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.

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, or — hey — jam with me on our free SMFA Tune-Up call coming up!

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!

Wanna be sure your tools *and* your mindset are in peak form in a totally non-overwhelming way? Let us get you in gear with some FREE training right now!

'til next time… *smooches*

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Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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  1. Sean Frost January 26, 2019 at 9:46 am

    This reminds me of how if you disperse light, you can maybe get a nice tan; if you focus it, you could potentially cut through steel. The power of focus.

    It also reminds me of myself feeling overwhelmed by so many choices that I don’t feel like doing anything, and I love that that is okay if will just own it. I imagine myself sitting in the edge of the bed, not feeling the day for whatever reason—maybe there is so much to do. And, rarely, that it okay. I might need a rest day.

    But most often, that Voice in the back of my head will say, “Let’s start by getting up.” And somehow, by just starting, other things seem to follow. There is inertia, and building energy, in that.

    I remember a minister saying, “If you’re going through Hell, don’t stop.”

    One foot in front of the other, yeah?

  2. Donna Longobardi January 17, 2023 at 7:46 am

    The overwhelm is SO real. Last fall, I said this is it…too many emails to catch up on, too much paperwork, too many bills, too many pieces of snail mail, way too many apps on my phone for everything, too much life.

    I decided to pair it down and work on one thing, or start with one thing. I knew I wanted to restart the 100 days this month in January 2023 but I had to get through some stuff…..still had to travel for Xmas, had two leaks in my garage that had to be repaired… the universe was testing me…..

    But, I did okay. I did not catch up on everything, but I did get a lot done and next tier Donna appeared! So here I am actively participating in GIGFTNT, a little behind, but happy to be at next tier because I did not allow the overwhelm to get me…I just needed to focus on one thing. I realized though, I didn’t need a break. I would have been okay owning up to that but I just needed focusing on one thing, and SO glad I did!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie January 17, 2023 at 11:01 pm

      Good job, Donna. This is all so inspiring. Bit by bit… keeping at it. 🙂 Yay!


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