As most of my readers know by now, I do not like to quote studies or reference other articles here. I rather prefer to tell you about my own personal experience, and I figured my way through things. Feel free to google if you feel the need to fact-check and research anything.
So, lately, I have been finding myself overwhelmed. While I know that is completely normal when starting a new venture, I never experienced it as fully as when entering the online business space. There is just soooo much of everything. So many options. It literally threw my brain into paralysis by analysis mode. And while everybody online was throwing their opinions (a.k.a. well-meant advice) at me, I was just thinking, “WTF! How do I get out of here? And why the heck did I even start this?”
But I knew I was committed, so I stuck around and ended up trying out all the advice – at once.
Since some things also had deadlines, I ended up in a weird loop of feeling stressed, anxious, and restless, while also struggling with procrastination right up to the last minute.
You know that feeling of your brain just refusing to work, of it basically telling you that it is going into its own lockdown and not giving you any kind of clear signal, decision, or even a remotely clear thought process.
You know that feeling of just being uncomfortable, having the impression you’re not managing well enough, not getting enough done in any given workday. Overall, the pressure to perform better, to live up to expectations, my own and society’s, to do more, be happier, cooler, more picture-perfect, and whatever other self-doubt my mind comes up with.
And while I know that the online world exacerbated the issue, I have had that issue for quite some time, and I cannot remember when and how it got started. I just know it has a deeper root. A whole life-long thread of not feeling good enough, which probably resulted from an early childhood trauma in my case.
And whereas, understanding the issue cognitively might have some benefits, I would rather focus on my ability to adapt and trusting myself and my neuroplasticity to build new, calmer, and more resilient pathways.
Through a lot of self-inquiry and meditation, I realised the feeling of being overwhelmed came mainly from me taking in too much input, listening to everyone but myself, not evaluating what would actually fit my style or the way I wanted to do business. It was also an issue of boundaries because I was afraid to say no and was finding it hard to set boundaries and couldn’t refuse unhelpful stuff in a graceful way.
The procrastination on the other hand originated in self-doubts and from trying to do too much at once. I was setting myself only big goals, while forgetting to break them down into smaller pieces and processes.
After realising that, I was still stuck in that rat race.
So, how did I overcome that?
To be honest, I just took a break initially. I went offline. I slowed down. I did something completely outside of my comfort zone (like rollerskating). I rested – a lot. I connected with new friends, went into forests, walked barefeet, and did tribal Hakka dances.
That is what re-connected me to myself, to others and to – what it feels like – the flow of life.
And only then, I felt inspired — like I was earlier. I questioned my why and defined it more clearly. This included why I wanted to go into business in the first place and how do I want my daily activities to look like. The whole process and its outcome makes me feel much more at ease during the day.
I also zoomed in and really got to know my intuition and what it was trying to tell me all along. So now, I can more easily and confidently make decisions and do not get thrown off by advice just as much. Focusing more on my strengths and authenticity, rather than my weaknesses and trying to be perfect for everybody else, allowed my gut to guide me to the right next step.
In terms of setting boundaries, it is more than okay to listen to others, to take in new ideas, and to get an overview of where the market is currently at. Just don’t let yourself be distracted and molded into something you did not set out to be in the first place. Always check back in with yourself.