You cannot walk one block without the bombardment of news medias, advertising, and information products telling you to “go faster! Hurry up! Earn more! Be more! Do more!” If you don’t keep growing, you’ll be left in the dust.
So you listen, because you want to get ahead, be successful, and not miss an opportunity. But the long work days weigh on you. Some money might come in from your hard work, but it’s always accompanied with two heaping servings of overwhelm.
Don’t listen to those people. Our society deals with overwhelm and negative emotions in a dysfunctional way. When the pressure is on, your stomach in a knot, and your throat swelled, you are taught to work through the overwhelm and keep going.
Let me introduce to you something radically different:
Rather than muscling through the overwhelm to make your business work, be with the overwhelm. Say, “Hello, friend.” [Share This]
How Running Cured My Overwhelm
Yesterday I ran three miles. I have been running on and off for the past six months, but nothing serious. I want to get in shape and feel fresh and energized on a daily basis, like I did three years ago when training for my first marathon.
Running three miles is like brushing my teeth. But I have a new twist that increased the difficulty by 100: barefoot running. I’m still new to the game of running barefoot. So many new muscles need developed and retrained. Two minutes of barefoot running is potential agony for your calf muscles.
About two miles in the run, the agony began. My calf muscles hated me. Since I’m a stubborn athlete, I worked through the pain. I did everything a man without an ipod could do to distract himself: counted to 100, sang a song, thought about my wife, tried the “you can do it” self talk, thought about sex, thought about food, and tried tricking myself that it’s ice cream night. No matter what I did, the pain worsen and the time slowed.
Walking is not an option; but I exhausted all options, except for one: be with the pain. So be it–ugh.
I attended to my breath and followed it in through the nose and out the mouth. Then I anchored my attention into my body. I observed the tension and pain. I became curious to the pain’s intensity; I observed the energy and aliveness of my body.
The pain wasn’t pain anymore. Sure, my calfs had an intense feeling, but when thought is missing, what is pain?–a thought. In that moment I knew what needed to be done: stop running and care for my body. So I did, and walked in peace.
Your Business is Telling You Something
Your business is a life of its own. Every moment you are feeding your business’s energy. If you are hurrying around in overwhelm, exhausted, and not enjoying the love of what you do, what kind of energy are you feeding it? How will it grow? I bet you’ll end up with a three-eyed and thirteen toed business.
The normal is to put your head down, hope for the best, and muscle through the overwhelm and your to-do list. You know, that grow faster, do more, earn more, and be more the world barks at you. But have you noticed that one right action made with peace and clarity can do the work of 100 actions done in overwhelm?
Calm down for a minute and listen to the pulse of your business. What’s the truth there? What does your business really need? Not the surface level needs, like money and clients, but the true needs, for example: peace, spaciousness, purpose, love, connection, etc. (you can view a list of true needs here: List of needs.)
Your business is like a person who is pinching you awake. Overwhelm is the effect of the pinch. Your business is saying you are missing the mark when pinched. Unless you calm down and pay attention, unless you connect with what is, you can’t say, “Stop pinching me!” and change the situation.
Curing the Overwhelm
The key to dissipating the overwhelm and make clear, heart-filled decisions is to witness the overwhelm as it’s happening. Next time you feel discomfort involved in your business (or anytime in your life) do the following:
- Become aware that you are not at peace and ease anymore. Don’t do anything about it, just notice. Check in a few times a day by asking, “Am I at peace and ease right now?” Then witness what’s going on.
- Get curious to what’s going on in your body. Locate where the overwhelm is. Notice the intensity of the overwhelm. Again, don’t do anything about the overwhelm; watch the feeling take its course in your body. Nothing bad will happen to you :)
- Ask yourself, “What do I really need?” This is a bonus question for yourself. Watching and being curious about the overwhelm is enough. But I like to ask what do I really need so I learn what life is teaching me.
When you get in touch and connect with your overwhelm, you empty yourself out of thought and dysfunction. From there, you are able to be filled with what you truly need. This gives you a clear mind and an open heart. Then it’s impossible to do dysfunction to yourself, others, and the world.
This process is helping you merge with what is rather than disowning it and having karmic consequences build up. Whatever you push away or do not deal with emotionally, it comes out in ugly ways in later days. Sounds like anger management, huh?
This is the condensed version I teach when my clients have fear and anxiety with money issues. Every time the fear comes up, and they witness the intense, negative emotion, the fear goes away and a more functional relationship forms with their money. You can read about it in my book here: Opening the Flow of Money.
What is your experience with overwhelm? How often does it pop up in your business? What do you do to deal with it? Let’s discuss it on Twitter: @BigHeartBiz