The roller coaster of life’s successes and disappointments can have much higher peaks and deeper valleys for multipotentialites than for non-multipods.
When things are really firing, we’re on a high of creativity and productivity that lights us from within, helping us to push the boundaries of innovation. It’s an incredibly powerful feeling that we don’t want to end. On the other hand, when we’re down in a funk, it can feel as though we’re stuck in a never-ending rut.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong with you.
After over a decade of working with clients that I call “Renaissance Entrepreneurs,” I’ve come to realize that our productivity just isn’t as consistent as the specialized world tells us it should be.
This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us or that we’re not capable of sustained productivity; it just means we have to take notice of our lows and take steps to break free of the funk.
How to break out of “down cycles”
Here are three simple (notice I did not say “easy”) ways to overcome these lows.
1) Admit and accept that you’re in a funk
You’ve been here before and you’ll be here again. The important thing to remember is that your past achievements came out of your creative and productive moments; they didn’t come from your dry spells. Trying to force them out now will only serve to make you more frustrated.
2) Have self-compassion
Treat yourself kindly and stop “shoulding” on yourself. Put down the stick that you’re beating yourself with, and challenge the thought that you should be more productive than you are in this moment. It’s OK to be in a funk.
Knowing that these “down times” didn’t get you where you are and that they won’t be very productive, go out and do something you love doing. It’s important to really let yourself off the hook here. This time is a guilt-free zone!
The importance of accepting the “down times”
A recent coaching client of mine really took this advice to heart and realized that there is no use dwelling on these “down cycles.” After we’d discussed these three steps and he’d put them into practice, he said:
“Following these three steps had me getting out and doing some outdoor sports—it turned out to be the best thing I could do. The funks are shorter and the productive times are longer. I’ve also started using these down times to focus on what my kids are up to. Some of the best bonding times I’ve experienced recently have been from simply letting go of my business ownership during a funk.”
Accepting our shortcomings is not easy, and society rarely teaches us to be compassionate towards ourselves. However, we must remember to give ourselves the gift of this guilt-free playtime to break the cycle. If the play isn’t guilt-free, it’s not effective.
How would your life be different if you were able to significantly reduce your “funk time”?
Paul Strobl is a personal coach for “Renaissance Entrepreneurs.” He is originally from Houston, Texas and is location independent currently living in the Rhodope Mountains of Southern Bulgaria with his wife, 10-year-old stepson, and Argentine rescue dog. When he’s not coaching, he’s hiking somewhere in the mountains or sipping red wine.