I get to a point in every project I take on where I feel like I can’t do it. There are too many elements, too many angles, too much information, too many possibilities. My chest gets tight, my breath gets shorter, and my mind is racing.
But that feeling, that certain knowledge that nothing is going right, is actually what lets me know it’s all going right. I work best when I have all the information and see all the angles, when I can hold each possibility up to the light, turning it to see each facet, looking for what shines the brightest against the other elements.
So in order to push forward, I have to stop, breathe, and remind myself that this is how it’s supposed to be. If there’s no heart-pounding fear, I’m not in deep enough. And that, in itself, is comforting.
Now I’m not saying this will be true for you—everyone works differently. What I am saying is that you, too, have a process. You have a series of steps that you go through each time you do a project (and I mean anything from writing a blog post to writing a book, or from cleaning out a kitchen drawer to cleaning out that unruly attic), and if you start paying attention, you can identify that process and use it to your advantage.
So when you’re creating, give yourself permission to have a jumbled, mixed-up, not-so-sure phase, but also keep an eye out for the finer points of your own process. Accept who you are and how you work, and examine the negative feelings with a kind eye. They may just be trying to tell you something.
P.S. I’m excited to tell you a little more about the free resource I’ll be releasing this month. I’m calling it Consume Mindfully: Clarity and Consistency for Information Overwhelm. While some overwhelm is good (for me, at least—see above), I believe the overwhelm we’re facing from the sheer amount of content out there isn’t doing us any favors. In Consume Mindfully, I’m diving deep into specific strategies for examining your content consumption and making concrete changes that will (I hope!) help you feel less overwhelmed and more intentional.
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