AKA Dealing with Overwhelm

With less than three months until I depart with Remote Year, I find myself overwhelmed by daily decisions, much less life altering decisions such as “who will be renting my apartment,” or “how am I going to survive without Amazon Prime?”

I’m thrilled and excited and know that this is an opportunity of a lifetime, but I find myself questioning whether I’m ready. Mainly, I wonder if I’m capable of growing my business while abroad. I second-guess myself and my skills daily, but then I remember that the worst thing that can happen is I fail. I fail miserably and end up broke and have to scrape together funds to come home. But, oh the lessons I will have learned in the meantime! (more)

So, for now, in between mild panic attacks, I’m spending time getting inspired. This week I attended the Giant UX conference in Charlotte and was reminded why I love being a freelance UX designer so much, how design impacts our daily lives and that design really can change lives. I remembered how much I love to help companies grow and that I totally geek out about good UX design and startups. I’m looking into joining the UX designers group at Toptal, so I might find more companies to help, and I signed up as a mentor at UX for Change. All in all, a pretty good week.

Lastly, I’ve come to realize that my greatest limitation is my self-doubt, fear and my tendency to compare myself to others. I’ve known this for awhile, but this week it was hammered home repeatedly that I need to share more. My skills, my experience, my work… and the introvert in me hates that. Yes, I desperately want to share the knowledge I’ve amassed in the hopes of helping others, but I also hate people paying attention to me.

And I know that I want need to share my remote year experiences as they happen – through writing and photography. So, this post is a first step in putting my thoughts out there again and starting to practice vulnerability. Next month I’ll be traveling to San Jose, California to attend a Tony Robbins event and I’m hopeful that I’ll be even more inspired to shine and to share. If “The Giant” can’t inspire me to stop holding myself back, who can?

How do you deal with feelings of overwhelm? How do you stay on course when you feel lost at sea? I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments.

Update: July 2017

Since this post I’ve been to multiple Tony Robbins events, was rejected from Toptal and changed my entire career when I found my purpose, and traveled with Remote Year for six-months before quitting. I still deal with overwhelm on a regular basis and I’ve been terrible at sharing my experiences so far… but I’m working on it. You might enjoy these articles that mention RY:

I hate Lisboa and I quit Remote Year

I’ve been homeless for seven-months and life is good, mostly.

Violently grateful for the end of fun.

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