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80: Overcoming Overwhelm

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This transcript has been automatically generated.


Bonnie Christine [00:00:00]:

And I know that I don't know what I don't know, but I do know what I can start doing today. I'm Bonnie Christine, and this is where all things creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town tucked right inside the Smoky mountains, running a multi seven figure business doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. when I first set out to become an entrepreneur, I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest dream of becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success. I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact, changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want and is wildly profitable. Welcome to the professional creative podcast. One of the most common things my students share with me is the sense of overwhelm you know, as they take on steps towards reaching their big goals and dreams.

Bonnie Christine [00:01:28]:

And this is just something that we all are really familiar with. We've all experienced. And what I wanna talk about today is the importance of learning how to identify the overwhelm and work through it so that it doesn't stop you in your tracks. I have to say overwhelm and I are very familiar with each other. overwhelm has stopped me more than any other obstacle on my journey as a creative entrepreneur. And it's not something that we cure. I don't think. I don't think it's like one day you stop being overwhelmed.

Bonnie Christine [00:02:06]:

because I very much have to work through it over and over and over again. But understanding how and why overwhelm stops me is part of what has led me to where I am today. And so I'm passionate about helping creatives like you who experience overwhelm from time to time or maybe struggle with time management or time workflow and all the things that we talk about here on the professional creative, to really figuring it out and working through it. You know, you're going to hear probably many stories of me and overwhelm as you listen in on the journey on the podcast, but the biggest one for me was when I was first starting out. And this started in 2009 when I set out to become a fabric designer. And you might have heard me tell this story before, but I had this big dream. I could name it. I could feel it.

Bonnie Christine [00:02:59]:

And yet, I couldn't start taking action on it. I was telling people that it was my big dream. I was thinking about it yet one day I woke up, And I realized that it had been 6 months. I had let 6 months go by from the moment that I really had settled in to me that this is what I wanted to the moment where I finally got honestly a bit mad that I hadn't taken any action. and I finally just started that day. The reason that I hadn't started or begun was because I was so overwhelmed. You know, that big huge goal of becoming a fabric designer, I wanted to have fabric in every fabric store in the nation. And I was sitting here absolutely clueless on how to do that.

Bonnie Christine [00:03:49]:

I had no foot in the door. I had no design experience. I wasn't an artist. But I was creative and I loved fabric, and I knew that I could do it if I set my mind to it. But because it was so huge and seemingly impossible and such a daring goal that I had, I just let the overwhelm completely stop me. So in this episode, I'm gonna break down what I did, what I learned there. I'm gonna share all my biggest tips for working through overwhelm. so that you can overcome it too.

Bonnie Christine [00:04:21]:

And, again, doing the things that I teach you in this very episode is what I come back to time and time and time again. I could tell you endless amounts of stories where overwhelm absolutely halted me. It probably happens a good, I don't know, half a dozen times a year where a big project will feel so overwhelming It'll I'll really get I'll really struggle to get started on it. And then I come back to the steps that I know keep me moving forward, and I just work through them. So if you've known me for a minute and you've heard my story before, you know about my mantra doing one thing a day. This has been a key factor in my story of overcoming overwhelm and a key factor in what gets me moving through overwhelm time and time again. So that leads me to my very first step that I wanna share with you, which is overcoming stagnation. It's about just starting.

Bonnie Christine [00:05:20]:

letting that overwhelm lead to inaction is where we get stuck. And in that, all of the things that we dream about just kind of die inaction and being stuck means that we're not accomplishing what we want to accomplish We're not taking action on our big goals, and we're not seeing progress in things that we wanna see progress in. So there's so much importance to just having consistent progress no matter how big or how small. And so the reason that I'm sharing this one with you first is that it was the number one thing that got me taking action. When I was laying there in the bed, it was one morning I had woken up, and I was just thinking about my dreams goals. And then that's when it dawned on me that I had let 6 months go by. I said, okay. Fine.

Bonnie Christine [00:06:10]:

I don't know what all of the steps are. And I don't know. I know there's a lot of steps, and I know that I don't know what I don't know. But I do know what I can start doing today. And I felt that way every single day. I know at least one thing that I could do today that would just kind of put me in motion towards accomplishing that goal. And for me, that very first day, it was googling how to become a fabric designer. And that just kind of started to unfold this research.

Bonnie Christine [00:06:44]:

This is kind of a side note. If you're feeling overwhelmed, The probably the number one thing you all have to do is just start researching because researching and by that, I mean, googling really just answers a couple of questions, and then oftentimes we'll give you the answer at the same time as it gives you your next question. that you have to go research and figure out. And so it's just like a getting in there and figuring it out thing, and that counts as your one thing that day. So by doing just one thing or at least one thing every single day, you have no stagnation. You will not get stuck as long as you're taking action at least one thing a day. And for me, like, 15 minutes counted. That was kind of my cutoff.

Bonnie Christine [00:07:32]:

Like, I need to do at least 15 minutes of something that pushes me towards my goal at least once a day. And so I lived by this. I mean, really, I didn't let a single day go by for 2 years where I didn't do at least one thing that day that inched me closer. It was a game changer for me. And, of course, some days, it was hours spent but it was at least 15 minutes every single day. I specifically remember 1 night getting in the bed and ready to go to sleep, and I'm like, oh, It had been a busy day. Right? Like, oh, I didn't do one thing. I got right back up out of bed, and I read an article or researched something.

Bonnie Christine [00:08:15]:

So I had you know, books that I would have with me. So if I was traveling, I would read the book that would count for my one thing. It was a lot of different things that could count but all of them had to be directly related to inching me forward. Mark your calendars for this October 19th through 21st because our annual conference for Creative Immersion Live is coming up. We've gathered a spectacular lineup of industry leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs like Amy Porterfield, Morgan Harper Nichols, Glow Autonomous, and Nicholas Wilton, plus many, many more for an unmatched virtual conference experience. Immersion Live this year is all about the art of business for the professional creative. Over 3 days, you'll unlock strategies to guide your business effectively, refine your designs, and establish a flourishing creative career. And the best part is that you can experience it all from the comfort of your own home.

Bonnie Christine [00:09:14]:

We do a live virtual conference like nobody else. Sessions will allow for real time interaction, questions answered, and a sense of community that's honestly hard to match. Our event kicks off with open studio night on October 19th where you'll get to peek behind the curtain of some incredibly successful artists and designers The next 2 days, you'll immerse yourself in keynote sessions and workshops where you'll learn, interact, and have all your questions answered. Come engage with like minded creatives, make meaningful connections, and open the doors to collaboration. We're also recording every session. So you can revisit and absorb wealth of knowledge at your own pace. Head on over to bonniechristine.com forward slash 2023 immersion live to join us. So number 1 is just start by doing one thing a day.

Bonnie Christine [00:10:05]:

Now number 2 is to become what I call a step by step sage Now I talked about the weeds and seeds of growing a creative business back in episode number 25, where I identified all of the same weeds that we all tend to kind of struggle through and the direct opposite seed that will get you out of that weed. So there are a lot of things that you're gonna resonate with but specifically, one of them is step by step Sage, which is a seed. And that really means breaking big tasks down So you have to break a big task down into smaller manageable steps. That's why we feel so overwhelmed because something feels really big. And Okay. Well, we don't know how to go accomplish this big thing. So we've got to take that big thing and break it down in what we call milestones and big rocks. And so your milestones are kind of like the biggest breaks, and then the rocks underneath it are the things that will just help you, you know, you know, you have to accomplish those things before you get to the milestone.

Bonnie Christine [00:11:10]:

And just getting that all figured out and broken down into into steps, you're not gonna get it perfect. You don't know all of the steps, but you probably have a pretty good idea as to what they're gonna like, and you know that you can edit them along the way. But just break it down as much as you can. That's gonna help you overcome overwhelm. Number 3 is to focus on one thing. So not only are you going to do one thing a day, but you're also gonna focus on just one thing at a time. Meaning our biggest and best resource is also our rarest resource, and that's simply our focus. Giving something your full attention at one task at a time is truly how everything gets accomplished.

Bonnie Christine [00:11:59]:

You know, multitasking can sometimes feel like productive or productivity, but it's not. We're actually really poor multitaskers. I think I've done this with you before, but just as an example. I'm assuming that you know your ABCs, you know, ABCD, EFT. And then I'm assuming that you know how to count to 10. 12345678910. So now try to say one letter and one number back back and forth through the whole alphabet. Right? So a 1b2c3d4e5f6g7h 8.

Bonnie Christine [00:12:40]:

I have done that a few times. I can't even believe I got to h, but you know these two things so well. yet it's such a great and powerful example of how task switching is so very difficult for our brains. Like, two things that you know, like, the back of your hand is so difficult to do because your tasks switching. Your brain can't switch tasks that quickly or that effectively. And so quit the multitasking. Do one thing at a time. Remove all distractions Put a timer on and drill down, like, like, be furiously, proactive about protecting That focus time.

Bonnie Christine [00:13:23]:

Put your phone in another room. Close out all the tabs. Put your family on notice. This is your time. Even if it's 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, you're gonna do one task with one focus, and you won't believe. You won't believe how much you get done. The next one is planning it all out on paper. So I like to call these super thinking sessions.

Bonnie Christine [00:13:47]:

taking time to plan ahead and put a name to your big goals and get them on paper is really what gets them to life. you breathe life into your goals when you put them, make a plan and put them on paper. So once you put them on paper, you can say them out loud. And, honestly, your entire focus will shift, and things just kind of begin to happen. So what I suggest is, again, now you're used to doing just one thing with your focus. I would remove all distractions and sit down with a good old piece of paper. and pencil or pen, maybe you sit somewhere that you don't normally sit. Maybe you sit, you know, away from your workstation and in a quiet chair.

Bonnie Christine [00:14:31]:

and you just sit with your brain. And this is your time to heartstorm, to vision, storm, to get everything that's in your head out onto paper, and this is what I call a super thinking session. It will get you out of overwhelm and into the doing so beautifully, but I have to tell you it does not happen by accident. It only happens with incredibly intentional planning. So put it on your calendar. I try to have at least one super thinking session a week, and this is where I really let my ideas come to life. So those are the steps as a recap. It's just start doing at least one thing a day.

Bonnie Christine [00:15:15]:

Break down big tasks. focus. Make sure you're focusing with your full focus on the task at hand and plan it on paper. That's four things with a super thinking session. The next thing I want you to really think about, though, also, is at this point, you have it all outlined. You have your big task broken down. You have ideas on paper. I want you to think about outsourcing tasks.

Bonnie Christine [00:15:40]:

It is so incredibly valuable to be able to recognize when you need help on something and when you can get help on something. The advantages of outsourcing certain tasks will free up your mental bandwidth to focus on your core responsibilities. meaning the things that you're both good at and the things that you love most, that is your zone of genius. And so if you can outsource even just a little bit of the other things, you're gonna free up time to focus on the things that really, really truly matter. I struggled with this for so long. And then as soon as it clicked, I kind of started to obsess about outsourcing everything that I was doing that I didn't act actually have to be the one to do. And so I talk about that a bit in episode number 57 when I cover hiring and your zone of genius. but don't let that word hire overwhelm you, speaking of overwhelm, because it can be as simple as, you know, pulling in a spouse or a friend or a mom or a part time VA to just get some of those smaller tasks off of your plate to start with.

Bonnie Christine [00:16:49]:

If you're feeling overwhelmed, I just want you to know you're not alone. This is something that we so often go through, and it's in the way that you recognize it and persist in moving through it, that really makes the difference. You know, every big journey begins with the decision to take the very first step. So don't let overwhelm steal your progress. I believe in you. Create the beauty that you want to see come alive the world and remember those who are free.

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I'm Bonnie Christine.


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