words by Crystal Lambert
Man things have changed.
It was recently my birthday weekend and what did I do? I got up at 6am to go and ride my bike (in the snow!) with other like-minded (read: possibly nuts) riders who are looking to get a little early season social training in. Why am I doing this? Because I signed up for the Single Track 6 race coming up this summer. Use code Muddbunnies100 for $100 off your entry fee!
Some of you who are reading this may remember how I once celebrated such occasions as birthdays. Multiple shuttle laps of something, usually CBC, usually with a cooler of beer and possible shot-gunning of said beer.
I’ll say it again, man have things changed. It’s like I’ve had a baby – an activity baby that has changed how I spend my free, non-work time… and has completely overwhelmed me in the process.
I am now a few months into being much more specific about what my activities are and how much time I spend doing them than I have ever been before. And I find myself getting overwhelmed. This is not an ideal situation as my level of activity will only be increasing from here. If I’m already overwhelmed, I may very well be in trouble. It is time to create a game plan for change! It is time to figure out my level of commitment: overwhelm myself or create change.
While Googling (not to be confused with Gizoogling – which is the shiz, check it out) I came across an article by Kate Swoboda, a life coach who I concluded – totally gets me! …And probably most everyone else on the planet with any sort of ambition. This is what Kate has to say on the subject (if you don’t have the time to keep reading, scroll to the bottom and read the red paragraphs at the very least):
Words by Kate Swoboda
When I am creating a new course, or planning a new training season, or when my coach challenges me to step into a new way of responding to a life challenge, I think things like:
- How am I going to make time for this?
- I hate feeling this stressed-out.
- Should I have started this? Maybe now wasn’t the right time.
I’m leading with that simple admission, because there’s no secret to be had, no bones about it–when starting something new, we have to make space for the new thing, learn about the new thing, and we will wonder whether or not the investment of our time and energy is worth it, when it comes to learning about the new thing.
What Successful People Do
Let’s say that we’re defining “success” in this case as following through on those things that are important to you. There’s a difference between those who are successful with making things happen, and those who find that it’s another year and they still haven’t quite found themselves where they want to go:
Successful people actively and consciously decide to learn how to work with overwhelm.
Because they’re more committed to their desires to make changes, than they are to the overwhelm.
I’m thinking of an intensive online course I took a while ago. In short, I was completely overwhelmed. Each week, the work was piling up and I was feeling frustrated with myself.
And then, in week four of the course, after having barely put time into the materials each week and after having been skating by, I said: ENOUGH.
I cleared my calendar and found an entire four-hour block of time. Then I sat down during that four-hour block and went through every single one of the audios and homework sheets, and re-did anything that I’d done half-assed.
Overwhelm wasn’t “happening” to me.
I was “creating” the overwhelm. I was the one who kept not making time for the assignments. I was the one who kept half-assing them when I frantically tried to complete them before our weekly call.
When you say “ENOUGH,” you move into more pro-active, solution-based thinking. You’ll decide to find that four-hour chunk of time to get yourself organized, or you’ll hire someone who is great at organization to step in and help you. Pro-active, solution-based thinking leaves no room for whining about how there’s no time or money. Instead, that kind of thinking finds the time, finds the money…and, more than anything, shifts into thinking of time and money spent as investments, not losses.
You Got Options
We so often step into overwhelm when we choose to take on the belief system that we don’t have options. When I was skating by in the online course that I was taking, my head was riddled with thoughts that limited my options, mostly thinking about lack of time.
Translation: I wanted all the benefits the course had to offer, but I was telling myself the limiting story of not having time.
Of course, how much time did it actually take me to get back on track? One four-hour block, and then more conscious scheduling, going forward.
It’s possible someone’s thinking, “But I don’t have that four-hour block. Truly, I don’t! Or I make the time for the four-hour block, and then something else comes up!”
Okay. Deep breath. Lots of love. Here goes:
My friend, if it is important enough to you, because you see clearly that to make any other choice would be settling for a life that is less than you deserve, you will create the time you need.
My friend, if it is important enough to you, because you see clearly that to make any other choice would be settling for a life that is less than you deserve, you will be ruthless about protecting the time that you do reserve for your deepest self-care or ambitions, and in those places and spaces where a completely unavoidable emergency (not a self-justified “emergency,” but an honest-to-cheese emergency) really does hijack that time, you’ll be ruthless about finding another time and space.
These words aren’t an attack. They are truth.
There’s always some way to find your path to what it is that you want, in the way that you want it, while honoring your values. To embark on that is to act with courage, because the decisions are tough and the opportunities to sell out on what you truly desire are many.
But if you really want to find your way there, you will find your way there. Be more committed to your desires, than to the belief systems and behaviors that prop up your overwhelm.
You won’t just thank yourself, for making this choice. We’ll all thank you. A world full of people who are committed to living lives of their own conscious design is exactly what we need.