My Secret Superpower to fight Overwhelm

Let’s let the cat out of the bag…I am going to let you in on My Secret Superpower to fight overwhelm? I wish I was the person who reveled in her level of courageousness, her deep meditation practice or fearless zeal for life.  But I am not.  I strategically move forward under the veil of my dear friend naivety.  In my best southern accent:.. “Bless her heart.”

How can this be the source of strength and courage?   Shouldn’t it be more discipline? Shouldn’t it be my morning routine?!!! Well, my morning routine requires not doing anything before 9am. I am not naturally optimistic about what my day holds. My cup is half full….. of coffee.

But let’s whip out my cape of Superhuman proportions, and embrace naivety and why its my innate superpower.

During a women’s conference, I saw her and embraced her for the first time.  This incredible strength that permeated the first hand experiences of the speakers.   

Over and over again the youngest successful entrepreneurs were working one day at a time and one foot in front of the other, and figuring it out on the fly.

Getting loans to fulfill orders from Nordstroms that needed to arrive on their child’s due dates. None of them had detailed fool-proof or full/proofed plans. They were piecing together a trial and error system and they labeled their experiences as educations not failure. They just reached out into the infinity and took a step that did not feel risky. It was a step that felt solid on a path that was not clearly defined and they kept going.

My friend naive has never held a place of honor or respect.  In fact it was not uttered as a source for their success but I saw her everywhere.  Naivety, a word used to downplay someone, has a negative connotation, but for me, I tell you, it holds the essence of greatness.

Naivety is light on its feet, has no expectations or judgement.  Naivety does not require work, refinement or deep personal change. Naivety is something we all have and we all hide.

Maria Martin

Our naive version lives fearlessly.   These women were fearless, they learned from others but did not have any past experience weight fueling their decisions.

How did they do it? I looked into my own life and I realized that the fearless version of me is hidden.  The emotional baggage of experience and “the curse of education”, can see right through the financial instability or long list of problems that could be in a situation.  Experience can reveal when a client relationship is difficult or dealing with them is going to be a series of headaches. Or a simple text message from an app designer telling you there is too much noise in the app store and the opportunity to gain success through traditional practices is over.  Thoughts like, you’ll spend a fortune and the opportunity is not there. Because experience and expertise know better than the new at heart, Right?  No. Absolutely wrong.

The most powerful person in the room is the person who does not care what anyone else thinks. Naive people don’t seek approval, they learn through experience and research, and they are not limited by the belief that someone else knows more than them. They are like children in that their curiosities fuel their motivation and their hearts are not covered in the scars of experience.

The real power of being naive is that the only person you have to satisfy is yourself.

footprints in the sand near ocean

If you can image becoming motivated from a place that feels safe, that even the failure itself is safe, and the process is more important than the end goal?  Then you know where the naive version of yourself exists.

Definition of a Naive person:(of a person) natural and unaffected; innocence

The derogatory slur of this comes from assuming every element of the person falls into this definition.  Terms like unworldly, unwise, or not using judgement…

How come we are not both? 

  • How come people who can review things without judgement are wise?
  • Why do we see that people seek to be more innocent and open, meditating to get there? 
  • Why is there a constant struggle to work on self refinement to become more unaffected?
  • Where does this naturally live inside us? 
  • Where do our judgement biases disengage?

Naivety was buried, “being naive” is shamed into hiding. 

As we become older and the experience of work has begun to destroy or joy and zeal for it.  Naively trying something completely new to us can become a tool in our business box, to tackle, conquer and take on the things that may have seen impossible from our experienced self. The version of overwhelm we feel and fight to overcome can be dissolved with a pivot into the unknown.

Super power is the peak of the dunning Kruger
Technically it is here but it’s OK.

Have you seen the naive version of yourself in a while? Are you more familiar with its cousin overwhelm? Do you wake up each day to a version of yourself, so far in the experience and expertise that there is too much weight and overwhelm to explore, try something new or accomplish hard tasks. 

I feel like this idea is used as a reason why someone in the 40’s would judge someone in their 20’s while also despising them for their momentum.  Why do we shy away from the fact that we are all capable of trying new things?  Why do we feel overwhelmed tackling hard things?   Why do we stand in overwhelm and  pause waiting? 

Once the initial investment is made, then we  give ourselves  permission  and learn to ride things out.  No one tells us congratulations you are at the top of the Dunning Kruger effect as we walk across the graduation stage. We are going to college to pick a 4 year education and take on a bunch of debt because we believe in ourself and our future.  Noone labels this the peak of high school graduation the height of confidence and the point of lowest ability?  But technically that is exactly where you are. 

I think the difference is that after college we apply for jobs that we are overqualified for, we try to take on a task and with the smallest sign of lack of knowledge we quit.  We don’t believe in ourselves to figure it out and become the person to fill the role that our future will need.

Let me let you in on something that happens.  Time happens. Success is not swift.  In fact it takes years and if you look at anything you want to do having a 4 year grace period of costing more money than you will make. That you are starting and learning as you go.  You will find that the experience of joy that comes with the low ability high confidence might be what you need to teach yourself something new and find success on the other side.

I am currently moving  along my own Dunning Kruger where I think I am smarter and more capable than I  currently am, but I assure you that 4 years into this I will come out an expert, and you can too.

Child skiing
Dunning Kruger effect does imply that given time you can become an expert.

I tell you this as I stand it the second upswing in this chart. Marketing, testing and acquiring user feedback.  Had it not been for the amount of money and investment that came with the initial attempt to tackle this Design Appy Drawing application. I would not be so eager to dig my heels in and do the hard things. 

Marketing is hard, learning how to market is fun and rewarding.

Getting new users is fun, but hearing feedback is hard and difficult.

All of those things allow the rise in expert to happen and sometimes you might have to stand on the peak confidence with no expertise. Feel the rush of excitement, and be wiling to ride the easy pull of gravity while adding the rest of your tools into your tool kit as you go.

Seeing other people take the path first can really help the next group of learn on-the -ly students know that it is Ok to try it too.


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