I once sat on a committee that was struggling to get enough volunteers.
Every committee member had a full schedule of work, kids, personal and voluntary commitments, yet they would always raise their hand to help, shoehorning another task into their overstuffed schedules.
When others who appeared to have more free time were asked to help, they would come up with what seemed like weak excuses. We just got a new puppy… We might be moving house in a few months… I really must get into my vegie garden.
We grumbled and moaned. We’ve got those challenges too but we’re just getting on with it. Why is everyone willing to enjoy the benefits of our work but nobody seems interested in helping us out?
Then the chair said something that instantly stopped our moaning:
We have to remember that everyone has their own capacity.
Just because we were all running mile-long ‘to do’ lists, did not mean everyone had the capacity – or desire – to do the same.
I’ve thought about the concept of capacity many times over the years. I’ve noticed that we each have areas in life or business where we have huge capacity to take charge and make things happen.
Some of us have tremendous physical capacity, to create with our hands or run marathons; some have an amazing ability for organising and whipping through administrative tasks; while others have huge emotional capacity, with incredible empathy, great listening skills and a willingness to hold space for others.
Likewise, we each have areas where everything seems to be a struggle and the slightest setback can tip us over the edge of overwhelm. One of my areas of low capacity is technology. I have a unique talent in making everything technological a struggle, or even a crisis. (Just ask my web developer. And my coach. And my Facebook Ads gal… you get the picture)
Before you take on a task or a project in your business, it’s important to know your own capacity.
Recognise where you naturally have incredible capacity. Get to know your strengths, interests, gifts and talents, what comes naturally to you and what is likely to throw you off kilter.
Are you harnessing this natural capacity in your business? Have you aligned your work with the areas where you naturally have the greatest ability to give and receive? Or are you trying to draw from an empty well, constantly throwing one more task on a pile that causes you stress and anxiety?
If the latter, how can you shift your workload so that you are not constantly adding to the stress pile? Can you change the balance of tasks in your business? Or can you outsource tasks that cause you stress, so you can concentrate your energy in the areas where you are most effective?
While it’s always possible to expand your capacity in any area by challenging yourself and pushing outside of your comfort zone, aligning your work with your natural capacities will help you get out of the “push” and into the flow.
Are you working in your zone of natural capacity? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you need help identifying your strengths, gifts, talents and areas of capacity, check out my signature Start with the Heart Session – a 90-minute deep dive into the heart of your work to get clear on who you help, how you really help them, what you’re here to share, and how to share it with those who need you most.