by sonja thorsvik

How To Move On When You’re In A Life Funk

This Episode Ranked #1 In Season One Of The Podcast

We as entrepreneurs are inherently driven people, so when a setback happens or we are feeling down and stuck in a rut it can feel like a catastrophe. You lose confidence… Your bravado seemingly disappears… 

We will discuss here various ways to get you out of your stuck place – using science-based methods and learnings, and a few of my own – tried and true suggestions.

There have been a few times in life where I have been in a funk – so I know from first-hand experience – it is HARD to get out of them. They are real, they exist, and I acknowledge it. 

This episode came to be because right now I feel happy – passionate – excited for the future – and unstoppable – but very recently I felt the exact opposite of this. 

Passion, energy, enthusiasm, confidence – all zapped!  Signs I knew I had an issue: I was avoiding friends, I wasn’t dancing, there was literally a jackhammer construction being done to a house I was renting with paper-thin walls and I just passed out, drinking too much, I had chest issues, and I wasn’t walking… It lasted just over a month for me. — and this was WHILE I was trying to start this business.

For me, as I believe in energy/vibrations/karma I was like – what is happening!?! I can honestly, truly say I was being karma kicked but didn’t know why this was happening. It was maddening.

Around the same time, at lunch recently a dear friend of mine – who was going through it – asked – hey how long do you think you’re allowed to be in a funk?  He was desperate for an answer. So here was a man, successful in his own right, looking for answers…. Part of what prompted me for this episode was because at the end he said “See, I knew you would motivate me” and then he smiled – one of those smiles that would make all the boys blush. 🙂

There is nothing more frustrating to me than seeing wasted or unrealized potential in someone. My mission with this recording is to help just ONE person move on from whatever they are in and go towards whatever they can be. 

I just want to say here that I’m proud of you for listening to this: it means you recognize you are in a situation you don’t like and are seeking answers and solutions – so you should feel proud about that. It couldn’t have been easy to scroll through podcast land, see the title, and then maybe hesitantly push play – but here you are. Good for you. And remember, a funk is completely natural to go through.

Side note: It fascinates me that anyone who has some success as an entrepreneur talks about or has an interest in psychology/neuroscience and the subconscious. I believe that after we have ‘mastered’ or have our routines down and we are no longer in the scarcity and survival-only mindset, we then have the time to begin to wonder – why? – and how does it all work? It’s a common theme and honestly, I love it. 

You Are Not Alone

I’ve talked about my story and now here are some stats…

From the Harvard Business Review when interviewing almost 350 entrepreneurs. The study found that:

  • Almost every respondent reported some level of burnout, but 30% of the respondents reported strong burnout.
  • The entrepreneurs who felt the most passionate about their jobs were the ones feeling constantly guilty and stuck on how to go about their so-called neglected responsibilities (like family and health).
  • Some respondents felt like their jobs—regardless of their passion levels—made them feel constantly anxious or stressed.

On a whole other level, there’s also a big link to mental health. Another study that I found wildly important is one done by Dr. Michael Freeman on mental health in entrepreneurs showing that:

  • Entrepreneurs are two times more likely to suffer from depression and are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition.
  • Entrepreneurs are also three times more likely to suffer from substance abuse, and almost 75% of self-surveyed respondents reported some sort of mental health concern.

Ways To Overcome And Navigate The Funk

Acknowledge What You Are Feeling:

Are you feeling any of these?


Fear Of Failure



The world is against you?

Like you don’t belong?

I’m not: fill in the blank – smart enough, pretty enough, good enough…

For me and what I was feeling – on top of that, I felt embarrassed.  Since I’m normally happy, extremely dedicated to my craft, determined… 

Know And Avoid Your Triggers

Don’t deliberately make things worse: sad in love, don’t listen to sad love songs, having anxiety attacks, don’t watch mental scary movies, nervous about money, put down the credit card, something physical reminds you of someone – get rid of it or hide it until you’re ready to look at it again. 

Moving on is all about creating positive momentum. Negative momentum is brutal. It is a cycle of negative thoughts that leads to even further negative thoughts and oftentimes actions. 

Create Positive Momentum By Taking Action

Mental Momentum

A few powerful questions to ask yourself:

  1. Say to yourself “I don’t want to feel this way anymore” – so ask yourself “What can I do to feel happier that I am in control of?”
  1. Ask Yourself: Am I craving rest or resisting change?
  1. What am I hiding from?
  1. Have a mission – the Why. What am I here to do?
  1. Think: am I a ‘failure” because what I wanted didn’t work, or I did what someone else wanted and it didn’t work? 
  1. Is there something in your life that you once thought impossible, but now it’s there?
  1. “How might I view this situation if it happened to someone else?”
  1. Imagine your low point: now, imagine yourself at 80 coming to you, looking at you straight in the eye and smiling saying: it’s all going to be ok – you made it, you did it, and kiss yourself on the cheek. I don’t remember who told me that one.

Why You Should Laugh

Have humility and laugh at yourself – would your 80-year-old self approve?

Laughter is beneficial in so many ways. It increases endorphins, decreases stress, improves heart health, increases pain tolerance, and bonds you to others.


Ahh, the Reticular activating system.

Scientists usually call it the RAS for short. The reticular activating system, the RAS, determines in your brain what you notice. I learned this when I was 18 studying in England: the teacher said to imagine a car you want – at the time I wanted a black Aston Martin (too many Bond movies) and asked if we had seen any in the time we had been there. No’s all around. And he said you will now: and sure enough there it was the next day and the day after!

Well were those cars around before? Of course, but now that you want one your RAS, says that’s important, and so it sees it everywhere. Similarly, if you decide this is my mission, this is what I’m building this for, this is what I want out of life – this is what I’m about if you can get where you can’t stop thinking about this if you can not just listen to all this advise but immerse yourself again and again with enough repetition till it becomes a part of you, then your brain will start noticing things no one else notices.

You’ll be in your favorite cafe and if your expertise is copywriting, you’ll be having a conversation and you’ll hear people four tables over talking about this copywriting script because your RAS says that’s important and it will bring the answer to you. Does it make sense?

It’s insanely powerful!

Physical Momentum

You MUST Move your body (have some stats here) – this helps with obviously physical health, but also induces creativity – which you are going to need to get out of that funk. 

Like I said before, we are inherently driven people and I’d guess you are a creative person too: creative people need to get their energy out!

Exercise stimulates BDNF in our brains or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factors which support learning, mental health, and memory – the key components of creativity.

Exercise helps keep our brains perky, fresh, and young. It targets the hippocampus, which is the part of our brain that helps us with forward-thinking, learning, and… you guessed it creative thoughts. The more we exercise, the more new cell growth we receive there, and thus we then produce more BDNF ” Do you hear that? You literally ooze creativity when you exercise! Twenty more squats? Coming right up!

So, how does it work? When we’re exercising, our brains focus on physical exertion and activity, giving the more cerebral activities in our brains somewhat of a break. It’s sort of like when you stop looking for your keys, you finally find them in a super obvious spot… When you stop trying and working to be creative or get inspired, focusing on something else (physical activity) allows the brain to relax and almost welcome in new ideas easier and faster.

I knew I had to make a decision here when I tried going for a walk and I got to the end of the driveway and turned around: even in my head I was like ‘It’s literally walking Sonja! Your favorite thing!” but I just couldn’t do it…

Even Better – Get Outside 

Get outside: when you get your sunshine in the morning a healthy tide of cortisol is released allowing you to become more alert. Go for a walk and look up – notice the trees and the birds and or the buildings and the butterflies. It reminds us we are part of something bigger.

On Suppressing Pain

When we are in a bad spot we often times suppress the pain in some way like distracting ourselves with perceived pleasure outlets: drugs, alcohol, meaningless sex with randoms, porn, gambling, social media – it’s an addiction loop – get addicted to your greatness instead. Replace these with something else if you can.

Ignite Some Joy

Practice gratitude

-Take self-care extremely seriously (drink more water than normal, eat veggies)

-Snowball Making A Decision! – this is my favorite

-Celebrate Small Wins – especially right now

-Get dressed up – put on your favorite things

-Put something on the calendar for a month from now

-Remind yourself of all the ways you are amazing! this is not ego, this is self-esteem

Items To Remember

  1. If you need to figure out how to do something or take a class to figure it out… then go do it! Remember, if a problem you have can be solved with action – then you don’t have a problem! first figure out how it works (mine was pod and courses) do the research- and go down the rabbit hole of education. It’s not about perfection, it’s about adopting a mindset that you have the power already within you to make something happen. You just have to have the guts to do it.
  2. Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of it!
  3. Understand that life is a spectrum: so the lowest your feeling at that point is on the opposite side sometime in your (hopefully very near) future is the amount of joy you will feel
  4. Remember why you started doing the work you love in the first place. I hear this a lot from personal trainers – you already made the decision to show up, now make yourself proud
  5. Also remember: you have ONE reputation – if someone met you right now, would you want this version of you to be it?
  6. Happiness is a decision!

Golden Nuggets

Know you are not alone

Acknowledge your feelings


Mental Games


Physical Movement

Practice More Joy

Overall – change your perception – your brain isn’t broken. Decide your last day you will accept this form of yourself, maybe it’s right now, maybe it’s in one week – And work towards your future self. 

Sending you a smile. Until next time. 





I started my own entrepreneurial career in 2012 scaling up from $0 a year to over $100,000 each and every year. I firmly and wholeheartedly believe there are ways for all of us self-employed entrepreneurs to reach six-figures and beyond and I'm unapologetically here to show you how I do it so you can make your next best move. Let's go.

foUNDER of gigging for gold
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