It happens to us all. At some point or another every single one of us is going to run into overwhelm and get plain tuckered out from trying to do too much. This is a space that I am always trying to get away from. Some days I am better at it than others. But for the days that I am really feeling that I don’t have enough steam to keep going, here are 5 questions I ask myself:
1. What really needs to be on my plate? If you have been on my blog before at all, you have probably heard me talk about this. It’s kinda my soapbox issue. And here’s why: today there is so much pressure to be ‘busy’ and to do more and to live up to the expectations of others that our lives are void of intention. Friend, you are not the only one to feel like you are trying to do so many things that you aren’t doing any of them well. And this is a huge problem because not only does it create routines and a life that doesn’t serve us, it also leaves us overwhelmed and too tired to serve others. So please take a second to ask yourself this question and see if there is anything that is on your plate that might not be necessary? A weekend obligation that you can kindly say ‘no’ to? That aggressive 6-day-a-week workout routine that is going to help you lose 10 lbs? Another trip to the grocery store for organic produce? A note about that last one: I am a huge whole food advocate, but our mental and emotional health is important too. And sometimes, it’s okay to skip the brussel sprout stuffed sweet potato in favor of something more in the mac-and-cheese variety. These are the kinds of reminders that I need to give myself daily as I work to find the balance of what makes me a well-rounded, healthy human.
2. What am I able to do right now? Planning, worrying, trying to predict the future, these are activities that occupy much more of my time than I would like them to. Can you you relate? I have realized that I am much more productive and positive if I step away from all of the what-ifs and instead choose to focus on what I am capable of doing right now. An incredibly timely example of this for me is preparing for my Kickstarter pre-sales campaign that launches at the end of the month. A fair amount of my time and energy is spent asking questions like: How am I going to get all of this done? What happens if my campaign is not funded? What am I going to do with my life if I fail at this? If I switch my focus to only what I am able to do right now, I think things like this: I can write this blog post, I am good at creating content, wow I am so lucky that I am able to work towards my dreams every single day. And the later is a head space in which I much prefer to live.
3. Why did I start? When you want to give up, remember why you started. Why did you start a goal, a business, a relationship, a passion project? Whatever you are working towards, why? It takes a lot of courage start something new. You may have heard the saying, LEAP! And grow your wings on the way down. This is actually a rather terrifying idea. If you are anything like me, you jump and then almost immediately regret your decision and wish you were back on that safe ledge. But, of course, you are not on the ledge, you are here, in the air, falling. And so you do what you must. You try to grow your wings. And this is where the beauty comes in because we never really know what the outcome will be, but part of us believed and continues to believe in ourselves and in our dreams. Yes it takes guts to take the leap, but it also takes a heck of a lot of courage and the faith to grow your wings. So remember, this will not be easy, nothing worth doing is, but why did you start?
4. When is the last time I rested? When my sister went to college, I wrote this quote by Banksy to her in a card: When you get tired learn to rest, not to quit. I think that rest is so underrated in our society. Time and time again, I find myself not prioritizing rest in my own life. I am slowly building habits into my life that encourage rest. Rest looks different for every single person but as Anne Lamott says, almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
5. How am I defining my worth? This question is so important when it comes to overwhelm and hanging on so tightly to our expectations to do it all. If we define our worth by our achievements and our accomplishments then we are also defined by our failures. My fear of failure overwhelms me sometimes. In those moments I have to take a step back and remember who I am without any of my successes or failures. How have I put in the work to love myself and foster relationships with others who will love me regardless of if I succeed or fail? Suddenly all of those things that seemed so overwhelming and were tiring me out aren’t such a big deal anymore. In fact, they really don’t matter that much at all.
Are you ready to stop being so overwhelmed? Download my FREE guide on how to start living according to your priorities and learn how to get everything unnecessary off of your plate!