I use this example a lot…Eating the Elephant.
Sometimes a task or situation can seem overwhelming, I liken it to having to eat an elephant. Which of course sounds impossible, how would we fit it all in?!
But, it is actually possible to eat something as big as an elephant you just have to know how to do it. You see when you get to a certain point in life and a lot of shit has hit the fan in various ways and you’ve been ambitious with your hopes and dreams for the future you realise that there is only one way to eat the elephant and that is…a bite at a time.
I run a course for female entrepreneurs called The Female Founder Formula. It’s for those women who would like to grow their business/blog/social online and make an income from it and we cover everything that it takes to do that. But one of the things I tell them often is that as soon as this process of building your business begins to feel like overwhelming just go back to working through this mammoth task (eating the elephant) a bite at a time.
Get your social platforms running smoothly, write some emails, focus on your offer etc.. Don’t do it all at once, you can’t rush this and come out unscathed, there’s simply too much other stuff that us women have to do on a daily basis to make that sustainable in the long term.
And the same goes for every other single thing that makes us feel overwhelmed. Right now living with and working through a separation seems like too much at times and yesterday’s blog was about just that. Staying present and just simply getting through the moments.
But I also think it’s important to have really practical ways of doing things and working through situations and this ‘bite at a time’ is a good one. Here’s a current example…
As a family we have a lot of clothes that need washing ALL THE TIME! It’s the bane of my life, it’s never ending and never finishes. I had a huge pile sitting in the corner of my bedroom that just wasn’t going anywhere and each time I looked at it I got more and more down about it. The longer it sat there the more it seemed to represent everything else that was happening and was just dragging me down (which is obviously why the Kon Marie method and Feng Shui are so popular and work so well. They make you feel GREAT and it’s vital that we feel great as often as possible)
So I just did the dresses. Hung them all up, took 10 mins if that. The next time I looked at the pile I did the tops and jumpers etc. and then before long it was all done. But there was an absolute block there in my mind that was making that pile seem insurmountable. I do believe that simple every day tasks can become overwhelming when there are other things going on in our lives. It feels like there’s not enough bandwidth to keep going with the admin of day to day life as well as navigate through major changes.
I understand this and I believe, with every cell in my body, that this is when we have to become extremely gentle with ourselves. Because it’s when the everyday stuff becomes too much that we end up crying in the shower, screaming at the dishwasher and just not being able to function.
There will always be elephants for us to eat in life and they will take many different forms. I don’t think it’s right to judge someone else’s pain of difficulties as we’re so different and I’ve always said that pain is relative.
But, BUT, being able to manage stuff just enough to keep you from feeling overwhelmed, in time makes you incredibly capable. It builds a certain confidence in you that enables you to take those plans and dreams that you have for your life and run with them. Take a look at someone you admire and I can guarantee, 100%, that at times they will have had several elephants all needing to be eaten at the same time.
It’s not the event, it’s not the elephant, it’s how we think abut it and then how we work through it.
My word for living right now is gentle. I’m trying to make everything gentle for fear of breaking. And that is ok, it is what it is and I know it won’t always be this way. So if it takes a week to clear a pile of clothes then as long as I’m gentle with myself about doing it, it will get done and I won’t feel awful until that time comes.
You can do this, you can eat this elephant and you are not alone. You have never been alone and you never will be. Know this to be true.
Huge love, Cx