"If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you." -Fred DeVito
A few weeks ago I found myself in the middle of a busy-storm.
This wasn’t busy for busy's sake, this wasn’t due to a lack of prioritization or mismanaging my time, this wasn’t self-sabotage…I was launching, starting a new program, speaking at an event, going to a conference across the country, being interviewed, and keeping up with the day-to-day of running my business.
I had done a pretty good job of giving myself enough space to properly execute my launch, so it wasn’t all a last-minute hustle. I had baked-in windows of self-care and ‘brain breaks’ into my schedule.
But, let’s be real: It was an intense few weeks. I definitely cried and felt a few moments of stress.
I had a moment where I really wanted to throw myself a pity party for how hard I was working. I wanted to pitch a fit and complain about how it wasn’t fair.
Luckily, that particular party never got past the planning phase, and I was able to check myself.
But, massive overwhelm and negativity were lurking right around the corner, and these aren’t directions I want to go in. I’m guessing they aren’t your destination of choice either, so I wanted to share some perspective my busy-storm gave me…in case you’re human and ever feel the mounting pressure of too-much-on-your-plate-itis.
(Rather watch and listen? Join me below in a Facebook Live!)
3 Perspective Checks When Overwhelm is Around the Corner
1. I actually want this.
I was sitting on my sofa, getting ready to pitch a fit, when I had the realization that I actually want all of this.
I had to remind myself that there was a time not too long ago, when I first moved to New York, that I wished, prayed, and hoped to have something I was passionate about to fill my days. I felt lost, and my days felt empty. I wanted nothing more than to have a reason to wake up and fill my hours with work I cared about.
I craved full days. Truth is, I thrive in the energy of creation and momentum. I love my work, and idleness leaves me feeling unfulfilled.
It’s easy to forget that sometimes what we’re complaining about or getting frustrated by was at one time something we wished for and didn’t have.
This one perspective shift transformed my overwhelm into massive gratitude.
2. Resistance is human. Resistance is normal. But, normal doesn’t mean it's true.
What do I mean here? As humans (remember, we’re all human, I hope), we’re wired to feel and do all sorts of things. One such thing is to avoid discomfort and anything that resembles pain. Way back when this helped us survive.
Often, when we’re in the middle of growth, upleveling, learning something new, trying something new, expanding, challenging ourselves…there can be some discomfort. And our brain likes to go, “Whoa!” and put on the brakes. That’s where that resistance comes in.
We naturally tend to resist growth because most growth comes through discomfort. We may be wired this way, but that doesn’t mean we have to listen to our monkey brains.
We can feel all that resistance bubble up, acknowledge it for what it is, say thanks (but no thanks), and move forward anyway.
Knowing resistance is human and normal allows me to put those thoughts and feelings in perspective. A little awareness about what’s going on doesn’t necessarily change those nagging thoughts, but it allows me to decide consciously where I want to focus my energy.
In this case, it was on my goals and vision.
3. Sprints make you stronger.
We hear, "It’s a marathon, not a sprint," all the time. Overall, “it” IS a marathon...life, business, relationships, fitness goals...they’re all marathons.
As a runner, I know one way to build up your endurance, strength, and speed for a marathon is through interval training. Interval training is comprised of short bursts of energy (sprints) followed by rest or a significant decrease in output of energy.
Interval training shouldn’t be done every day, but if you’re training for an endurance event, like a marathon, it’s an important part of your regimen if you want to get stronger.
I believe interval training in our businesses builds strength, speed, and endurance for the overall "marathon".
I had to remind myself, I was running a short sprint.
Could I keep this speed and pace up for the entire marathon? Heck no. Was this an intentionally planned interval to boost my business? Yes. Would focusing on this sprint and finishing it out build my overall endurance for the rest of my business marathon? You betcha.
This perspective helped me enjoy the sprint and cross the finish line.
If you’re finding yourself in the middle of sprint, a reminder to keep your eye on the prize. Sprints are meant to be fast and intense, and part of successful interval training is building in time for rest afterward!
As I’m on the other side of all of this, I have to share that I’m wistful. It was fun. It was energizing. It was exciting. I grew a whole lot. And, now that I’m in my “active rest” period, I’m champing at the bit for another sprint.
I hope these perspectives will help you to shift the next time overwhelm is lurking around the corner.
Wishing you your version of success,