I’m drowning in a pool…..and I can’t swim.
This is how it can feel sometimes, right?
We have so much on our plate as Creatives. Not only producing our work, but the marketing, the pricing, the collaborations, and relationship building. And then what about research and education….and having fun??
Didn’t you get into this field because you LOVE it?
So, you find yourself binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix for a whole weekend and in the corner sits your:
Unfinished script or novel
Half painted canvas
Memory card that needs to be uploaded to your Hard Drive
Book full of songs to be learned
And while it may feel good at the outset when you watch the first episode, once it’s all over you are right back where you started and no closer to receiving the acclaim you desire with your Art.
I get it! We’ve all been there. Just like my client, Nadine.
Nadine is forming this amazing Non for Profit aimed to empower teenage girls through art and dance. However, in order to launch this project, she needs to line up funding, sponsors and donors. And to do this, she needs to be able to lay out the program and also be able to speak about the program clearly and succinctly.
She came to our coaching call saying,
Nikol, I feel like I’m in a pool and all the things I need to think about are these little rings all around me….and I can’t swim!
I began by saying,
First of all, the water is warm, like bath water. Secondly, you are now sitting very comfortably in a float, with a cooling drink. Now, from HERE, what do you see?
I took Nadine out of a threatening situation and gave her a safe vantage point where she could actually LOOK at all the elements that were important to her.
What happened next was magical.
Not only did Nadine then clearly share all she was seeing, she was able to clearly lay out a full format for her program, and when I reflected it back to her, her eyes widened.
She actually had all she needed already….it was just obstructed by the Overwhelm.
When she got off the phone, she smiled widely at me and said,
Nikol, I’m out of the pool now and I know exactly what I need to do next.
And this all happened within 30 minutes. Imagine making a shift that quickly.
What could that mean for your Art?
What could that mean for your Career?
So, in order to make the shift, let’s begin with what actually occurs in Overwhelm.
1) Things pile up in our life
2) We can’t see. Our sight becomes affected because ALL we see is the pile, and nothing else. Our view narrows.
3) We believe the only answer is to shut down and stop all action
4) We then disconnect from the situation we believe is causing the Overwhelm
5) In disconnecting from the situation, we actually disconnect from ourselves and what is really going on underneath
And this cycle repeats again and again, and keeps us from achieving our Dreams.
So, what can you DO?
1) Get it out of your head. When things are swirling constantly in our heads, you can feel like you are on a loop and going crazy.
2) Translate ALL that is around the issue that is giving you Overwhelm
3) Give your Overwhelm a Voice
4) Come into the Observer, releasing attachment to your current state and identification.
Have you ever heard yourself say,
I AM Overwhelmed?
When we make these kind of “I AM” statements, we are believing we are fixed and unchanging, and the situation is fixed and unchanging. We have identified with our state.
But here’s the good news…..change is a constant. Your emotions rise and fall, and your state changes throughout the day. You are becoming and changing in every moment.
You may be experiencing Overwhelm, but it is only a piece of your experience and not the totality of who you are as a glorious Artist.
And as an Artist, guess what you have readily available to you?
So, let’s grab some markers and a blank sheet of paper.
Ready to play?
The way to shift your Overwhelm quickly is through a really fun tool called a Mind Map. And this is what I used with Nadine and with all my clients.
According to Wikipedia:
“A Mind Map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words, and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.”
The Mind Map was first popularized by British popular psychology author and TV personality Tony Buzan, but has been traced back as far as the 3rd century by a noted thinker visualizing concepts of Aristotle.
Clearly it works.
Buzan brought this term to the general public with a series he hosted on the BBC TV back in the early 1970’s called Use Your Head, promoting the concept of a tree-like structure and “radial thinking”.
Buzan was really highlighting the concept of non-linear thinking. Which, as Creatives and Artists, we can all relate to, right?
This is a gift of the Creative Process…..non-lineation. So, why not use it to address our Overwhelm?
Why not Use Your Head to free up the resistance that is stopping you? And do it in a fun and Creative Way?
So, grab those markers, and that blank sheet of paper, and in the middle of the page, write down that thing that overwhelms you, or that project that you so deeply want to complete.
Try these guidelines:
1) Start in the center with your project or the cause of your overwhelm
2) Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map
3) Don’t edit, and let everything come out onto the paper
4) Develop your own personal style
This is a great opportunity.
It is actually WHERE we shut down that we have the opportunity to learn. We’ve made something HUGE and it just needs to be broken down, into small manageable pieces, so we can actually SEE it.
The mind map is a visual tool that allows the swirl of your mind and the blindness that occurs to calm, and for you to actually gain understanding. You will be able to lessen your anxiety and create one step moving forward.
Because, just like Nadine…you actually have ALL you need within. You’ve just lost sight of it.
So, grab your markers.
What do you SEE?
Post your Answers and Mind Maps Below!