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I launched a new website a few weeks ago. As part of the launch, I created The Writer’s Toolkit. I’ve also been working on two other e-course projects simultaneously. At the same time, I’ve been trying to improve my numbers at my day job, while also helping with husband and Daddy duties. Instead of feeling great about all of these new projects, I’ve felt entirely overwhelmed and inadequate.
Have you ever been there?
I’m the worst at always focusing on the next thing instead of what’s right in front of me. It’s so hard for me to live in the now, when I’ve always got the next thing cooking.
Add to that the fact that my email inbox is constantly filled with how-to’s from “go-to” guys like Tim Grahl and Jeff Goins. I read their emails and immediately get overwhelmed by all the “amazing things” I’m not yet doing instead of focusing on yesterday’s “amazing thing” I am working on today. There are drip campaigns to start, LeadPages to set up, a social media calendar to fill, and countless other things that don’t yet make sense to a noob like me.
The truth is, I’m getting there. I’m learning all of the tech stuff and surrounding myself with people who are smarter than me. And our Tribe is growing! But it’s not happening fast enough for a microwave-type like me.
So what do you do when you want to change the whole world in an instant but you have days when you feel like you can’t keep up?
You confess that craziness to a friend. Because, seriously, that is crazy.
You intentionally invite people into your life who will call “bullshit” on you when you need it. For me, it’s my wife. And Sarah Simmons. And Stephanie Gates. And the branding diva herself, Amye Still. Plus my man-crush, Tyler my lifelong friend, Kristie, and “America’s Crisis Coach” Faydra.
I have people who love me enough to tell me to put the brakes on. Those who will pull me back from the ledge.
And once I take a deep breath, stop hating myself for my own inadequacy, and start looking at the truth about myself (thanks, Sarah), I am able to see that the world has been spinning on its axis for eons without my help.
So, what do I do when I want to change the world but I’m feeling completely overwhelmed?
Here’s the unfortunate truth:
I change the world – the world around me, and the world including me – each time I stop whatever I am doing and give my wife the attention she craves. The attention she deserves. The attention I promised to give her nearly 10 years ago when we exchanged rings.
I can afford a babysitter this Friday night so I can take her on a real date. I can send her flowers at work for no specific reason at all. I can surprise her with her favorite bottle of wine when I come home from the grocery store.
I can love my kids. I can put the phone down and pick up a Rescue Bot. I can set the iPad to the side and brush my little girl’s hair. I can put her in the stroller and take a walk around the block. I can actively love my children. And create memories with them. I can create the legacy of a dad who chooses to be a father before he ever considers being a worldchanger.
That’s how I change the world, friends.
Because that’s all my kids are looking for: a dad.
All my friends are looking for is a guy who will look them in the eyes while they’re talking. Or listen to them confess their mess and just say, “I get it. And I’m sorry.” They aren’t looking for me to show up on their balconies, with my cape flapping in the wind and a capital “S” on my shirt.
I change the world with each intentional step I take to connect with the person in front of me.
By choosing to respond with encouragement, honesty, and vulnerability to those in my circle, I have a chance to change the world. My world.
As a writer, I can become consumed with stats and metrics and reports and all the things I’m not yet doing. But focusing on the negative doesn’t help me or anyone else.
When I choose to focus on who I am instead of what I do, I give myself a little love and some grace. Lord knows I need it!
Here’s the truth about me:
I do enough. I give enough. I love enough. I am capable enough. I am husband enough. I am father enough. I am friend enough. I am writer enough. I am man enough. I am Christian enough.
I am enough.
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Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
It’s Time for the Church to Confront Mental Health (via USA Today)
Suicide: Let’s Talk about It (podcast)
Pastors and Suicide: How Do We Keep this From Happening Again?
Suicide Survivors: 7 Things to do the Day After You Leave the Psych Ward
GUEST POST: The Velveteen Rabbit, Impossible Magic, and Finding Authentic Faith
Guest Blog – Worthy and Unashamed: Facing Mental Health Stigma in the Church Head-On
Guest blog: It’s Depression, Not Demon Possession
Guest Post: When You Can’t Erase Your Childhood Religion