Monday, February 9, 2015

What if overwhelm is a GOOD sign?

Life is always throwing a lot at us. I consider myself to be above average in the way that I handle stress.

I have a lot going on, I always do, but I still manage to find plenty of time to relax, decompress, have fun and connect with and enjoy my friends and family.

I'm one of those people that is almost always in an outstanding mood. Not good, or even great, but extraordinary. When you ask me how I'm doing, a typical response for me is Fabulous! or Spectacular! or Fantastic! And it's genuine. People tell me I'm never in a bad mood. (Trust me, just ask my husband, it happens, even to me) 

Over the weekend, I found myself in a state of what I can best describe as overwhelm. Feeling as if maybe I've "bitten off more than I can chew" or that I've dropped the ball because I'm juggling just one more than I can manage.

As a result, I didn't get half of what I had intended accomplished over the weekend and of course, found myself on Monday morning feeling behind the eight ball so to speak. Feeling as if I haven't given my all to some of the tasks on my plate which are manageable tasks because I'm moving into a space of handling new, much more challenging tasks. 

I believe I need to once again, give thanks to my amazing coaching session from last week with Christine Suva

I started out by chastising myself silently. I don't accept giving average or even above average. I expect outstanding and extraordinary from myself for all those whom I serve. 

In the midst of trying to organize my "lists of to-dos" to make sure I get everything done this week, I took some time to reflect on where I am and how I'm really feeling about what I have going on. 

I'm getting ready to step into something bigger. I'm doing some exciting but scary things right NOW. I looked back at how I was feeling before I launched the Chicago Over 40 Females chapter and found it felt a LOT like I am feeling right now. 

Doing things I haven't done before, in a way I haven't done them. 
Opening myself up to a new level of vulnerability and service. 
Looking at myself in a role I'm not 100% certain I deserve or am ready for. 

And I come away from this reflection feeling no less overwhelmed, but with confidence and excitement because I know how it turned out before. I know that this level of discomfort, while not pleasurable, is telling me that I am standing on the edge of something magnificent. 

I now step bravely into my journey ahead with fear and courage, confident about what lies on the other side.   


  1. A friend of mine recently took on being an Over40 director and is loving it. She got so much support from area leaders, members, it has been fun. From sound of you, you will make it great for your membership and for yourself. One suggestion is to share about members businesses on your facebook page or profile.

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  3. When I get the feeling of "overwhelm" I know it is the perfect time to step back and see if I've taken on too much, if it is my resistance or if it is an overreaction. Then I can objectively do the things that are most important and let some of the "lesser" important things wait. I agree with you that feeling overwhelmed is often a great signal to take stock and reassess before flying forward in your life.

  4. I find my self being overwhelmed frequently, especially lately but then that is when I tend to do my best work. It is nice to know that there are others who handle it in basically the same way!

  5. Wishing you great success and well being as you step into something new. New projects are fun and overwhelming. For me taking it step by step and having a plan helps.

  6. Interesting way of looking at the feeling of overwhelm. Instead of feeling uncomfortable, we have to just go with it and learn from it.
    That's my take and it's been helpful to do it this way rather than trying to resist it and feeling bad about it. Thanks for the food for thought, Shannon!