Sometimes, life can feel pretty overwhelming. We have all been there. The workload feels impossible to complete. The task at hand appears to be impossible. You aren’t sure that the people around you are committed. You are even starting to lose the faith that this grind is all worth it.
When we hit these spots in our lives and careers, it can be very tempting to slow down. We start thinking about bailing out. We fantasize about being someplace else where these problems don’t exist. We start to do whatever that thing is we do when we are stressed out (eat too much, drink too much, etc.). The vortex of fear starts to suck us in.
About a year ago, I left the warm embrace of a stable corporate job to make a go of it as an entrepreneur. It is what I am called to do and it seemed like it was time to stop putting it off. So, I did it. As a result, there’s very little stability, predictability or comfort in my professional life any longer. There are a lot of days when I’m not sure how this whole thing is going to work. It’s easy to get frustrated when a deal doesn’t come through or a plan didn’t play out the way I hoped. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex.
But, there’s one sure anecdote for this fear that lives in the vortex: action. I have a quote hanging up on the wall in my home to remind me of this powerful truth:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” –Lao Tzu
No matter how overwhelming the situation, the best thing you can do is take the next step. Pick an action that will move you forward, even if it’s a small step, and do it. Action cures fear. The worst thing to do when things get overwhelming is to stop. When you stop, you make room for doubts and fears to infect your thinking. And the more of this destructive force that you allow into your mind, the harder it is to get moving again.
So, the next time you feel yourself getting sucked into the vortex, take the next step on your journey. Doing anything that moves you forward will break you free from these feelings of fear and doubt. Action restores faith and gives you energy.
Beat the vortex. Take action.