I know… I’m talking in riddles again! Just hear me out on this one… it’ll be worth it!
Theodore Roosevelt once said ‘Comparison is the Thief of Joy’. Well last week I really felt that someone had stolen my joy! You could argue that I maybe it was ‘that time of my cycle’, but if you’ve read ‘Be Still My Beating Ovaries’ you’ll know that just isn’t happening (though I swear I still have some kind of ‘cycle’). Whatever was going on, I was really not happy and it’s all because of comparison… or as my mentor calls it ‘Comparisonitis’!
It all started with doing some research for my new business website. I need to put an ‘offering’ together for the social media and virtual assistant services I am going to offer as part of my ‘Social in Somerset’ business (cheeky plug!) and I was checking out other websites offering similar.
I was in awe of what these different people had to offer. PR, Marketing, Copy-writing all with years of experience and degrees in this, that and the other. The more I looked, the more deflated I became! Why would someone chose to work with me over some of these talented individuals?
I really did get myself into a right old funk! The problem with getting in a funk, it ends up being so debilitating. No motivation, feeling exhausted for no good reason, no joy! Teddy Roosevelt was right!
Think about how you feel sometimes when you flick through Instagram. Do you ever look at the pics that throw up on the ‘For You’ function and start to compare? The perfect bodies (the whole place seems to be full of butts!), the beautiful tidy houses, the smoothies you should be making (which I did for the first month of the year!), the workouts you’re not doing and the gorgeous looking accounts that are killing it with their 50K followers! Phew! That’s a whole lot of comparison going on right there! No wonder I’m in a funk!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram. It’s quite a friendly platform, especially when compared to Twitter (some days you could liken it to travelling on the London Underground!) but you can find yourself falling down the ‘Perfect World’ rabbit hole and feeling pretty shitty when you finally claw yourself back out!
If you’ve read previous blogs, you may remember that I am currently doing a self development course called ‘Get Excited About Your Life’. In a nutshell, it uses your ‘life story’ to look at your behaviours, your triggers, your pivots within your life (both good and bad) and look to move on from the negative ways you feel, not only about yourself, but your business/work, relationships… basically your life!
What I’d been experiencing with the work thing was derived by fear. I’m going through a pretty big change at the moment in terms of work. Leaving my comfort zone of PA with a company and work colleagues I’d been with for 15 years and going out on my own offering a service I’ve recently qualified in. Turns out that things that had happened way way back in my past, (we’re talking 20+ years ago) had been triggered and all that self doubt and feeling of not being good enough came flooding back.
This stopped me moving forward with anything to do with my business. The tasks I set myself for the week, I left. I did everything to avoid it. I was afraid of being judged, afraid of not being good enough, afraid of failing. So if I don’t do it, I can’t fail can I?
So how do you get out of a funk?
Use Your Tribes…
We all have tribes in different areas of our lives… from our dearest friends, colleagues, exercise buddies, course cohorts… there should be no reason to deal with your funk on your own. But if you do retract from the world when you find yourself in ‘Funksville’ with a serious case of Comparisonitis, there are other ways you can turn it around.
So, how do you drive yourself out of Funksville?
So, with my head ready to take action, I confessed my feelings to my course cohort through the medium of ‘Facebook Live’ (I do love a FB Live!). Not only did this make me feel a lot better to say it out loud, but being vulnerable and truthful gives others permission to do the same and helps you to realise you are not alone.
Sometimes however, we can take up residence in Funksville. We’re quite happy to sit in our pit of shit and wallow… and that’s ok, but sooner or later you really need to think about getting out.
If you don’t want to declare your feelings there is another way.
The quickest way out of Funksville is to head straight to Gratitude.
Whilst you might be down in the dumps with whatever situation you’re in, you know that there is always someone in a worse situation than you. When you start being grateful for what you have, rather than what you haven’t got, there is no room in your head for negative thinking.
Stop thinking about what you haven’t got and start thinking about what you have got. Make a list… 20 things you are grateful for… Or on the flip side, you could think, I might X but at least I’m not X. Once you start to do these things, your funk will start to clear, even if it’s just a little bit… just enough to get you out of Funksville!
On my course, I am just learning about how to use gratitude in every day life. Just being thankful for breathing in and out without any problem whilst walking the dog today, something as simple as that can change your mindset from negative to positive.
So chat to your tribe, start making that list. Breathe in the fresh air and be grateful.
Until next time,
Love and hugs,
PS; Of course, I’m no expert on turning negatives to positives, this has simply been my experience over the past few days. If you’re feeling more than just in a funk, go and talk to a professional. Seek help. It’s ok not to be ok and taking that first step of saying “I need help” is the biggest one you will take.
PPS; If Funksville looked like that picture, I don’t think I’d actually leave!