Feeling like you can’t? Identify your can.

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Can, Motivation Monday
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Yesterday afternoon, my 9-year-old daughter was stuck. And frustrated.

“Ugh! Mooooommmmmm!! This stupid video game won’t work!”

I sighed, deciding to set aside my standard “We don’t use the word stupid”, and calmly asked her what was wrong.

“I have to do THIS, but this stupid game won’t let me do it! So you can’t win the game!”

I sighed. “Well, that’s probably not true. They wouldn’t have created a board that’s impossible to conquer. So if you can’t do what you’re trying to do, try something else. What is your goal? Figure out what you CAN do? And then work from there.”

“Frustration and negativity will only keep you from being able to work through the problem.”

Sometimes I tell my kids things I need to hear myself.

Life as a mompreneur is challenging, stimulating, exciting, joyful … and frustrating.

Lately for me, for various reasons, everything just seems to be off. I feel like I’m struggling in every area — the house isn’t clean (anywhere near clean), projects aren’t getting done, I’m unenthusiastic about blogging, I need to be reading with my son every night and I haven’t once in about two weeks, my kids are tired, I’m tired, my husband’s tired …

My stress reaction to having too much to do is to not doing anything. Weird, but true. I’m paralyzed with indecision, overwhelmed by tasks.

So I’ve decided to take a page from my parenting book.

“If you can’t do what you’re trying to do, try something else. What is your goal? Figure out what you CAN do? And then work from there,” I told my daughter.

It’s a good foundation for getting yourself unstuck, for problem-solving your way out of any situation.

Start with, “What I am doing is not working,” and then stop.

Think, “What is my goal? What am I trying to accomplish?”

Then, to work toward that goal, ask: “What skills do I have? What do I know? What can I do?”

I like those questions because they create a path forward when you’re mired in the muck, trapped in negativity.

Rather than letting the circumstances control me, then, I shift my attitude. It’s no longer “This is awful! I can’t do this!”, it’s “What are the challenges and what — can — I do to overcome them?”

Summer break has started, so my kids are home full-time. That means “entrepreneur” will be taking a backseat for the next several weeks as my “mom” role steps up.

The pressure of both roles could overwhelm me. Instead, I’m adjusting my attitude.

My goal? To have a peaceful household where everyone’s needs, including my own, are being met.

Skills I have: Multitasking, the time and ability to teach my kids.

What I know: I can’t do everything. I know the academics I want my children to focus on this summer. I know they want to have a lemonade stand. I know we want to teach them to swim. I know we have two weeks of vacation coming up over the next two months.

What I can do: Prioritize and let some things go for myself and my kids. Focus on what’s necessary to accomplish. Multitask (Example: My kids will have their lemonade stand during our upcoming garage sale.)

Will I write as much as I’d like to this summer? Probably not. Will my kids and I complete our “fun summer things” check-list? Not a chance.

But I’ll write some, and we’ll play some. With a clear plan of attack, based on realistic expectations, I’ll be less frustrated.

And we’ll all have a better summer as a result.

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