When was the last time you felt overwhelmed?
For me, it was the Saturday before leaving for Mauritius on Monday. We had been planning our year of adventure for so long and now it was all happening in two days. I was very excited but also feeling incredibly weak and even a little like a had a cold coming on. I couldn’t understand why. Hubby (this man who somehow gets what’s happening to me before I do) suggests that I’m a little stressed and OMG I was! That was it! I had a project deadline for Sunday, needed to wipe my old phone, digitize all (and there’s a lot) of paper notes for Bloom and my day job, pack, prep some emails for Monday morning and be excited about all of it. It was just way too much and instead of asking for help, I kept it all in, claiming this very long list as mine alone.
As soon as I could see it, I started to feel better. It was as if simply by facing it made the stress dissipate by half.
Hubby offered to take on some of the load and where I had previously said no, I now said YES PLEASE!! Next, I got organized by making a list (naturally), allocating the items that I could give to him and just started for the top. Over the course of the day I realized a few traps and lies I was telling myself about control. Below are the opposite truths and lessons learned…
Who does what doesn’t matter, as long as it’s done:
One of my personal control lies is that only I can do something the right way. I know what I can do and struggle to acknowledge that someone else could do an equal or a better job. Some might say this is pride in your work. You want it to be perfect and therefore you should do it to make sure it’s on the level it should be. I would agree that quality is a must, but isn’t it also incredibly narcissistic to believe that only you can do it to the standard it needs to be?
In this scenario, we make pride out to be a badge of honour. “I take so much pride in my work, that’s why the quality is so high.” The thing we don’t see is that pride also separates us from each other. Believing that only we can do something right, doesn’t serve us by lifting us up, it keeps us away from help, better ideas and even new opportunities. It’s our ego telling us that we are better alone when really, all the collaboration, grace and ease come when we realize we are all in this together.
Support is more powerful than you realize:
Getting back to my long list… Naturally, there were a few items that do require my personal input, meaning that even though I had allocated some items to Hubby, most of it was still on my plate. That said, I still felt so much more capable, centered and supported just knowing that he is was in it with me. He was there to help however he could, even when that simply meant giving me the space I needed to get stuff done. Communicating what’s going on with you can be all you need to find the support and love to share the load of the stress.
Let people in, let them help, even if that only means bringing tea or lending an ear. It can be the most empowering you do for yourself to realize that you’re not in it on your own.
Done is better than perfect:
I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve read this little nugget, but I’ll share it again because it is oh so relevant here. One of my biggest tasks was to get my entire digital life into the cloud. I had been wanting to do this anyway, and now that we were about to embark on this journey it had become important to have my files a download away. There was one major obstacle, however… My files weren’t (aren’t) exactly organized. I had duplicates, hard drives, messy folders and I really saw the Move-To-Cloud as my big opportunity to organize. This would take time though, a lot of time that I simply didn’t have. It became a question of priorities. Was it more important to have the files loaded and accessible or that they’re perfectly labeled?
So, I sucked up my perfectionism, grit my teeth and uploaded my messy folders to Dropbox. I know where all the daily and very important items are and that’s okay for now. One of these days I will get around to collating everything into the perfect file system, but now that it’s done, I haven’t stressed about it once.
In the end, letting go of control is probably one of my hardest lessons and one I will face time and again. Next time overwhelm hits, I hope I’ll remember these lessons a little earlier to relieve the burden and flow through it with a little more grace.
You have help, love, and support all around you, you just need to let it in.