This week I started to feel maxed out and overwhelmed. And self-doubt poked his ugly little head up. I was starting to get stuck in a story about how there isn’t enough time to get it all done, that this is all going to be a big failure and…that I’d lost my mojo. It felt like my creativity was being swallowed up with admin and productivity and strategy.
Here’s what I’ve noticed. If you’re telling yourself a story, it’s easy to let it burn like wildfire and swallow up the entire landscape of your life.
Whether it’s busyness, overwhelm, self-doubt, or stuckness, we have to be mindful of the way we’re engaging with the stories we tell ourselves. Especially the ones that we label “challenges.”
DON’T FEED THE MONSTERS IN YOUR MIND
I noticed I was feeding the overwhelm and self-doubt. How? Small things. Talking about how busy I was (how fucking boring, BTW.) Thinking about how much I was spending (and not how much I was creating.) Negative self-talk about the risk of investing in my ideas. Imagining how it could all fail. Even listening to too many business/start-up podcasts was taking it’s toll. I love that shit, but too much outward focus and comparison feeds overwhelm and makes me lose track of what I’m doing right.
Bottom line: In small ways, I was feeding myself a regular diet of information that GREW the feelings and outcomes I didn’t want. And the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets.
Not only is this a self-perpetuating cycle of negativity, but it has larger implications. Because what we speak about, what we think about, what we imagine is what we CREATE in life.
ARE YOU MISUSING YOUR IMAGINATION?
As the late, great Wayne Dyer put it, “Perhaps the most common misuse of imagination is stressing what you don’t want for yourself.”
You focus on the lack in your life and you get more lack. You focus on how much chocolate you’re eating and all you can think about is eating more chocolate. You focus on your spending and you spend more. Any of that ring a bell?
Watch what you — and those around you — think and say. “I’m so busy.” “I’m totally overwhelmed.” “Money is tight.” “I’m tired.” “Things are really hard right now.” “I don’t have enough time.” Shit, even,”my pants are too tight” is a misuse of your imagination! You’ll be astonished by how true Dyer’s assertion is.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION WISELY + SPARK A DIFFERENT STORY
So I’m doing a little system upgrade to make sure I’m using my imagination wisely. I’m sparking a story of flow, fulfilment and abundance and I’m going to let it spread through my imagination like wildfire.
Here’s how I’m doing it. I invite you to join me…
FLIP THE SCRIPT: Every time you notice a negative thought (a thought about what you don’t want to happen), flip the script and turn it into a positive statement that is illustrative of the feelings and outcomes you do want.
UPGRADE YOUR WORDS: Whenever you’re about to say something about lack or doubt, upgrade it. Replace it with something that affirms what you desire, not what you fear.
CHECK YOUR INPUTS: Notice how you might be feeding yourself an unhelpful diet of information or negativity. Maybe it’s a profile on Instagram that generates “I’m not enough” feels for you. Maybe it’s overdosing on a certain kind of podcast or book. Maybe it’s the TV shows you’re bingeing on. Maybe it’s the people you’re surrounding yourself with, or the conversations you’re having with them. Check your inputs and unsubscribe from the shit that feeds negative patterns.
So go spark a new story, sweet thing.