“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
One of the killers of progress is overwhelm: the feeling that there is so much to do. Don’t know where to start. So I’m following up on my last post, re-emphasizing how key it is to focus on small changes.
One option when dealing with overwhelm is to surrender to: ‘ . . . I’ll just lie on my couch and cuddle my dog and binge watch something great, or mindlessly scroll a social media feed.’ (Does anyone else feel kind of gross after an avoidant mindless social media scroll?)
Letting overwhelm rule the day, and be the little devil that pulls the covers over our heads so we can hide from whatever we are avoiding, is vastly different than making a choice about needing some downtime, and that’s the behavior I’m talking about today. Caveat – sometimes it’s vitally important to lie on your couch, cuddle your pet, binge watch something great (or garbage-y, whichever). But INTENTIONALITY is the difference. Hiding versus choice-making. Do you follow?
Again – what tiny changes can you make in your world to manage overwhelm? To stay the course. To keep moving forward. Loop back to my last post for some ways to get started
My yoga teachers remind me that there is no end point, certainly not some fancy pose. That the goal is to stick with the process, to keep learning, growing and understanding ourselves. To recognize patterns, and through that recognition, make a change. A concept I carry off my yoga mat, clients will often hear me saying “it’s a practice not a perfect.”
My own coach will remind me to focus on “progress not perfection.” Both similar ideas, imploring us to worry less about some perfect end point, that the magic is in the effort.
It’s in that effort that we push through our fear and stretch the fabric of what we think is possible for ourselves. Once stretched, that fabric never bounces back to be quite as tight or limiting as it once was. The same is true for our mental constraints.
The frustrating thing here can be trying to do everything all at once. That’s why I’m always encouraging of TINY changes. Tiny changes add up to big shifts over time. Patience, staying the course is key.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Full Disclosure? I work on this ALL.THE.TIME.