exit a funk without a renewed battle plan.

So, repeat after me, "how do you exit your funk? With a battle plan!"A funk is my sign that I am letting fear take control and either not taking responsibility for something I should be taking responsibility for or, conversely, avoiding something I should be addressing.

What is your funk telling you? Quiet the ego, open your eyes and look no further than yourself for the answers. Talk to a coach, friend or trusted colleague.

  • Avoiding a difficult conversation? Have it.
  • Living beyond your means? See a financial planner.
  • Want to improve your writing? Send your posts off for a critique.
  • Not happy with you weight or fitness level? Hire a personal trainer.
  • Looking for career enhancement? Find a mentor or enroll in some courses.

Being Brave

Developing a battle plan is not as easy as I made it sound above. In fact, it can be very difficult. Working your way through a funk can be much like driving in a storm yet there is something for you on the other side if you take responsibility, stay with it, and keep moving forward.

It is only a matter of time before you find yourself in a funk. When you do, seize control, make a change, and above all, be brave.