One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned is how I have the ability to shape my experiences. 

I’m not talking about an ability to make things happen, or influence people or my environment. 

But rather my belief that while the world goes on doing it’s thing around me, it is my interpretation of and thoughts about these events that actually create my experience.  

When we’re overwhelmed, what’s really going on?  Have we taken on too much?  Is this more than we can handle?  There’s a myriad of thoughts running through our head to describe our situation.  But there’s the clue. 

It’s those thoughts that are creating the unpleasant feeling that comes with “overwhelm”.  It’s not the present circumstance that is creating the crushing feeling in your chest.  “I’ll never get this done.”  “I can’t do this.” “I can’t handle this.”  I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. 

Run those thoughts through your mind all day and see how you feel.

Now try something different. What if this was the thought loop you were running:  

“I’ve got a lot going on but this will pass and I’ll be OK”, or

“I’ll get through this one decision at a time” , or my favorite 

“I’ve got this.”   

Feel different? Bet you might. 

Here’s the deal: If you change the way you see things, then the things you see will change.

When you change the way you see things, the way you feel will change.

This isn’t about being happy all the time. Some days just stink.  This is about developing the ability to be at peace in the midst of a storm.  And purposefully thinking the thoughts you need to support yourself. 

You can stay in your chaos, your overwhelm.  Endure the mind-numbing, draining struggle of anxiety and helplessness.  Or you can choose to change what you’re telling yourself. And change how  you feel.  Just like that. 

My lesson? I learned that I didn’t need the world around me to change in order to feel better. I didn’t need people to change. Or my job. Or my mother. Or my history. Or any other circumstance in my life.  I stopped looking outward for the answers. It’s not the job of the universe to align just so in order for me to be well.  That is an inside job.  

So, is this something happening to you, or are you creating your experience?