As last week’s posting day was a US holiday, FSW took a day off of writing. Now we’re back with a hot topic that has been a struggle for years in my professional and personal worlds.
First, let’s talk about passion. Have you ever looked up the meaning of it? While not trying to fit language and narratives into only positives and negatives, it’s not as “bunny rabbits and roses” as I imagined it to be.
Admittedly, I’ve used it to describe working in your purpose(s), enjoying life, finding a balance with what you love to do…and more. I don’t necessarily see this is an error, but if we look at aspects of passion, it seems to relate to today’s topic: overidentifying. Another way I see overidentifying is believing in a story so damn hard that there’s no breathing room. For example, I can definitely admit to being “so passionate” about a subject, or so focused on an outcome, that I lost myself in it and came out less-than-stellar.
Passion has plenty of descriptions: suffering, emotion, intensity, ardent affection, a strong devotion to an activity, etc. You can look the specifics up here from Merriam-Webster. It’s a rather paradoxical term and can be a motivator in many areas of our lives. When we’re dedicated to something so deeply, there are probably a few reasons for it: values-based, natural attraction to an experience or outcome, financial motives, etc.
But, what happens when we overdo it? What happens when we have so much passion, or overidentification with something, that we get sucked into it too far? We might lose ourselves in The Thing: the team meeting outcome, the organizational dysfunction, the comfort zones or status quo, or external factors that just really piss us off. And, let’s be honest, there are a ton of things that are making us shake our heads right now…
I’m not saying don’t recognize or be aware of your feelings surrounding experiences, and I’m definitely not saying to stuff your heart away and just be a robot. Been there, done that: it doesn’t work.
So, if on the one side we shouldn’t be robots, but on the other side we should try to recognize where we’re overdoing things, we need to challenge ourselves. In doing so, we’ll help ourselves remedy:
- Self-limiting our present and future opportunities
- Being as scattered or overwhelmed over a longer period of time
- Forgetting our core gifts and abilities
- And not living authentically from our strengths
Just because we have a passion for 254 things, or can feel with such fervor, doesn’t mean we can’t hit the pause button for a second. What if we could be saved a little burnout? Or what if we could recognize when we’re pushing too hard for something that still needs time to marinate (or may never change)?
Recognizing When We Go Down the Rabbit Hole
Before I get into three quick tips, let’s go into confession together. Over the years in various professional roles, I would be this intense mixture of dedication, perfectionism, giving 120%, and wanting to gain safety in my life. Safety was, and is, actually more complicated than I made it out to be. And one thing I’ve realized in time is that being responsible to myself, and my future, means more than “just” being responsible to an organization’s mission, a team, and how I serve others.
Let me try to be as articulate as I can be: We should serve others, but if we get sucked into so many variables in life, we can’t serve to our best capacity–and that includes serving ourselves love, time, and focus. If we overidentify with how things need to be done—not that they shouldn’t be done—without providing ourselves a balance, we waste excessive energy in this internal conflict that permeates all areas of our life. And we have way too much to give to this world, Beautiful People. So, let’s wrap up this week’s message with the tips to remedy getting bogged down, if possible.
Tip #1: Confessing to Our Overwhelm
Overidentification with feelings, experiences, or future angst, can be absolutely overwhelming. Let’s own it. Let’s hold space for each other to say, “I don’t know why I feel this way right now, but I do.” It’s 100% ok, to be honest about getting sucked into feelings, overwhelm, stress, how things have been or should go, and more.
Now, after feeling things and opening up to the depths, we need to find a way to heal and climb out. That’s where this spin on intersectionality can come into play, plus utilizing your safety net: people, resources, a hotline, and your own intuition and instincts.
Tip #2: Refocusing on Our Intersectionality
Understanding the intersectionality of body, mind, and spirit, can help us find a balance. While this might seem simplistic, let’s just go through some scenarios together:
Feeling ultra-stressed in a meeting because your colleague just took over the conversation (again)?
Tap into your breath, settle into your heart center, and decide if and how you’ll work with that experience. Use your voice, your body language, or your internal intellect, to watch the room and make observations. Up to you, but bring all of you to the experience and go forward with this in mind.
Major deadlines approaching?
Go ahead and pick a project, particularly one with a solid deadline, then get your physical body and senses involved to the best of your ability. For instance, I’ve been putting something off, blaming stressors and a wickedly cold office. Also, I had to get over inadequacy fears and literally sit my ass down and open a Word doc to start typing away. Are they perfect ideas? Definitely not. Are they getting written down? Yes. Does the space heater in here now help my numb hands work better? For sure. No joke, sometimes it’s the little things.
Want clarity on your next professional steps?
One, accept there may be multiple options and opportunities. Two, try to not be overwhelmed by this, because it truly could be a blessing. Three, make space and time for you to go within for guidance or to calm down enough to see the signs that come your way.
You’re already here in this lifetime to do some awesome work on yourself and for others. So, provide quality time and quiet for the messages to come to the surface. Coming from a practiced busybody, trust me, this is crucial. A final tip for clarity is to slow your roll and pay attention.
Tip #3: Let’s Re-Dedicate Ourselves to What Really Matters
By leaning back for a moment, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we can reintegrate holistic aspects of who we are. This piecing together of what we think we’ve lost through experiences, job situations, or other stressors, is foundational to our impactful work. Sure, let the feelings come up–dedicate time and space for it. But then re-dedicate time and space for what really matters in the big picture of your life. We all lose our shit; it happens. There’s strength to be felt and had in the ebb and flow in our daily lives. And from here we can learn what it means to refocus on our individual and collective well-being going forward.
Now, the stuff that keeps rearing its ugly head throughout history and in our current society needs to go. I truly believe we can do better, as Beings, but we have to know better first. And we can’t control what others think, do, say, or how they act. It sucks.
So, that’s where our innate power comes into play. If we can pause and get really honest with ourselves about who we are, where we come from, and how we can expand from here, that’s the ticket. That will lead to changes—even if it’s within your own home, your community, or beyond. Let’s not discount “small changes,” because they could have a ripple effect into your future that’s widespread and deeply impactful.
That’s it for this week, Friends! If you’re looking for more direct updates on the FSW world, check out the FSW Circle. Want more independent research? Hit up the FSW Quiz, and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact me 1:1 this way. Have a beautiful week ahead!