What if you're actually underwhelmed?

Naturally, I've been thinking about overwhelm this month. It's what many of us have been talking about here and I'll be honest I've had my own "overwhelm" going on. But I just had this thought. What if it's all made up?

Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee
Jul 14, 2014
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Walking the dog today, I suddenly had this thought about my experience of overwhelm. It's a perspective. It's a way I choose to view things and it's a label I put on to describe my experience in the moment.

When I tell myself, "I'm feeling overwhelmed" or more likely something like, "I can't handle this situation anymore," what am I reinforcing? I'm telling myself what I don't want and it's not a very resourceful or creative perspective for me to come from.

But the truth is it's just a word I use to describe a feeling. It's a feeling that for me is metaphorically like being underneath a huge lampshade.

When I'm under the lampshade I can't see or think very clearly. I don't like what I'm feeling so I sometimes start to justify my experience. I list out all the reasons, experiences and things going on in my life that contribute to it. It's as if I'm saying to myself, "See here's why you're overwhelmed, you're right to feel that way!"

Yet today, when I thought about my recent experience of overwhelm, the truth I got back was that I was actually feeling underwhelmed. I was holding on to the perspective I was overwhelmed and it was blind siding me to the truth which was in-fact I was experiencing underwhelm.

I wasn't doing enough of what lights me up. I was missing that feeling of aliveness and contribution. That meant that the everyday things that would normally not bother me, were playing a much bigger part in my thinking. I was stewing on them!

The next time you catch yourself saying, "I'm overwhelmed" it might be worth asking yourself if something similar's going on for you.

Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee

Vanessa Anstee

Work with Courage, -

I'm inspired by who you can be without apology and I want to help you release your fullest expression. My life turned around when I was given feedback on a leadership programme that I had an apologetic energy. I felt a mixture of anger and sadness because it was exactly how I was living and who I was being. I'd been giving my power away and playing small in a conditioned way of living. I took my 20+years corporate experience in OD, HR, Learning and Development, embraced my dreams and started living life on my own terms. I learnt to let self empowerment and authenticity trump fitting in, playing nice and fake harmonising. I help clients embrace their inner shine and play their bigger game.
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