There’s a saying I came across recently:
” Find your why – Then figure out your how.”

Those are two big steps- but what comes next? What happens when you realize just how much is required to get you to your destination? I suppose that’s where the power of discipline comes in. 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in these moments- especially when our brains are hardwired for the short term and the tale of overnight success is often a ‘beauty face’ filter of the real story.  

So is there a way to manage this successfully?

For sure! Every successful entrepreneur out there stand as living testament to the possibilities which we can all achieve. Most of them were average Joes like you and I. The difference was the way in which they harnessed their energy, channeled their emotions and used their time. I enjoy learning from these exceptional personalities by reading their autobiographies: one of the habits my father gifted to me from childhood. It’s more interesting than it sounds – I promise! It’s like watching a movie but instead, it’s someone’s reality and their happy ending. Someone that’s walking among us. The humility of it all is breathtaking.

One recommendation is Richard Branson- Screw Business as Usual. 

I’ve thankfully finally found my why- and I have a fair idea of how to get there. But right now, I am really struggling to make progress. I suppose it is this feeling which prompted me to consider what’s going on.

Like everyone else, I’m just learning. I know I’m not alone with this feeling of being overwhelmed and that’s essentially why I decided to post. Hopefully I uncover some reminders we all need when we get to this point in our life. 

What Holds Us Back?

“You’re full of so much potential!” It’s possibly one of the most flattering statements as well as one of the most disappointing things to not make a reality. When you have not just an idea, but a general plan of action and a potential fan base – why would you do anything but follow through? I’m still searching for the answer to that question- but I know that it’s too common a reality. 

For me, it seems to be two things.

  1. The desire for perfection. This desire radiates through all actions undertaken on a project which consequently results in an exorbitant amount of time doing anything but the actual work. Time gets eaten away with researching, planning, more research. It’s a bit ridiculous to be honest. 
  2. Worse than that though is when the reality of the scale of what is required hits me. As much as I marvel at modern structures and the accomplishments of fellow humans, the simplest things feel impossible sometimes. When I forget about the little steps, it’s when things go awry.  

Here’s a story from the ghost of my past: 

Due to my severe acne, doctors suspected I had polycystic ovaries and it was so ordered that I have my first gyno appointment to determine the verdict. I was 15 years old. On arrival to the office, I immediately felt a sensation of being consumed by the room. I’m claustrophobic you see. There were countless filing drawers and a mess of paperwork on the receptionist’s desk. To make matters worst, we waited for two hours with no service, only to be informed our appointment could not be found. I felt as though my mother and I were robbed of time. I was disgusted to say the least. I left there telling my mother they were in need of a database management system and I could build them one for free since we are learning to do the basics in school. I was very eager to accomplish this project. Can you guess what happened? 

Long story short, it never happened. I never actually did it because in the process of collecting the information, I convinced myself the process to achieve the task was harder than it actually was. I convinced myself no one would want a product from me because I’m just a kid offering a free service out of sheer frustration. I had an opportunity and I ultimately did not take it due to misplaced feelings of being overwhelmed. That feeling cost me experience and a journey I could have begun at 15! I’ve learnt to forgive myself for that, but I’ve also sworn to cut that horrid pattern which can seep into your life until you’re so old you’re in a rocking chair wondering why you didn’t realize all that potential all around you saw within you.

There’s this video on youtube I vaguely remember watching, but the words that stuck with me are:
“You have a choice of the burden to carry- That of Disciple, or That of Regret. The choice remains with you.”
The truth of this statement rests with my 15 year old’s ghost. 

What do I do to combat feeling overwhelmed? 

The lesson I take from that part of my past is this – When I see an opportunity, I just take it. I commit regardless of the thoughts that lurk in the mess of my mind. I remind myself if I have time to eat, I have time to complete at least one of the small tasks that will help me get one step closer to my overall goal. And I forgive myself for missing a beat sometimes. I keep on keeping on. I suppose sometimes you just got to shut your mind up and do what needs to be done. The little things usually mean the most. I’ve found this to resonate through all aspects of life. Your projects- your babies- are no exception. Would you just not feed the kid if you don’t have a measuring cup to ensure perfect measurements or would you improvise and ensure the kid is taken care of?

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s often because you want to accomplish whatever it is you’re aiming for so badly. Its a lot of pressure. Next time, try boiling it down in such a way you’re less intimidated, like my kid and bottle example perhaps. 

It’s only fair to want your project to be incredible, but it’s better to start and make little improvements along the way instead of over analyzing a plan because chances are, you will be be your biggest barrier and nothing will come of it. 

Small Steps – Big Results

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, but of all the barriers that will stand in our way, we should do our best to not be our own. Take it step by step. Remember you don’t have to be in it alone. Stay inspired. Stay focused. Be steadfast.  

Each day you wake up, take a deep breath, fill your lungs, remember the magnificence that exists within you that that allows air to fill you, get in touch with your senses. When you open your eyes, be grateful for the vision before you. Register it’s gift of sight. It’s so easy to forget these little things. Know the same way your body needs a reboot (sleep) – your emotional self might need one too, so it’s okay to not be okay, but don’t let that feeling halt you in your tracks. Find a way to work on your master plan in bite sized amounts- you’re no snake after all. Unless you are- in that case I can’t help ya. But hey thanks for reading regardless :p  

Seriously though, I know sometimes it gets tough, heck it’s proving to be a struggle for me at the moment, but I want to make my dream come true and I believe that I am making the small steps to get there. 

Let’s try this reminder in these moments: 
  ” Just do. Please start. You’ll be one bit closer than yesterday but not quite there yet tomorrow and that’s okay. You’ll get there.
Patience is a virtue for a reason. Persistence is admired for a reason.
Both are required to succeed on this journey.
Just start.


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