Overwhelmed! I hear the word several times each day and am even guilty of using it myself. Since I’ve been working with personal power, lately, I decided to look up the definition and see how overwhelm relates to power.
Sure enough, one of the definitions is “overpower.” Even more specifically “overpower: overcome with superior force.” Boy! If anything is going to put me into my caveman brain, it’s the thought that something’s going to overpower me with some type of superior force!
So every time that I use the word overwhelmed, I’m actually telling myself that I’m being beaten down. Which is exactly how it feels when I’m overwhelmed. I feel exhausted, hopeless, dazed, frantic and powerless.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t even want to use a word that’s going to conjure up and sustain those feelings. Yet I don’t want to make the word “overwhelm” my adversary, either … hmmm ….
I think I’m going to stop throwing around this over-used, nearly-meaningless word. Instead, I’m going to be honest with myself. Every time that I want to use the word “overwhelm” I’m going to use “powerless” instead. Then I’m going to look around at what is making me feel powerless. Is it my schedule? Do I have too many arbitrary obligations? Where exactly have I been giving my power away?
Sometimes this analysis alone will probably bring me out of my caveman brain. I mean, am I really feeling powerless because my floor needs cleaning and my laundry needs folding? Puh-lease! I probably just don’t want to do it — maybe rebellious is a better word! And if I’m being rebellious, then aren’t I actually exerting power?
In some cases, though, maybe I really am feeling powerless. Maybe I really did overschedule myself. Ironically, I used my power to create a busy schedule that ended up draining my power. Having that awareness can help me avoid doing the same thing in the future, but right now, it’s all about claiming back any power that I can.
First, I’m going to stop being a victim. I’m not going to let my schedule (for example) be my adversary. Instead, I’m going to accept my schedule completely. Instead of wallowing in feelings of overwhelm, I’m going to become a player in the “busy schedule game.” A successful player in that game feels vital, organized, focused and efficient. I’m going to let those feelings guide me and my actions. That’s a powerful player, and that’s the player I want to be.
What do you think? How are you going to take back your power?