Do you ever feel overwhelmed?

A good friend of mine just wrote me letter and he was telling me about the various growth-oriented things he was doing (hobby, business, family) and that he felt overwhelmed with everything and was wondering why he was doing all that stuff. Interestingly he felt a bit better towards the end of the letter just through the act of writing about it because he was able to clearly express and share his worries instead of them being a nebulous floating bad feeling in his mind (and no doubt a horrible physical feeling in his abdomen).

Lesson: Write stuff down, get it out of your mind whether it’s current tasks, future goals or fears. Don’t dwell on it.

Offer to you: tell me your worries in the comments (or email me if you want to) and see if it makes you feel better.

Anyway, I replied to him as follows:

So I hear that you are feeling overwhelmed by your new hobby, your new business venture, and your responsibilities as a parent and husband. Well that is understandable and OK to feel that way. In fact it’s GOOD. Do you know why? Because I was reading something a while back that said as we GROW we push the boundaries of our comfort zones, and we have to grow our comfort zones in order to be able to DO MORE and EARN MORE otherwise we would stay in the same (crappy) place.

So what happens when you grow is that your OLD mind tries to drag you back to where it was because it doesn’t like the change, it wants comfort and to curl up into a ball and do nothing (I experience this from time to time, and felt it Monday last week when it was raining and I was sitting on the toilet before going to work, BUT by the end of the day I had kicked myself into action and felt great about all the things I’m doing). You only experience that feeling of “why am I doing all this stuff?” BECAUSE you have changed and are growing – it’s an indication that you are doing the right thing.

My advice is roll with it; when you feel crappy say “that’s OK, that’s my old mind trying to drag me down, so I must be changing”. Then think about the amazing positive outcomes of all the things you are doing and visualise them. Hopefully you can change your feeling. If not, then go for a walk, connect with nature, listen to some music, read something positive, or get on with one of your projects until your *new* mind takes back over again. I hope this helps!

3 Responses to “Do you ever feel overwhelmed?”

  1. Darek Rusin Says:

    Jake — good advice.

    There was a nice chapter about it (if I remember correctly) in “Mastery” by George Leonard, saying that it’s natural tendency of any organism, be it a single body or whole society, to maintain the status quo. Any attempt to change at first will be met with resistance. It’s an instinct of self protection, trying to keep you from getting hurt. Unfortunately it will also keep your from growing. The answer, as you said, it to keep pushing and eventually you will get to the next level. Then the cycle will repeat ;)

    Oh, and I recommend this book (“Mastery”). It’s a very balanced approach to learning and development, written by an aikido master. Hmh… aikido… I guess you may know about this one then ;)

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks for the book recommendation Darek.

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