“I need to do some comparative analysis and figure out if this new initiative is profitable. I need to write a newsletter. I need to send/respond to emails to retailers, vendors, partners. I need to follow up on emails that have gone unreturned. I need to book my travel for my conference next week. I need to pay attention to our supply chain problems. Payroll issues. HR issues. I need to organize a team building session to get my team inspired and motivated for Q2. And that social media thing. Ugh. I need to blog too don’t I? And what do I do with that Instagram?”
As an entrepreneur, I resonate as there’s a list a mile long related to the things that I need to accomplish to not only remain relevant but to keep revenue flowing. The emails keep coming in. I have to sort through them and prioritize them and boomerang them to make sure that nothing falls thru the cracks. (If you haven’t heard of this app, check it out great email reminder and follow up tool). Then imagine, I want to have a life. My god, I’ve been so good at planning to LIVE that I realize I don’t actually live. My family actually expects to eat – the nerve. My dog wants attention and needs to go to the vet regularly because he’s a senior now. I need to exercise. I want to have a social life. Romance. Laundry. My house is a mess. Spring is coming. There is a to-do list a mile long.
Help, I’m drowning!” Sound familiar?
Yeah, I thought so. As an entrepreneur some days I wear 17 hats as well. I even created a company because I was burning the candle at both ends as a single mom and thought: surely, I am NOT the only one and there has to be a better way.
Okay. Here’s what I’m not going to do. Tell you to calm down and breathe. I won’t tell you to suck it up and just power down and get it done, and I won’t give you 5 life hacks to increase your productivity and then act like the problem’s solved.
If you’re reading this you know your capable, smart, successful. High five yourself for being awesome! I bet that you’ve also likely downloaded all the fancy apps, bought the books, attended seminars and tried to get ahead of your day by getting up a little earlier. Yet still, you feel overwhelmed.
Okay. So let’s look at this from another perspective. What if it wasn’t you? Let’s say it was someone you knew that was feeling overwhelmed in their own life. After hearing about their never-ending problems at work, the rushing around from here to there, the to-do lists, cooking, working, failing, learning, crying, succeeding. Trying to be enough. Trying to get it all done. Trying to beat the clock. Trying to be the best mom/dad/husband/wife/person. Trying to juice all the veggies, trying to hit the gym every once and awhile to justify my membership. Go, go, go. Do do do. Wouldn’t you feel that their overwhelm was understandable and justified? I thought so.
So back to you. You’re human and what you’re feeling is completely normal, now let’s see what we can do to get you feeling better.
First off, overwhelm messes with our productivity and our mental state. You know the saying – mountains out of molehills? Suddenly small-ish problems become huge. Because often when we’re in overwhelm, we’re worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. We’re looking into the future and asking ourselves ‘how will I ever get it all done?’ You’re afraid of what you haven’t done, what needs to get done and how you will do it all. What a way to live! It’s unhealthy and self-sabotaging. Stop it!
Overwhelm is like being in a Hurricane. There’s a whirlwind of chaos around you that knocks you off center. You lose your power and all your energy is zapped out of you and you lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s time to stop the Hurricane dead in its tracks.
Take inventory. What needs to stay stays. What needs to go, goes. Yes, this is much easier to say than to believe but walk with me a little further: we’ve got this whole game of life a little sideways. When we let go of what needs to go – we create space. This space invites what’s trying to work it’s way into our lives, in. Makes sense if you ask me. However…most of us keep grasping. Keep holding onto the same story, the same relationship, the same job, the same challenges, the same thing that isn’t working … like a barnacle latched on to the bottom of the boat (even if it’s sinking). Why do we drive ourselves insane like this? Fighting the flow and resisting what’s trying to drop in and grow us out of where we’re stuck?
Fear. Simple as that. We’re afraid we don’t deserve what we know we want deep in our hearts. We’re afraid of change. We don’t believe that we are enough. While we’re here – you are enough. You do deserve what makes you come alive and the time to do it – heck, what’s the point of life if we aren’t here to thrive? Grow? Experience the depths of connection, vulnerability, and the rainbow of emotions? Now that we’ve cleared that up…when we hold onto everything we clutter our lives (internally and externally). This causes majorrrr resistance to the flow of life that is coming through you….almost like we’re deadbolting our doors and hanging on to everything that makes us feel a perceived level of safety (for a little bit of course).
Here’s the deal: adaptation brought us here, awareness is going to lift us out. When we are hiding and holding onto everything we feel anxious, stuck, frustrated…newsflash – this leads to pain when we grasp, control, and try to manipulate our external world. Resist and it persists. (It catches up) Trust me. I know this one first hand and it ain’t pretty.
Clear out the mental/emotional/material clutter – allow for some reorganization. Make space. And just remember, if it’s meant to be – it will be. So do yourself a favor and open the door – the world is waiting to meet you. The real you, not the overwhelmed version of you. Stay open. Receptive. Undeniably alive. If you’re looking to break some cycles, see out of them, and explore the deeper wisdom beneath them – I hear you. It’s time and I’d love to show you a better way forward or if nothing else to have you know that you’re not alone.