One of the things I see a lot of (like an overwhelming amount of, if I may be so on-the-nose about it) is the cry of, "I'm overwhelmed!"
"It's all too much." "There's so much to do." "There's all this noise out there." "I can't clear through the clutter of pursuing a creative career." "It's too damn much!"
Yeah. Got it. We've all felt overwhelmed at one point or another. But here's what I know for sure.
Overwhelm is a luxury label for copping out. It gives us permission to stay stuck. Wanna tweet that out? Here. Click this bad boy.
So the question to ask yourself when faced with overwhelm is this: Am I looking for permission to stand still?
If the answer is yes, own it! It's totally okay to hit pause on things when you need a break. But actually give yourself the "clock out" rather than blaming inaction on your sense of overwhelm, okay?
If the answer is no — if you really DO want to move something forward but just can't see straight in order to get going in the right direction — the solution is to do one thing.
Just one. Pick one.
It doesn't have to be the best first thing. It doesn't have to be the most effective first thing. It doesn't even have to be something you can complete in one sitting!
But just the act of starting in on something gets you focused on the work rather than all the options that are sending you into overwhelm-overdrive.
This is why it's really important to FIRST ask the question, "Am I looking for permission to stand still?" before charging in on something.
Because if you are looking for an out but you charge in on the work anyway, you'll burn out, you'll hit a wall, you'll spin out… and that's no good for you. Or for the world out here waiting for you to create art!
And that's often what happens when we're feeling overwhelmed but feel so sure we've GOT TO keep going.
Eh… sometimes we don't! And being honest with ourselves when we are begging for an excuse to just BE for a second is a great way to not only reduce overwhelm but honor the times our souls are whispering us (y'know, so we can pay attention before they have to full-on scream to get our attention).
We're sensitive critters, storytellers. We have a keen sense of intuition that we sometimes forget to trust.
Let's commit to hearing, respecting, and inviting the intuitive communication that may just clear all sorts of clutter, rendering overwhelm's hold on us nonexistent.
I'd love to hear from you on this. Pop a comment in below, shoot me a tweet, come chat in the Facebook group, or — hey — jam with me on our free SMFA Tune-Up call coming up next week! (You're signed up, aren't you? These are ever so much fun! Proof.)
Think about how you can simplify your overwhelming options by first asking yourself what you really need. And if it's a break, take it. Own it. Then get back to work more focused than before.
Ahh… nothing overwhelming about that liberating bit of business, huh? Delightful!
'til next time… *smooches*