Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm talking about overcoming hopelessness and overwhelm. If you don't like where you are currently - whether that's in your career, in your relationships, or in some other area of your life - but you're feeling hopeless that it'll change or overwhelmed at the prospect of making a change, this journal entry is for you.
In my experience, the way through these feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness is self-empowerment. How do you empower yourself? Dare I say it has never been easier? No matter what your problem is these days, there are resources available to you through the click of a finger on your computer. You can research absolutely anything online. I'm not saying all you'll find will be valuable (hence the word "research" which requires some analysis and critical thinking about what you find), but there is a wealth of information out there waiting to be found. That information can help educate you. Through that education, you can develop a plan forward. Perhaps that plan includes purchasing a certain book, hiring a coach or therapist, taking an online course, finding an in-person or Facebook group with like-minded individuals for support, etc. Trust me, you are not alone. You are not the first person to have this problem. You don't need to reinvent the wheel (and don't make your life difficult by thinking you need to do so). Be willing and open to learn from other people who have already "figured out" your problem. Gather the potential solutions or paths forward, then decide which one is best for you. But you have got to be proactive. You've got to do something. Wallowing in self-pity and "this is too hard" is not going to fix anything, yet many prefer to put on Netflix, numb out, and stay there. Depending on the magnitude of your problem, take a night or a week or a month to chill out, but don't let yourself get stuck there.
For example, say you want to start your own business but you're feeling so much overwhelm about setting up a website. There are so many different providers - how do you know which one to choose? Well, hop on your computer and start looking for articles that have compared and contrasted the various website providers. If you do that, you'll probably find a nice chart that lists the most popular options and compares them. From that chart, you'll probably be able to narrow it down to a few providers that meet your needs and price range. Then you can hop onto the websites of those providers and - chances are - you'll find a free webinar or video diving more deeply into their offerings. Watch them. That'll help you further narrow down your list of options. Maybe you'll be left with two choices at that point. Then search the internet for articles comparing these two choices. Also, do you know anyone in your family or circle of friends who has a website? What do they use? Are they happy with that choice? Have they done research on the various platforms that they can share with you? Then make a decision. I know people who've gotten paralyzed for months on their start-up-business journey because they can't choose a website provider, or a logo color, or something even more simple. You can always change your mind down the road.
As another example, let's say you've been wanting to lose weight but it's just not happening even though you believe you're eating properly and exercising. I encourage you not to get stuck in feelings of frustration and hopelessness. You can see a nutritionist or hire a personal trainer. If those things aren't in your budget, you can go online and do some research. Be open to the possibility that you aren't eating healthy for your particular body, age, activity level, or medical condition (eating "healthy" doesn't just mean less calories - there is a lot involved). Be open to the possibility that your exercise routine might be outdated. For example, as women age, it's really healthy to add some light weight training. But how would you know that unless you did some research? Through your research, maybe you'll find a health coach that resonates with you online and her Instagram is full of free tips and tricks you can put into practice. You can learn so much from diving head first into your problem, rather than sitting on the sidelines complaining about it. Again, you are not the first person to experience this problem and you won't be the last. Be open to expanding your mind. Be open to the possibility that you don't know it all. Through educating yourself you'll start to feel empowered and that'll give you motivation to move forward.
I'd be remiss not to include one other point in this journal entry: pray. Pray to a God of your own understanding. Ask for help. Ask for guidance. You don't need to do this alone. I'll admit, even though I've believed in God my whole life, prayer wasn't a big part of my life until the past 5 years or so. There was this moment when I realized I can call on help. I don't need to do it all alone. And some things just can't be done successfully without divine intervention in my opinion (such as grieving the death of a parent). So don't hesitate to surrender your worries and hopelessness through prayer.
I wrote this journal entry because it's so easy to get stuck. It's so easy to say "I tried and it didn't work" and stop there. It's so easy to wallow in "this will never happen" or "this is too hard." But there is another choice available to you. You can choose hopelessness and overwhelm or you can choose to be proactive about resolving and changing your situation. Big problems will obviously require more of you than small ones, but the same principles apply. You can do this. You can figure it out. And I am cheering you on as you take the first step!
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P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!