Imagine this if you possibly can (it probably doesn’t apply to any of you though ha ha)….
You know the feeling, you’re having a good time out for day with your family.
The sun is shining, everyone’s behaving (even the dog) and you’ve got NOTHING to do except hang out with them for the afternoon.
You might have a barbeque later, you check your weather app on your iphone and as you pull it out of your pocket – BUGGER! There’s a notification on the screen of an email from your accountant saying ‘I think we need to have a meeting to talk about the finances of your business’.
Here’s what happens next:
In head: “Oh no, I didn’t make as many sales as I thought last month. Why didn’t that last launch I planned go as well as it should have done? What did I do wrong? What about all those other people who just make money in their sleep? Why is it so hard for me?”
Kid runs over. “In a moment, darling, I’m just doing something”.
Back to head: “Let me think about this. What could I be doing to bring more money into my business? Well there’s idea x and idea y, oh and idea z, hang on let me get out the ‘notes’ bit on my iphone and jot these ideas down. Idea a, idea b, idea c. But idea z won’t work because I did that last time, so maybe idea a. But Sally won’t like it if I did that one. Ok idea b then. No, that’s no good, I’ve got the kids, that’s impossible for me to fit in that much time. Maybe I should get a nanny to take the kids off my hands for a few hours a day so I can get this done. But I can’t afford one. But I could if I did idea c and it worked. OK so what would need to happen to get that to work? Well first I’ve have to do 1 then 2 then 3. Or is is 1 then 3 then 2. Best I have a real brainstorm about this one.”
“Yes, yes, sweetheart, I’ll have a look in a minute.”
Back to head: “So where will I find a nanny? I know I could do j, then k then l and advertise on websites 4 and 5 and 6. Oh God, what if I don’t make the money. I never make the money. Why is it so hard? I know, I’ll text my friend, she’ll be able to help”.
“No, you can’t play on my phone, mummy’s using it right now. Go play with your sisters.”
Back to head: “Right, come on, Linda, text me back. Oh she’s probably out having fun with her family somewhere. Oh maybe I shouldn’t have texted her on the weekend. We promised each other we wouldn’t work on the weekend. Yes, but the world doesn’t stop needing paying for just because it’s Sunday. OK back to thinking, think harder, come on, there’s got to be a solution here somewhere.”
That’s a thoughtstorm.
It’s exhausting to even read, let alone think, and yet we go off into these all of the time.
We’re human beings, it’s what we do.
It’s when we forget our clear mind and state of wellbeing for a while and whirl up into our heads to solve a problem, or try to come up with a new idea.
We think thinking harder will help.
Of course we do – it’s how we’ve been brought up.
But as soon as the whirling starts – as long as you SEE at some level that it’s just a thought storm – and as long as you KNOW at some level that it’s not actually helping but instead it’s hindering the very solutions you’re looking for being handed to you on a plate, the faster you stop ‘shaking the snowglobe’ and allow yourself to settle back down.
And that’s when the answers come.
We do better with less on our minds.
Always have. Always will.
And this time when I quiet down I realise I know EXACTLY what to do. Nothing until I’ve found out what my accountant actually wants and go play with my kids.
I used to have thought-storms all the time when I’d think about travelling far from my house – due to my agoraphobia: ‘Where’s my phone?’, ‘Who shall I call if I get a panic attack?’, ‘What route am I going to take?’ ‘What if the map breaks on my phone and I’m all alone and I don’t know where I am and then I get a panic attack and I can’t call anyone!’ etc etc etc etc.
That’s what a panic attack is by the way. A thought-hurricane. But it’s all made of the same stuff.
Thankfully I tend not to have thought-hurricanes about going out any more. These days they tend to be around work, kids and family. And they just blow on through a lot quicker.
In fact, I typed out this whole post and then managed to click away without saving and had to do the whole thing again. I had one just then 🙂 No harm done.
How about you? I’d love to hear.