What to do when everything feels shit
Sometimes you really do feel like a sad, soft, sticky pile of poop. You can’t move with any speed, you can’t focus, doing the simplest things can require a mammoth amount of effort.
Especially if you’re a solo-preneur, you often forget that you haven’t said any of this out loud to anyone in days and you usually aren’t answering questions you’re asking yourself like “what’s wrong with me” with any sort of logic (the answer to that question is NOTHING by the way.) You’re probably just asking the same question over and over without finding any answer inside your own mind.
A few years ago when I first started my business there came a time when lifting my arms to wash my hair was an almost insurmountable task, arms feeling heavy and weighted, looking down at them like they weren’t my own, unable to fire the neurones to make them move. The laundry started to pile up and I couldn’t see any of the mess in the house and was unable to see out through the blurry haze that draped its way over my life.
One of the most counter-intuitive things you have to do pull yourself out of the haze is recognize that you’re in one.
Usually, this isn’t something you figure out on your own, especially if you haven’t felt this way before. Once you start to notice the patterns of finding yourself in a downcast and unmotivated state you can find help faster and develop your own tools for coping when things go wrong.
And they will. There will always be trials and problems to face in life and to quote The Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey “All life is a series of problems which we must try and solve. The first one and the next and the next, until at last we die.”
One thing you should never do is to answer the question: “What’s wrong with me” with an answer like “Something must be wrong with me if I’m feeling like this.”
Don’t believe everything you think. Catch the negative thoughts that float through your mind like a styrofoam ball on the water’s surface. Instead, answer the question with the simple and truthful answer “Nothing.” Nothing is wrong with you if you feel sad, lonely, depressed, angry, upset.
Even if you don’t know why you’re feeling down, unmotivated or sad, acknowledge you feel this way. Don’t ignore your feelings – catch thoughts that aren’t true. Nothing is wrong with feeling annoyed, frustrated or down. Your emotions are indicators, see what Lysa TerKeurst writer of Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions has to say about it:
“Feelings are indicators, not dictators…You are more than the sum total of your feelings and perfectly capable of that little gift . . . called self-control.”
The hardest thing and the first thing you should do is to acknowledge to yourself how you’re feeling. And then find someone you trust, and tell them. Don’t try and find the answer before you do, just tell your partner, a friend, that “Hey, I’m feeling shit. Can I come over and have tea?” Don’t try and figure out the answer to the question of why you’re feeling down so you won’t ever have to tell anyone for fear of them seeing you as ‘weak’ or fear that they won’t want to ‘deal with your problems’. We often try to downplay ourselves so we don’t seem vain or self-important, but our ability to be vulnerable is the most courageous and beautiful action we can take.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” ― Brené Brown
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Once you’ve stepped into courage and shared with someone you trust with what’s happening in your life, the rest will unravel itself from there.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” ― Brené Brown
Your feelings are for you.
But your actions, are for the world.