When I first started my business, I knew nothing about technology except how to email someone. As a baby boomer wanting to continue teaching but through an online format, I signed on to learn how to do that.
Learning design for adults was easy for me, since that’s my background. But the tech stuff? Yikes! I quickly experienced the excruciatingly upsetting “conscious incompetence” phase of the learning cycle where you “know what you don’t know.” It’s an overwhelming, despairing feeling.
About once a week I’d reach the point of paralyzing freakout. The symptoms I experienced were:
- overwhelm – a feeling of drowning in All The Things
- brain overload – the feeling that my head is exploding
- brain freeze – the inability to think my way through anything
- hopelessness – the feeling that this all is impossible
Can you relate to these symptoms of paralysis? How have you been handling it?
The big driver for doing any of this is in the first place is the feeling that I haven’t yet fully used my particular gifts to make my corner of the world a better place. “Don’t die with the music still in you” is a quote (by Wayne Dyer) that motivates me.
But when I hit the brick wall of paralysis, I can’t go forward. All those good feelings of “mission” and “higher purpose” go out the window [to mix my metaphors].
So what do I do when I feel all those symptoms of paralysis?
I “quit.” Yes, I throw in the towel and say, “I quit. It’s too hard, too stressful – not worth it.” Then I pack my knitting bag and go hang out and knit at my local yarn shop.
After enjoying relaxing knitting and chatting with the other women there, and feeling free from that “impossible” burden of trying to build a solopreneur business, something odd happens.
I suddenly start getting inspired creative ideas for how to move forward in my business. I jot them down on a pink sticky note, and then rush home to implement it. Before I know it, I’ve jumped back into my business.
This cycle would continue so regularly that instead of really quitting each time, I’ve started calling it “taking time away.”
And this is what I recommend anytime you feel the symptoms of paralysis. Take time to get away completely. Tell yourself you’re quitting, if you need to.
If you’re an introverted solopreneur feeling stuck and discouraged, reach out to me for a free exploratory consult. You can get started by clicking the green button you’ll find HERE.