The Secret to Embracing Overwhelm
By Jennifer Kennedy on April 16, 2014
Featured Member Post
Birthdays are the perfect time for thought. I turned 34 on Saturday. No trumpets. No fancy cake. Just a lot of reflection.
And, I thought about how I’d like to be more like the bird.
As I sat down by the beach, toes in the sand, two words came to mind about the last 365 days: excitement and overwhelm.
I can write an entire list of the things that made me jump for joy:
- The boyfriend + I celebrated nine years
- Took an amazing trip to Argentina
- Visited my adorable niece and nephew
- Took a road trip up the coast of California
- Started this website
- Danced with MC Hammer (no, you didn’t read that wrong!)
But, today’s post is about overwhelm. That feeling where your head seems to be spinning with a gazillion thoughts. Where you’ve reached a dead end and aren’t sure which direction to go.
This post is dedicated to you—the one who is currently feeling the same.
Let me keep it real: On any given day, I’m feeling overwhelmed.
This time last year, I was in a maze deciding what type of business to create. Each turn I made led to a dead end. Yeah, I was that girl who couldn’t get it together. Meanwhile, everyone around me seemed to have it going on.
So, I started this site writing about what I love: teaching. In doing so, I realized that there’s a lot to this building a business thing! (Whadya know, I couldn’t just slap up posts and become popular!)
As I sat, waves crashing, I thought of the one valuable lesson that I’ve learned:
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. ~Maya Angelou
There’s a song in my heart. It’s an expression of my existence and individuality. Look deeply enough, you’ll find one in yours, too.
Recently, I’ve had to sift through the BS and focus on that song.
Everyone wants to be happy and excited about their ideas. I’m on top of the world when I’m excited: pounding away at the computer, creating, producing, getting stuff done.
But, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I shut down.
- Stopping when I don’t know how to change my header
- Jumping from idea to idea because I’m scared to release it into the world
- Staring at the computer because there’s too much info to learn
- Thinking that people will hate what I write and do
We’ve got to be real with ourselves about overwhelm: It will from time to time rear its ugly head.
It’s not the presence of overwhelm, but it’s the action or inaction that results from that.
We always have two choices: get stuck or move our asses forward.
For the longest time, I just sat there stuck.
The most important act you can do regardless, is to move forward. You can sing.
The world opens up when we not only tell it what we want, but also show it through our actions. (Click here to tweet.)
I’m scared and overwhelmed on any given day, but before I let that stop me, now I realize that I’m sharing my message.
What keeps me moving forward is the fact that I have a song to share. Even the bird, locked up, lonely with nowhere to go, isn’t asking permission. She’s in a flippin’ cage! Sure she’s mad, confused, and overwhelmed. But, she still sings.
So, my question to you is: What’s your song? What’s that message you’re trying to share with the world despite all the feelings?
Focus on that and move forward. And know, we’re in this together.
In the comments below, let me know what’s your song?
Know someone who’s been overwhelmed recently? Use the share buttons below to brighten their day!
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