Have you ever had something you want to do, felt totally excited thinking about doing it, and then, when you get ready to do it, experience all the excitement completely disappear as you become totally overwhelmed and confused not knowing where to begin?
This was me as I sat down to write this very post.
So, I thought, what a great topic for this endeavor I’m about to take on. 😊 Ha!
As you may or may not know, I’m participating in a program to help me build my coaching business, and one of the assignments as part of that is to write 30 blog posts in 30 days…and I can already tell this is going to bring up so much drama for me that I am going to get to work through and manage my mind around. And what a great opportunity that will be for me to use the tools I have and to share them with you!
But I digress. For now, let’s talk about what’s really going on when we go to tackle those exciting ideas only to discover that the actual process of bringing that idea into fruition is not all excitement and fun times by default.
Here’s how this looked for me.
New goal: Write 30 blog posts in 30 days.
My initial thoughts?
This will be great! Ah, I have so many amazing ideas of things I want to share to help other moms with their time. This is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to get started!!
Feeling? Totally excited. Seriously itching to get to the time on my calendar when I get to begin.
So let’s fast forward there. We have now arrived at the awaited time on my calendar.
I sit with my pen and paper and an intention of brainstorming what I want to write about for these 30 days.
As I get going, I realize there truly are SO many options. Where the heck do I even begin?!
And just like that I start spiraling. The excitement is gone. The thoughts start spinning out of control. And before I even know what’s happened, I’m swimming in a pool of overwhelm, doubt, and confusion.
We often have thoughts like this, where we think we are just stating the news.
There ARE lots of options.
I DON’T know where to begin.
But friends, while these seem like mere observations…they are actually thoughts. Thoughts that create a particular experience for us when we take them on. Thoughts that create overwhelm, doubt, and confusion, and leave us sitting there staring at a blank piece of paper and getting nothing done and questioning our abilities.
It’s not a fun place to be. So, what do we do once we are there?
The first step, of course, is always awareness.
For me, I noticed I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I could feel it in my body. And I have enough experience with this pattern to know which thoughts are the likely culprits. Ha!
Maybe there are lots of options. Maybe I don’t know where to begin. But it doesn’t serve me to think about things that way. And, in fact, those are the very thoughts that lead to me feeling paralyzed and stuck.
You see, just because something is true doesn’t mean we ever have to think it. There are SO many options available to us to think about things.
When I think there are lots of options and I don’t know where to begin…I don’t begin, and I just SPIN.
I also noticed I was having some other thoughts in there as part of that spin. Thoughts like, “I have nothing to say. I have no value to add. I can’t compete.”
And these thoughts? Well, once I realized these were in my brain I was immediately able to tell myself, “You know, that’s just not true. I have SO much value to add. And I’m not here to compete. I’m not here to compare and despair.”
And then I reminded myself, “There is always something I can share, even if it’s something small. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t need to be grand. There is one small lesson I can share from my day.”
And I felt my body relax a bit and soften. And, with those thoughts I became curious. I began searching my day for lessons learned and what would be valuable to share. For something that may help another stay-at-home mama like me.
And it occurred to me in that moment that this very experience was the experience to share. Because – while you may not be experiencing these thoughts as part of a blog post challenge – it’s quite likely you experience these same kinds of thoughts under different circumstances.
Maybe you are wanting to tackle all those paper piles in your house and finally be free of paper clutter.
Maybe you are wanting to get that garage or storage closet cleaned out.
Maybe you are wanting to take better care of yourself and have all these ideas of habits you’d like to create for yourself.
Maybe you are wanting to spend more quality time with your kids and do more fun activities with them.
Whatever it is, you have those moments where you think about that outcome you want and you get SO dang excited. And then you sit down to make it happen…and the excitement drains…and all that overwhelm and confusion creeps in and takes over.
Have you experienced this?
If you are human, I am willing to bet the answer is yes. Because this is what human brains do at times.
Please know that nothing is wrong with you if you see yourself being overcome by this cycle.
You are human. And you have a human brain. And no one ever taught you that it is just thoughts creating this cycle, not something that is inherently wrong with you as a person.
Nothing is wrong with you.
Your brain is just executing a thought (and then another and another).
So, the next time you feel like there is just too much to think about and / or you don’t know where to begin…
Consider asking yourself what one thing you could do, and then do that one thing.
Know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. And know that there is no right or wrong answer.
What one small step can you take to move yourself forward?
What is the very first baby step you could take?
Do that, and let it be enough.