We’ve all been there.
Your boss gives you too much to do. Your spouse doesn’t help out enough and puts all the responsibility on you. You don’t know where to start on a big, important project, such as training for a marathon or writing a book, so you get overwhelmed and put it off until tomorrow.
The problem with overwhelm
Here’s the problem with overwhelm:
You believe your circumstances (your boss, to-do list, training plan) are the reason you’re overwhelmed.
But circumstances are just the facts of your life. They are NEUTRAL.
The facts happen, and you make up stories about them:
There’s too much to do. There’s not enough time. You’ll never finish everything.
Overwhelm is a feeling you create with your thoughts, and it paralyzes you.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can’t do anything. You can’t pick a place to start, and you freeze. Or worse, you ping-pong around, and now you’re exhausted and you haven’t made any progress.
Hands up if you know what I’m talking about.
Overwhelm creates inaction, and what’s the result of inaction?
Nothing happens. You get nothing done, and you don’t make any decisions.
So you keep thinking there’s too much to do, and the cycle begins again.
List of things to do → it’s too much → overwhelm → freeze → list remains undone → lather, rinse, repeat.
If only someone would swoop in and take care of half that to-do list, or tell you where to begin on that project, the overwhelm would go away.
But it won’t. Overwhelm is caused by your thinking, remember?
How to handle feeling overwhelmed
So if you can’t fix overwhelm by changing the circumstances, what are you supposed to do? Just suffer?
Change how you think.
Believing you have too much to do isn’t helpful to you.
EVEN IF IT IS TRUE.
That’s really important to know.
Even if you could somehow prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your task list is too long, spending any of your energy thinking about it is using up resources you could be using to get SOMETHING done.
Overwhelm happens when you get stuck in a thought loop. When you focus on what you perceive to be the problem, instead of figuring out what IS possible instead.
What if we just agreed, “Yup, you have too much on your to-do list”?
It still doesn’t help you get moving. You’re still feeling overwhelmed.
Decide what you need to feel to get shit done.
Maybe you need to feel determined. Focused. Confident.
Whatever it is, create a series of thoughts that give you that feeling.
“I can finish at least half of this list if I start now.”
“All I have to do is take the first step.”
“I’m going to do the most important thing first, and I won’t move on until it is done.”
Thinking this way creates the opposite of overwhelm, and drives action instead of inaction.
What will you think today to eliminate overwhelm from your day?
PS – Overwhelm happens when you don’t know where to start. Run Your Best Life can help you with that. One step at a time. Are you ready to become determined, focused, and confident? Join us today and cross overwhelm off your to-do list.
Sign up here: www.runyourbestlife.com