I’m honestly so vexed when I hear people say: “I’m bored”.
“How is this possible?” I think to myself. “Doesn’t everyone have a zillion things on their want-to-try list? Hundreds of interests that have never made it past the ‘I’ll try that someday’ category? A list of half-finished projects that makes you wonder if it’s possible to fill out an application with the Universe for multiple lifetimes so that you can “get it all done”?
Apparently not. And that’s okay. Goodness knows that the overly-ambitious people of the world have plenty to keep them busy without driving themselves to madness (a shout out to my Type A people! Don’t forget to inhale and exhale thousands of times on repeat today okay? Love you so big!) I’m a firm believer that we need a nice healthy mix of “do’ers” and “be’ers” personalities in this world. Letting the do’ers do what they do best is usually good for the world and the be’ers serve an important role in reminding all of us that we’re not robots; that we’re here to just be, to enjoy life and that our value as people isn’t connected to producing a result or a product. We can, should, and will be loved just for waking up in the morning and breathing. We don’t have to prove our worthiness to anyone.
Knowing who we are and the gifts that we bring to the world is such valuable intel to have. A dear friend of mine Sarah Budd is a Leadership and Development Coach and a mastermind wizard with the CliftonStrengthsFinder assessment tool which helps people identify and leverage their strengths.
Sarah worked her magic on me and had me take this assessment to discover my top five strengths. Number one? Input. On the interpretation report, the first sentence reads: “People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more.”
That explains the aforementioned list of “I wannas”. Sarah being her awesome self reminded me that this desire I have for input is a strength, not a flaw. Yay! This is why we keep the kind and smart people on our team. To be told that our way of being isn’t flawed; it’s to be discovered and used intelligently as we interact with our work and other people in the world.
In summary: having a zillion ideas and projects rattling around in your mind is just fine. And it’s also okay to be occasionally bored or not full of ideas. Do’ers and be’ers. We need both.
But remember last week when we talked about harnessing ambition and Rob Bell’s checklist for how to know if your ambition is running the show and whether your strengths are working for or against you? My inner ‘do’er’ I needed that reminder again this week and I didn’t have to go far down the list to find it:
You feel your life isn’t sustainable. You’re committed to too many things. You tell people all the things you’re up to and then follow it with an: “I know, it’s crazy, right?”
Here’s what I vowed to leave behind in Winter 2018. As promised, the O and the Four Fs:
Feeling like a Fradulent Fuck-up Freeloading Failure
Due to external and internal factors, I have a lot going on right now. My life is not unlike anyone else’s on the planet; so many of us are so busy and doing so many things because we want to or need to. In truth, it’s a combination of my own project-starting ambition and things that are out of my control have left me feeling overwhelmed.
I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B-School this month and it’s been everything I hoped for… and way more. Being an educator I’d like to think that I have good study skills and ambition to try my best and I do. I was told that I’d need 4-6 hours a week to keep up. That was a straight-up lie; I could work on B-School for 20 hours a week and still need more time. So in the context of everything else I have to do, I started to feel overwhelmed. And as Marie is so fond of saying: “Overwhelm is a choice”. It’s a truth bomb that’s so honest that it irritates me to my core in the middle of my solo overwhelm pity parties. But she’s right. So when I feel overwhelmed now, I’m trying my best to rephrase it into something else: “I have a lot to do right now. What is most important to prioritize?” It’s helping. It’s a slow process.
As for the Four Fs: I started doing a little more mental digging on why Input is my top strength. When I start pulling on that thread, it revealed another truth: I’m afraid that if I’m not resourceful, if I’m not able to figure it all out, if I’m not able to be a successful entrepreneur, that I’ll be judged as a fraudulent freeloading fuck-up failure.
The brighter side of doing this work is that we can acknowledge these parts of ourselves and choose to reframe our degrading mental stories into more productive ones so that we can move forward. So instead of letting overwhelm and the Four Fs stick around for Spring 2018, I’ve decided to replace them with other thoughts. They’ve been burned into ash. And the next time they come around, I’ll do my best to remind myself: “I have a lot to do. I’m doing the best I can.”
Tomorrow is the Spring Equinox. I invite you to banish what no longer serves you and enter into a new season with habits and thought patterns that support your genius self.
Breathe and believe, beauties.