Do you sometimes feel like you need to keep too many plates spinning at the same time? Most of the time even? Boy, do I ever know what that feels like! That sense of not being in control, as in life is just happening to you. But also the feelings of guilt that come with it. Because you also have so many things to be grateful for. The little gremlins in your head asking you who you are to feel sorry for yourself. You are not alone, and it is not your fault. We are all wired with a great sense of responsibility and we love to help out. We add another plate, and another one, and yet another. Until we get all dizzy from just looking at them, let alone trying to keep them spinning.
I don’t know about your, but if I do not hit my brakes in time, I tend to get too close to a burnout. Been there, done that, and a bit too often. I know the feeling of exhaustion. The lack of energy. The lack of inspiration. And I do have a lot to be thankful for. A loving hubby, two amazing kids, a wonderful family, an awesome place to live, no financial stress. But I had added to many plates too, especially plates that did not spin really well. They were all wobbly and did get me all dizzy just from looking at them. But I learned. And I was ready to ditch the dizzyness.
I love to discover and figure out new stuff. That is one of the reasons why me and inbound marketing go along so well. There is always new discoveries and new techniques. It keeps me happy and bubbly. But sometimes it gets me distracted as well. To much new stuff keeps you wondering if the last is really the best, and keeps you looking for more….
Then, last May I received an invitation for a webinar that attracted my attention. It promised a way to deal with (my) perpetual procrastination, the feeling of not being in control and overwhelm. Needless to say they had my attention. I signed up. I felt like I had come home. People like me helping me to work on a better version of me. I signed up for the MindMap Your Business group coaching.
One of the things I learned in this course was mind mapping. Chicken soup for my dizzy brain. Imagine a closet with clothes just thrown in there. Not easy to find what you need, right? Now imagine clothes all neatly stacked and organized. My brain feels more like that now. Not always, but most of the time. If my head gets dizzy now, with radio noise and scattered thoughts, I do a braindump in a mindmap and use the software to organize it. After doing that my head feels much more at rest and I am much more relaxed.
One of the other things I learned during this course is that one of the main reasons people procrastinate, feel like they are not in control and feel overwhelmed is that the plates they try to keep spinning do not align with their core values. That makes sense, but you have to know your values first, right? Or maybe your body already knows them, you are just not aware of them. This course got me started on getting to know my core values, although they still need work. But I made progress.
I decided to cut back on some of my activities. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Also, I decided to find more alone time to purposefully quiet down my mind and recharge. I am making serious progress. If you would like to learn more about mindmapping and finding your core values, visit Bob The Teacher Jenkins at IMsuccesslibrary.com. For the next little while there will not be any live trainings but you may be able to purchase a self study course.
When my head is all filled with radio noise and scattered thoughts, I learned that my brain is telling me it needs fresh air and time in nature. Being out in nature is like chicken soup for my dizzy brain as well. It tends to slow down my mind. It seems like the wind blows out all the dust. Once my mind quiets down, it is much easier to think clearly, to reflect and to set goals.
Once you know your core values, use them as a decision filter. When a new opportunity crosses your path, take some time to purposefully reflect both your core values and the new opportunity. If the two of them do not align, take a pass and move on. If will save you oodles of energy on doubt, insecurity and overwhelm.
All in all, I made lots of progress this year. Still the gremlins in my head keep popping up every once in a while telling me that I am one big imposter. I have learned that I am not the only one suffering from that, and that helps a lot. But, sometimes I need someone to tell me I need to punch down the gremlins and put myself out there. The Solopreneurs community at SoloSmarts, lead by the smart, funny and buttkicking Kelly McCausey is a community like that. About a week in the Stretch Yourself Challenge, I have gotten in touch with amazingly supportive people that are not afraid to rip off the bandaid if needed. They tell each other what they need to hear, not just the things they think the other one would like to hear. Those are the people we need to be around. You know, the ones that give you both the hug and the kick in the behind where needed. I would love for you to be part of a community like that as well. If you are quick, you can still join the challenge, but it will close tonight. I am planning to join the community on a permanent basis.
Like everyone else, I am a work in progress. And that is perfectly ok. I love to see myself grow and hope to be able to keep on learning new things for a long time to come.
If you are committed to growth as well, consider one or more of the following options
Photo credit: Antony Stanley
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