People often tell me they feel overwhelmed when they think about setting a big goal (or doing an outrageous act).
“All I can see is how hard it is.”
“I’m so stressed out by all the things I have to do.”
“I’m exhausted just thinking about it.”
I know, I know. Big goals are scary, and they take a lot of work. (Someone on Pinterest once said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”) But sometimes that overwhelm can be paralyzing. Every day, it stops someone from achieving a goal that they are capable of.
So how do you move through it?
When I feel that way, I remember my client Anna.
She called me one Sunday night sounding desperate. She was in the process of leaving a career in film to pursue one in hotel business, and she had her first job interview the next day. So, understandably, she felt overwhelmed.
“Why am I even trying?” she worried. “It’s for a really high-up position, right under the head of sales. You’re supposed to work your way up in this field, and I’m just starting now. I’m not even close to being qualified. I don’t have any of the credentials they want.”
All she could talk about was how much she didn’t have going for her. So I said, “Stop. What do you have?”
She thought. At first, a couple things came up: She’s great with people. She’s got fantastic communication skills.
Then things stared to come more easily. She had drive, passion. She had some management experience from working in restaurants. She had her whole acting career, which meant she worked well under pressure, and was comfortable in a million different settings with different people.
For the rest of the phone call, we pieced together the skills she had from all the other things she’d done.
And by the end of the call, we discovered she actually was qualified for this job.
And the next day, she went into the interview, smiling and confident.
She didn’t have the exact job title on her resume, or the exact experience they might’ve wanted. But by reframing her mindset to “what do you have?” she was able to speak truthfully and confidently about what she brought to the table.
And, as you probably guessed, she got the job.
All it takes is a simple question – what do you have?
Anna was able to clear away all the doubts and gremlins in her head, simply by shifting her focus. You can too. You can apply that in any situation where you’re feeling daunted by a goal, or facing an unknown.
Asking that one question – “What do you have?” – shifts everything. You go from a place of lacking, panic, and stress to one of possibility and clarity. It “unsticks” you.
It stops the noise. It makes you realize, “Oh. Actually I do have some things.” And when you see that, you begin to see what you need to do.
From there, you can make a plan. And you’ll go about making that plan in a different way than if you had remained in a state of stress and overwhelm. “What do you have?” gives you clarity, and clarity helps you move forward.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, look at what you already have. There’s a lot more than you might expect.
This is also a good practice in business, at work, and at home. It helps you to see what your team/peers/family has, what the people around you have to contribute – so you can utilize the strengths of those around you.
The more you look for strengths and resources – in yourself and in other people – the more you’ll find.
Let’s try it. We’ll combine it with movement, so you can tap your body intelligence for deeper answers.
Jump lightly on both feet, and move your arms like you’re jumping rope. If you need a modification, just do the arms motion.
Ask yourself: What do I have, right now, that will help me achieve my goal?
A degree? Life experience?
See yourself roping those things in!
What else do you have?
Maybe even just the desire. Don’t underestimate that.
Or maybe you have a great idea.
How about support – people who care about you and want to see you succeed?
What about your computer? You’ve got access to all the information in the world!
Rope those things in! Feel how much you’ve already got going for you.
(For more guidance on this, check out our “What do you have?” Moti Minute!)
Let your brain keep generating new answers as you go about your day. Your brain will answer any question you ask it, so put that to good use – make it give you a whole list of your resources. It won’t let you down. In fact, you might be surprised by how much you’ve got.
Follow me on twitter at @soniasatra for more ways to achieve your goals!
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