The debilitating feeling of having too much, not being enough. When the tasks and emotions seem to become larger than your capability. When you are unable to problem-solve and prioritize and feel sane and get it all done.
Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about. I see you. See me. Then look around at the crowd who is in the boat with you.
But let’s not stay in this boat. Even if we are all in it together, it’s a leaky boat going nowhere good. I choose to get off.
And this is how we do it. I’ve discovered that overwhelm comes from believing one lie: ‘I can’t.’
It seems a little trite to boil down overwhelm to a simple belief you carry deep inside your heart, a belief you might not even realize yet that you have.
But look at this.
I’ve read one and a half books this week. One was written by a pastor’s wife and women’s leader – Jess Connolly. One was written by doctorate and secondary-school educator sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski – Burnout. Two different worldviews. Two different thought realms.
(Both are 100% worth reading, though Burnout is sciency and would perhaps appeal to a wider/ non-religious audience.)
Both come through with the lesson that if you cradle a vision for the end goal, you can endure any sort of suffering. That this future vision produces resilience inside that enables us to survive through adversity and thrive when unafflicted.
Your mindset directly affects the outcome. Your beliefs directly affect your capability.
In the middle of your overwhelm, what is it that you would like to believe about yourself? Are you capable? Or, are you incapable?
What would you tell your best friend who is feeling the same way as you? Which option – capable, or incapable – resonates as truth within you, faint though it may be? What would Jesus say about you?
Let’s change what we believe. Let’s change the ‘I can’t’ to ‘I am capable… and I’m awesome.’
That stack of paperwork? You are capable.
Those children who keep whining and sneezing in your face? You are capable.
That important, impending deadline? You are capable.
The list of chores? You are capable.
Staying even-tempered around annoyance? You are capable.
That thing you really want to try? You are capable.
All the different hats you juggle? You are capable.
Getting control of runaway thoughts? You are capable.
Running an ultramarathon? You are capable.
You are capable.
We are capable.
Because He is able.
We know the end result: we will succeed. We will do all the things. We will shake off the overwhelm. We will overcome. We will we awesome.
And that mindset – that knowledge of our ability, the absolute vision for the future – fosters hope.
Let it grow inside you.
You are capable. Feel the hope rise. Feel the resilience rise. You will fight back the overwhelm and overcome.
Let’s take up the discipline to start believing we CAN.
We. Are. Capable.
So let’s jump off that leaky boat onto the yacht waiting for us together. I’m positive it’s going somewhere better.