Whoa Girl! Reining in My Ambition to Slow Down

Lately, I have been feeling a little anxious. Ok, let’s be honest, I’ve been a little anxious my whole life. I felt myself being more irritable around my family, tension in my chest, scattered and wanting to give up on everything. Now, I am aware of the anxiety as it creeps into my body and thoughts. It is funny to me how the anxiety is creeping up right after something exciting popped into my business. As an entrepreneur, I am always thinking in grandiose ideas and planning them out. I jump in and can’t wait to get started on my ideas. When things line up and start in motion, I start to sense the anxiety. What?! Shouldn’t I be excited? I am fortunate to be aware of the anxiety and listen instead of letting it overwhelm me. Emily! EMILY! My body is trying to send me a message. Even when we embark on fun new adventures, fears rise up from something from the past.

Various types of Yoga classes are great for various types of people. These days, I am more into sequences that are challenging, yet slow, where I hold each pose for several breaths. This takes much discipline and strength. A teacher recently had us pause and connect to our breath. In that moment, I could hear what my body was telling me. I have seen cycles in the past that have shown me I am a “do-er”. I see an opportunity that is exciting or a problem that needs to be solved; and I go tackle it. I have accomplished many great successes in this way, and it has also taught me a lot of lessons. One of the most important; to slow down and pause. Take a breath.

I sometimes exhaust people when I tell them everything I’ve done or am doing in my career. A common remark is, “How do you do it all” or “I don’t know how you do it”. Well, the true answer is that I tend to overcommit, spread myself too thin and get exhausted. I can recall times where I have jumped into moving forward with a decision, before doing complete due diligence or checking to see if I have the capacity. Anyone with me out there? It took me awhile to realize this and own it. Sometimes my own ambition and drive can get in the way of my peace and success. Aside from this being my personal cycle, I see how it may be a rising trend in general society with need for instant gratification and “get rich quick” schemes. I know that my success will come. I am confident I will accomplish all my goals. But is my timeline realistic? Do my timelines force things to happen when they aren’t ready? In some of my experiences, yes.

My feelings of anxiety, stress and being overwhelmed have lots of underlying meanings. As I become aware of these, the first thing I do is pause. Take a breath. Slow. Down. Look at what’s in front of me, whether it’s a problem or exciting opportunity and just sit with it. Is this something I am ready to take on? Talk through my ideas and collaborate with someone I trust. At least give it 24 hours without even thinking about it. Come back to it when my mind is clear and I know I am coming from a grounded place.

I am going to refocus my ambition on making my biggest goal slowing down. Take one step at a time, feeling each part of my foot hit the Earth. Feeling each piece of my vision hit the ground as it should, at the right time. This is still a forward progression, but in a more intentional way.

Today I commit to pausing, taking a breath and slowing. I welcome the peace and clarity that comes from this mental state. I welcome whatever fruits come in my career while taking it slow and growing organically. Rein in all my excitement, passion and challenges; trusting I will get there in good time. To remind myself of this, I wrote out my plans by month on a yearly calendar. I hang it and remind myself of the plan. When I come up with big ideas, I write them down, look at my calendar and add it to my “future aspirations” list, instead of right now. Can you think of a time when you let opportunity or ambition sit in the driver seat and things got a little out of hand? It can be harder to slow down excitement but over committing even our passions can lead to a feeling of overwhelm. Join me in taking a breath today and focusing on one thing at a time. That thing will come out much better, with more energy and leave me with better bandwidth to tackle the next.

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