Overwhelmed Creatives is a multi-part series that teaches you the causes of overwhelm, and exactly what you can do to get out of overwhelm and into your creative power. Check out the series here.
Now that you understand that there is a way to achieve and contribute in ways you know you are capable of without overwhelm, let’s talk further about the strategy of constraint.
Constraint is a limitation or restriction we put on ourselves that simplifies our lives. Constraint reduces overwhelm and makes decisions easier to make. Giving yourself permission to focus all in on one goal at a time helps you narrow your focus and makes decisions on executing and creating (and marketing and all the things) easier.
You might feel like you don’t want to constrain because you like keeping your options open or you don’t want to miss out on something. Or you think you’ll get bored or lose your creative spark. Or that you need to switch between projects to fuel your creativity. Am I reading your mind?
But here’s the cost — ‘keeping your options open’ (or insert any other reason) will always be an issue because there will always be too many options. Because there will always be a shiny penny calling your attention away. And those shiny pennies and choice to keep your options open will hold you back from contributing in ways you know you are capable of.
THIS HABIT OF DIFFUSING AND DISPERSING YOUR ATTENTION IS WHAT KEEPS YOU OVERWHELMED AND KEEPS YOU FROM ACCOMPLISHING YOUR GOAL. full stop.
When you constrain yourself to one goal at a time you make decisions ahead of time. Your mind is freed up to focus. You’re able to reliably tap into your creativity and you can start thinking about how to solve for the obstacles that are in your path, and create what you want.
Your Brain Will Protest
There is little doubt that your brain will protest this at first. But consider the possibility of removing everything from your plate except for a single goal that would mean so much to you to be able to complete — and that you know will give you the “I can’t believe I did that!” feeling. Think about how much energy you would have to complete the goal if you weren’t multi-tasking and diffusing your energy amongst several projects, and experiencing overwhelm and burnout as your main emotions. That in itself is an unpleasant way to exist, and I promise you it is a choice.
Take a minute and think about the goals that you have for yourself that are incomplete or that you haven’t started. What if you were willing to scale back, feel all the boredom and urges, and you kept redirecting your focus until you create what you know you are capable of. You’d get to experience the pride and positive impact and the experience of blowing yourself away. Doesn’t that sound amazing? All that’s in your way is your unwillingness to constrain yourself.
Sprinting vs. Marathoning
Think of it like sprinting towards one goal at a time, rather than marathoning on many goals at the same time. Much like running a marathon, all those goals that you are ‘marathoning’ on take way longer to finish, and often end up taking years. You THINK that marathoning on many goals is inspiring and productive, but in reality it leads to overwhelm and burnout and years spent on the same project(s).
Rather than being willing to constrain, which means feeling urges to work on or start another project, allowing the urges and not acting on them, and purposefully bringing your attention back to your singular focus — your goal. Sprinting on a single goal is what actually allows you to surprise yourself, and achieve anything you set your mind to.
- Is it difficult to limit yourself to one thing? Why? Or why not?
READY TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR CREATIVE CONFIDENCE?
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