Walking through the store a young woman said to me - “Wow, you look like you just have it all together.”
She sounded serious.
“That’s part of the illusion” I said.
I do have a lot of things on the outside that might look like I’m doing great. And often I am doing great...
...but this was not one of those days.
That day I was really feeling emotional. Heavy. Vulnerable. I had cried. I had yelled.
Why on that day would someone think I was doing great?
Maybe she was being sarcastic? I have no idea.
I’ve thought a lot about it since then.
We often are carrying unseen burdens. Things that no one sees. Concerns that are close to our hearts.
We don’t tell strangers or even friends about them.
How are you? Good. You? Good.
(But really? We’re not.)
It feels so lonely.
Worry, anxiety, and fear are heavy burdens to bear.
And when borne alone, unseen, and unknown, they feel soul crushing.
Homeschooling moms often bear this weight alone.
People who do not homeschool do not understand.
They don’t understand what it is like to have your children with you 24/7. They don’t understand what it’s like to be responsible for their education and whether or not they turn out. They do not understand the monumental to-do list you face. They do not understand how hard it is to feed everyone and clothe everyone, while teaching everyone. How hard it is to sit through endless lessons and convince children to do what they need to do all day every day. How messy a house can get with 6 little people in it constantly. How hard it is to sneak away to get a shower, or get groceries.
It can feel very lonely.
When I see my homeschooling mom friends and see that look in their eyes, like everything is closing in on them, I just want to give them a hug and tell them how amazing I think they are.
But when I do, if they don’t believe me, it doesn’t matter.
I know because if I think I’m failing, it doesn’t matter if someone else thinks I’m amazing.
Because I know the truth - I am failing, so they are mistaken.
Even though I have a lot of joy in my life, and my mental health is so much better than it used to be, sometimes my thoughts take a turn for the worse for a few days, for a few weeks, or more.
Then I wonder if everything is just an illusion. What if the happiness I have known previously wasn’t real? It all feels so far in the moments where overwhelm comes crashing down.
This is why life coaching has helped me so much.
As I am coached by my life coach, I question my thoughts.
What if I just believe that everything is ok, even when I am feeling overwhelmed and worried?
What if it is really just as simple as believing that I have it all together?
When the woman said “Wow, you look like you just have it all together”, I disagreed with her: “No I don’t. I am a mess."
Then I felt sad.
And then I saw all the reasons that I don’t have it together.
My house is a mess.
I yelled today.
We didn’t finish history this semester.
My 6 year old isn’t reading yet.
My kids fight.
I am exhausted.
This is hard.
These thoughts sent me into a tailspin of overwhelm, seeing why I am failing in so many ways as I walked out of the store.
Overwhelm leads to inaction, providing more evidence of how I am completely failing at life.
But what if I had agreed with her?
"Yes I do have it together."
I would have felt confident.
And then I would see all the reasons why I am totally rocking this whole homeschool life thing.
I am learning how to keep my house clean.
I teach my kids every time they fight.
I keep going until I finish.
I get up each day and decide to do it again.
I love my kids fiercely.
I keep trying.
I teach, I cook, I clean, I love.
I am amazing.
All that evidence would fuel more confidence in myself, sending me into a rush of excitement and love for my life.
Excitement and love would fuel positive actions, resulting in more evidence that I am succeeding.
The only difference in these two scenarios is what I choose to believe.
I am the same person in both. But I can choose to see how I am failing, or I can choose to see how I am amazing.
The choice is mine.
I get to choose to believe whatever I want.
What is my belief creating for me?
Self doubt or self confidence?
Self-loathing or self-love?
It is all optional.
How does my life change when I operate from confidence and love vs. doubt and loathing?
No one can make me think I am failing or succeeding. Other people might even disagree with me. It doesn’t matter what they think. What matters is what I think.
My opinion matters the most. (for me)
Because whatever I think about myself I will create more of.
If I think I will fail, I will make it come true every time, because I will feel discouraged and take sub-par action.
If I think I am succeeding, I will try until I do. I will never give up.
Belief in myself gives me power.
This is how I create my reality with my thoughts.
Today I decide to believe that I totally have it all together.
“Thanks for the compliment. I totally do have it all together.”
That rush of confidence feels so good.
I count my blessings and see my strengths.
Then I get busy creating my life on purpose.
Wherever you are today, believing that you are succeeding is an option.
How do you feel when you believe you are succeeding?
What action will that feeling create?
If you are ready to take steps towards thinking new thoughts on purpose, come get a free, no obligation, mini session with me here. 20 minutes of your time can set you on an intentional course leading to lasting peace. I know a thing or two about overwhelm and I would love to help you!
You got this!