Why Is It So Overwhelming?

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"It’s okay to be overwhelmed. We’re not 'too sensitive' or 'weak.' And we don’t have to dishonor our feelings and push through it. In fact, feeling overwhelmed is kind of a natural response to any big vision."

For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:


This morning, I woke up overwhelmed.

It isn’t an unfamiliar feeling to me.

For whatever reason, I didn’t want to do my entire 2.5-hour morning routine. Namely, I didn’t want to do my entire exercise portion. It felt insurmountable. And, when I thought about all I had to do in my entire day, it felt completely overwhelming.

I wanted to go back to bed and re-charge (read: escape) instead of facing what felt like an overwhelming amount of things to do.

I say it isn’t unfamiliar because, truthfully, overwhelm has been a constant in my life. To be a visionary is to dream up possibilities bigger than currently exist. There’s a huge uphill battle to make those visions real.

And we visionaries know overwhelm all too well.

At earlier times in my life, my strategy to deal with this overwhelm was to dream giant dreams, fight the overwhelm with bold action for about a week, and eventually give up in despair and move on to the next thing.

I’ve “started over” or switched projects more times than I can count. Because, as it turns out, I’m only good at fighting off overwhelm and plowing forward for a short period of time.

I’m much better at building momentum.

There are infinite things that overwhelm me in a day. How I’m going to write the webpage for the new Sacred Branding® eCourse today. How I’m going to finalize all the details to get the next Mastermind round ready. How to find time to finish the overflowing basket of laundry. How to just create my giant vision and share it with the world.

If I spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it all, I’m crippled. Because, like when I first woke up today, from where I’m standing, it’s insurmountable.

So I make a deal with myself. I don’t have to do all of it. I just choose to do the one thing that will help me most right now. For me, today, it was getting out of bed and doing just three simple exercises. They didn’t feel overwhelming. They felt doable.

And then, at the end of those three, I felt so energized. I actually wanted to do more. And more. Until the point when I realized I had finished my exercise and was halfway through journaling. And, at that point, the momentum was carrying me to the end with ease.

I won’t lie—I show up here and feel overwhelmed about what to write about some days. Especially after spending more than three hours with my morning routine and getting ready.

So I just start. I just write a word—any word—about a topic that interests me. And then another one. And another one.

I don’t have to write a whole post. I just choose to write a few sentences. And, sooner or later, I realize an idea is forming and I’m halfway through a post.

It’s the same with just about any area of my life. Pushing through overwhelm rarely ever works for me. But being pulled by the vision and taking tiny little steps to build momentum works every time.

If, more than five years ago today, I thought about building all we’ve built and doing all we do in a given day, I’d have felt completely overwhelmed. It was insurmountable. It would feel a little bit like there’s no point in trying. Or that if I didn’t feel halfway there in six months that I might as well give up.

And, believe me, I’ve wanted to give up on plenty because it’s always felt so far away. I had the vision to propose to Garrett on the Amalfi Coast, but it took me four years later to actually do it. I had the vision to launch the Sacred Mastermind, but it took me three years to do it.

Visions are always bigger than where we’re currently at. Because they’re the most sensitive, tender part of ourselves. They’re our genius. They force us to grow bigger than we thought possible.

If we thought it was really possible, we’d probably be doing it already. So visions, by definition, always feel a little bit insurmountable. They’re always a little bit overwhelming.

And I’ve stopped shaming myself for always feeling overwhelmed. Because it simply means that I’m tapping into a real vision. Something big and important that forces me to grow.

It’s okay to be overwhelmed. We’re not “too sensitive” or “weak.” And we don’t have to dishonor our feelings and push through it. In fact, feeling overwhelmed is kind of a natural response to any big vision.

In a world where we can get any movie on demand or have pretty much any item arrive at our doorstep in two days, we’re used to being able to access or achieve whatever we want.

But a vision isn’t a one-and-done. It isn’t this quick fix to placate and gratify us.

It’s our Great Opus. The big thing. The giant container that we want to share with the world. Our vision for what’s possible.

It’s not something we can conquer or achieve in a day, a week, or even a few years. It’s something we’re committing to again and again.

We probably aren’t ready to run right up to that today. But each step on the journey to our vision builds momentum. It galvanizes our energy. It changes us.

Like any video game. We’re probably not ready to fight the boss just yet. But, after devoting ourselves over and over again to steps on the path, we defeat lessers challengers and subtly adopt the exact skills and abilities we need. We build momentum. To finally defeat the boss.

Our vision always unlocks our genius. It always shows us who we really are inside.

And we don’t have to believe it’s possible yet. We don’t have to be any less overwhelmed. All we have to do is be led by the vision. Take one tiny step. Choose the one simple thing that does feel within reach.

Like doing one exercise. Or writing one sentence. Or sending off one e-mail.

And, sooner or later, we’ll find that that one tiny step started the journey of walking toward our vision. And now we’re carried by our momentum. And doing what we never thought possible.


Questions for Reflection:

*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:

Why is it so overwhelming?

— Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all you have to do? Does your vision feel insurmountable sometimes? Have you ever gone “all in” and fought that overwhelm for a little while, only to eventually give up on your goals all together?

— Are you worried that you’ll never be “motivated enough” to complete what you want? Have you ever gotten paralyzed when thinking of all the steps and all you have to do? Do you ever feel incapable of actually accomplishing it?

— What if overwhelm is actually a sign that you’re tapping into your big vision? What if you don’t have to feel capable of doing it all—or even think about all you have to do—yet? What if all you need to do is choose one step within reach and let momentum carry you and walk you directly toward your vision?

Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele

Mike writes about how artists, entrepreneurs, healers, and visionaries of all kinds can actually build a life around the genius inside of them.

He's CEO of Mike Iamele LLC and Creator of Sacred Branding® and the Sacred Circle.

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