My daughter and I started college this past Thursday. We woke up bright and early to eat breakfast before we got started.
Katie began to cook while I turned on some relaxing classical music. After a brief phone call from Auntie wishing us a happy first day of college, we talked quietly as we ate before settling down in our spots to begin our studies.
I felt my chest tighten the moment I saw the tasks listed
It is easy to become overwhelmed when we start a new project. Our mind gravitates to the big picture and we feel fear as that little voice inside of us screams that we’ll never get it done
We’ll fail, so why should we even bother trying
While our lizard brain is trying to protect us, it doesn’t understand is that we don’t have to do everything at once. We don’t have to complete everything in an instant
All we have to do is focus on one step at a time and plod our way through. We are certain to reach the end as long as we keep walking
The hardest part is getting through that first moment of terror
My mind was screaming. What in hell were you thinking?!? There is no possible way you can do this on top of your job and everything else! You are going to fail, just like you failed the other times. You’re just throwing your money away and wasting your time. Quit now while you’re ahead
I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and waited for the moment to pass. Fortunately for me, this isn’t my first rodeo. When I left my husband I had no clue how I would survive. While I accepted the panic, I picked one thing and got to work
Since then I’ve managed to raise my kids and build a successful writing business. I’ve accomplished other things during that time as well. While I may not know just how I’ll manage this new project, I know I will do just fine
The very first thing I needed to do was download all of my reading materials. Once that was complete, I selected the reading assignment at the top of the list and got started
One by one I went down that list. I didn’t worry about the next step; there wasn’t any point in worrying about it until I reached it. Before I knew what was happening I had reached my first written assignment
While I may be discussing a college class in this post, the knowledge I used to get through this first week can be applied to anything we want to achieve in life
The steps are simple:
- Close your eyes and allow yourself to breathe through that moment of panic.
- Determine the very first step you need to take.
- Focus exclusively upon that step until it is accomplished.
- Determine the next step and repeat #3.
Don’t worry about the big picture. It will only make you insane if you do. Just focus on the task that is immediately in front of you
The journey will take care of itself.
If you have a friend who feels overwhelmed, take a moment to share this post with them. You may be helping them achieve greatness.