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?

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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

Life Coach

I'm inspired by who you can be without apology and I want to help you let your real self shine. I've been a life coach for 10 years. I've always been a seeker trying to discover a way of being in life that feels soulful, authentic and aligned to what my heart wants not what my head thinks I should have, be or do. I spent 20+ year career in HR, OD, talent management and executive coaching. My kids were my biggest wake up. I saw the way I was working wasn't working anymore. I couldn't keep pushing myself harder. I had to accept I couldn't attain this perfected version of myself that I had strived most of my life to achieve. I had to find love not from accolades and other people's acceptance but from deep inside me. That's when I learnt to connect to my heart, heal my childhood wounds and fears of never being enough and set light to my passion in a completely new way. I want one thing for my clients. Be real. Be themselves, fall madly in love with that person and honour their soul's calling.
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