Stop and look around you ~ notice all your options.
What do you want to:
Omgosh, the choices are endless. No freaking wonder you feel overwhelmed.
I used to be a chronic overthinker and by default I ended up feeling deeply frustrated and overwhelmed every single day.
That is until I learned about constraint!
I first heard about this concept from my teacher, Brooke Castillo. This woman is a powerhouse when it comes to her business (can someone say 8 figures), she’s raising two teenage boys and she has a thriving marriage.
So, when Brooke speaks highly of a concept I listen!
Here’s how constraint works and why it’s so awesome!
Basically, constraint is a limitation or a restriction you put on yourself that simplifies your life. It’s a rule that you set up ahead of time that greatly reduces the decisions you need to make.
Here’s an example from my own life:
For the last 7 years I’ve felt riddled with guilt for not being more involved in my kids school. I thought I wanted to be that mom who baked the cookies, read to the Kindergarteners and participated in all the fundraisers and PTA meetings (and to be honest it killed me that my ex husband is the “super volunteer” that I’m not).
Yet, when I stopped and was really honest with myself I realized that those things don’t actually align with the goals and priorities that I’ve set for my life and my relationships with my kids.
So, this year I’m doing things differently – I’m committing to constrain myself to only volunteering for my kids field trips. This will allow me to spend time with them, know their friends and make some pretty special memories (all of which totally align).
When emails for other volunteer needs come in I promptly trash them and choose to not feel one single ounce of guilt.
Holy moly – what freedom this has given me!
I’m no longer spending time doing things or feeling guilty for not doing things that don’t ultimately work for me or my family.
I don’t waste my decision making power pining over the options and I’m actually looking forward to checking off the “YES I’ll come to the field trip” box that I’ve dreaded before.
And now, with the time that I used to spend driving back and forth to the school in the middle of the day, I can now spend on things that I choose to make a priority – like writing this blog for example! Yay me, and yay you for reading it!
When you apply constraint to your life it greatly reduces overwhelm. It makes your decisions incredibly easy to make and it frees up a tremendous amount of time and energy.
One of the biggest push backs I receive when coaching on constraint is the fear of missing out. People are used to options and want to keep them open in case something may come up that’s better.
I understand this – but think of it this way. When you keep your options open you never really fully commit to, and nurture, what you have.
Keeping one’s options open may seem ideal but in reality it piles on a huge amount of stress and drama that keeps you from living your best life!
Ready to practise constraint? Here’s a quick way to begin:
1 – Think of an area in your life where you’re feeling frustrated.
It may be with your time, weight, relationships, finances etc.
2 – Ask yourself “what can I subtract from this situation”.
For example, I was feeling overwhelmed with the time I was spending on facebook. So I now constrain myself to only go on to make posts that will add value to other people’s lives. I plan, I post and I get off – simple.
3 – Be gentle to yourself through the process.
It’s normal to freak out at first. Commit to honour your decision for 90 days and it’ll start to become more and more automatic and a non-issue.
When I started limiting my time on facebook I really struggled. It was so hard to not distract myself or get caught up in worrying that I was missing out. But now, it’s easy and I feel so much freedom.
Constraint is not always easy but it’s so worth it! As you honour your commitment to yourself you will strengthen your decision making muscles and you will start to trust yourself more and more.
Honouring your promises to yourself and seeing your life change as a result is an incredible self-esteem boost!
I’m excited for you! Let’s do this!