As I write this, I cannot believe I’m writing this. One, because I rarely feel excellent or successful at anything. Two, because I feel wildly unqualified to offer any advice right now. And three, because I did not want to stop at two – lists are always better in threes.
These days, I find myself floating in almost a constant state of being overwhelmed. The anxiety that I felt in my old job – the anxiety that I don’t tend to share much about and thought would simply disappear with a change of circumstance – has repurposed itself. It has repackaged itself as a feeling of being so daunted with the requirements to make it as an entrepreneur that I would typically touch every to-do task one time and finish none. The weight of feeling perpetually unproductive leads to shame. The shame brings a resolve to try harder the next day. The next day I repeat this wonderful process.
I have reached my threshold for this nonsense – and I’ve concocted a plan to exit the cycle.
Anxiety presents itself in different ways – avoidance being one. To-do lists give me the kind of sweaty palms usually reserved for first dates and email in-boxes make me hyperventilate just a little bit. My typical go-to coping mechanism is simply to ignore them and just feel like a failure for not being able to do things other people do everyday. And, as you may have guessed, that’s all wildly unhelpful.
I had to take a step back and re-evaluate. Re-evaluate my definitions & my motivations.
Coming to terms with the fact that the game got me was first. The researching all the “how-to” articles and the things I “need” to be successful in my fields along with the image others present of what it looks like to be good at all the things – it subtly swallowed me up. It still has me, to be honest. But I’ve hit a point of an important realization.
I am not where I want to be, but I am somewhere. You are somewhere. That place deserves honor, effort and attention.
Last night I had the chance to hear a message preached titled, “Don’t do it for the Culture, Do it for the Calling,” and listen, the title alone helped snap me back into focus.
The calling, which is an idea we will explore more together in the weeks to come – stay tuned, is what put me in this place to begin with. The more overwhelmed I got, the more my prayer time suffered. The more my prayer time suffered, the more overwhelmed I became. Funny how that works.
To combat the unfortunate cycle, I’ve understood a few things:
What has stopped me from winning is falling out of focus. It becomes so much easier for anxiety to sneak in when you’re grasping for something to hold onto and finding too much and not enough all at the same time. If you are dealing with anxiety from success stress, breathe, take a step back, talk to God and refocus. Let’s find the goal & then simplify success to include only what God has for us right now and let the rest take care of itself.