Ever Feel Overwhelmed by Good Ideas?
I’m pretty sure somebody somewhere said something like, “We’re all just one good idea away from [insert whatever it is that you want - maybe success or a zillion dollars]“. I know there are people in the world who wait their entire lives for that ONE good idea to come their way. But, my personal experience has been quite the opposite.
I’m an idea person. At any given time, I’m juggling a dozen or so concepts in my brain, playfully interacting with whichever one currently is foremost on my mind in that particular moment. It is constantly changing, and quite often, before I finish thinking one of these thoughts, more ideas come pouring in. I’ve often referred to this non-stop creative influx as both a curse and a blessing.
I’m grateful to have a creative mind, yet I’ve often felt overwhelmed by the notion that I need to birth every single one of these ideas. In fact, I’ve cried tears of frustration as inspiration has interrupted my sleep patterns, and I’ve sobbed, “I wasn’t quite finished with this other awesome idea just yet. I’m not quite ready for this next round of awesome.”
Poor, poor me.
Maybe You’re Overwhelmed by Expectations
The disconcerting aspect of this cursed blessing is the common belief that one must finish what they start… that we should find something, just one thing, and settle down with that singular specialty. There are people in the world like me, and possibly like you, too, who don’t fit this mold very well. Awareness of the expectation that we choose a major of study, a lifetime career, and a long-term significant other has caused much anxiety, doubt, and even depression for those of us who are not capable of settling on just one thing.
Discovering that I am not alone – that there are thousands of others out there who are overwhelmed by not only non-stop free-flowing creativity, but also the expectation to conform – was a huge relief. I found comfort in the notion that if there were others like me, that perhaps I wasn’t a freak of nature – different, yes, but not a justifiable case for the mad house.
Are you overwhelmed by creative options and/or expectations? Do any of these statements/questions sound familiar to you:
- I don’t know which ONE thing I want to do with my life
- I’m drawn to so many things I don’t know how to choose just one
- I’m fascinated by something new every week
- I can’t commit to anything, I’m afraid I will miss something better
- I start so many things, but finish almost none of them
- I know what I should do, I know what is expected of me, but it is unbearable to do that for the rest of my life
If so, then I highly recommend that you read, “Refuse to Choose“ by Barbara Sher.
When I read the back cover of this book, my eyes welled up with tears… the kind of tears that come from deep within, releasing decades of self doubt & criticism for not meeting expectations.
Unlike people who are satisfied with one area of interest, you’re genetically wired to pursue many areas, and that’s exactly what you’ve been trying to do. But because your behavior is unfamiliar – even unsettling – to the people around you, you’ve been taught that you’re doing something wrong and told you must decide on one path.”
For the first time, I caught a glimpse of hope:
What if I’m NOT broken and there isn’t anything to fix?
Barbara Sher explains that this ‘assumed disability’ that we attempt to overcome through sheer will, is actually an exceptional gift. She teaches how to embrace this gift so that you can put your remarkable, multi-talented brain to work in a world that has never understood who you really are.
No longer overwhelmed by the need to conform
I’ve transformed from feeling constantly overwhelmed by creative options to genuinely appreciating the capacity my brain has to process new information and bring in new ideas. I don’t feel pressured any more to follow through on every single idea – rather, I enjoy the process of writing down the idea and saving it for future reference. I may never come back to that idea to attempt to bring it to fruition, but like Leonardo da Vinci, I’ve got some pretty astounding notebooks to leave to future generations.
If you’ve ever felt hopeless because your passions for life ebb and flow, and you’ve experienced the burden of being overwhelmed by expectations – please read this book. Get your hands on it somehow and start embracing your uniquely exceptional gift.
With mucho a latte of love and respect,
p.s. if you, or someone you know, is affected by non-stop creative awesome (a.k.a. Adult ADD), please consider sharing this post with them. I understand exactly what it feels like to experience life with Adult ADD and am committed to assisting others in embracing their individuality, while teaching coping skills and techniques to provide support and balance. Feeling overwhelmed by creativity and expectations is so last century.
Quit feeling overwhelmed by everything.