There was a time in my life that I was feeling overwhelmed, so I confided in a mentor that I wasn't sure how I could manage to keep up with everything. He just grinned at me and asked me a very odd question:
"How do you eat an elephant?"
I was a little irritated, because I was asking for serious advice and I felt like he was turning it into a joke. Then he broke out into a laugh and gave me the answer
"One bite at a time."
I took that advice to heart ever since, and now when I feel dizzy looking at the sheer scope of my challenges, I remember his grin and the confidence with which he delivered that motivational punchline.
We're all guilty of letting our challenges take over our worldview. We let so many things vie for our attention that even the dirty dishes in the sink feel as bad as missing an important deadline at work. The trick is to look that very sensation square in the eye, grip our spoon a little tighter, and let that "elephant" know that its days are numbered.
Confidence Starts with You
Could you walk a hundred miles? Maybe you could. However, if you knew that was the goal, would you try to get out of the journey? When someone knows exactly how deep the legendary rabbit hole goes, their mind immediately starts spinning out difficult scenarios to determine if that situation is worth their while. A hundred miles is a lot of road, or uphill terrain, or weather exposure, or aching muscles. For some, it's an unpleasant experience just waiting to happen.
Your Viewpoint Matters
What if I asked you if you could walk--or travel, depending on your ability--a single step? You'd do so without question. It's a small, simple thing that takes no time at all to do. So why would a collection of small, simple things suddenly become a massive, terrifying prospect wrought with challenges? Because, instead of figuring out where the next bite should go, you've started looking at the whole elephant again. Confidence is knowing that you need to tackle what's directly in front of you, and not letting the "big picture" break your stride.
I know that you can eat that elephant in front of you, and any others that are foolish enough to get in your way. You're an elephant-eating machine of success--you just need to focus so that you can tackle your issues in the right order, and in a lasting way.
So, what are you taking on one bite at a time?
My challenge for you this week:
Select one of your current challenges and apply this elephant-eating approach to it.
Write down a challenge that is seemingly overwhelming to you.
Devote just a few minutes toward breaking this challenge down into small bites.
Immediately take the first bite. Once completed, take the next bite.
With every bite, notice the elevation in your confidence.
So, do you have a big challenge staring at you? Take one bite at a time!