What to Do When Overwhelm Gets Overwhelming
Erica was jumping from one thing to the next. Completed item on her get-to-do list. A quick yay! Then on to the next item.
Invitations to create a joint offering. Offers from respected contacts to connect with interesting new people. Yet more people spontaneously reaching out after a talk she gave.
All amazing stuff for Erica and her business. But she was starting to feel overwhelmed by it all.
When you're trying to do a lot in your business, it can all start to feel that things are moving too fast. Way too fast.
It's OK! We all feel overwhelmed at times. Even when things are going really well.
Overwhelm can feel like a happy dance that went on too long.
Or one of those tennis ball machines that goes berserk, popping out balls at frantic speed. You start to feel like you can't possibly return them all. Even when you stop, they're still coming at you.
What do you do?
How do you juggle everything, keep things going, respond to great offers, and keep from going over the edge at the same time? I want to give you two opportunities here: one that you've probably heard before in different ways but may need to be reminded of, and a second that will give you an entirely new way of looking at overwhelm.Opportunity #1:
step awaayyy from the barrage.
Stepping away has the effect of taking you out of the energy of being bombarded by all the things that you could do, or said you would do.
It can take many forms, from watching Love Boat reruns to checking on what Mortimer, the raccoon who's been digging up your lawn, is doing to Instagram fun. Pick one that works for you.
Here's a quick list to choose from: play (with my cat, guitar), move (walk the dog, dance, run, pilates, yoga), watch renovation/cooking/old TV, be in nature (walk, fish), be in or near water (kayak, float, swim), change (thoughts, scenery), read, rest (in a hammock, look at the view, nap), do something that puts you in the moment and is gratifying (photography, organize things, gardening, listen to music), deep breathing, or disconnect from technology. Keep this list handy, and add your own.
Remind yourself that feeling overwhelmed is a feeling, and it will pass.
Once you descended from your overwhelm back to earth and feel grounded again, return to the scene of the crime, er, your full plate, and take a look at your priorities. What's going to have the most impact?
This stepping away is valuable no matter what the cause of your overwhelm, whether it's overcommitting or an increase in what's coming your way.
If you're overcommitting, take a look at what you can delegate, or drop from your get-to-do list completely. That will cut down on the barrage, and you'll feel more able to move on.
Remember I said you'd have two opportunities to look at your overwhelm?Opportunity #2:
let's talk about times when it's not just about taking on way too much than you can do.
There will be times when things are going well, and opportunities are coming to you more quickly than you have been experiencing them. In that case, overwhelm can be about how you're feeling the momentum.
When you are in a flow of energy around your work, when opportunities seem to be coming to you more and more, that's a good thing, right? That's what you've been wanting.
The thing is, you can still start to feel overwhelmed, even when it's all good stuff. So what's needed in this case is a shift your perception of what is happening.
What you're experiencing is increased momentum. And you can certainly slow that momentum down if it feels like it's too much. You can set an intention that things come to you at an easier pace.
Or you can embrace the increased momentum and open to the feeling of more energy coming your way.
This is an edge-y moment. You've reached the edge of your comfort zone. You can step back from the edge, or you can push the edge out a bit further.
As you expand beyond your previous edge, as you move into some discomfort, you'll be expanding your comfort zone. You'll be increasing your capacity for the momentum.
That increased capacity for momentum is what will take you to another level in your work. Energy flows to your increased capacity, and you'll have even more great opportunities come your way. That's how you increase your capacity for having positive impact.
It will still mean that you'll need to delegate, or drop items that aren't as important off your list. And you can start to do some things differently. Whatever you do, you'll be doing it from an empowered place, a place where you'll be able to be more effective.
Overwhelm doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can be an indicator that your momentum is picking up. See if you want to step away, or step up, to capitalize on your new momentum.Ursula Jorch, MSc, MEd, mentors entrepreneurs starting their businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs in transition to create the business of their dreams. Her coaching programs provide knowledge, support, clarity, inspiration, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to empower you to reach your goals. Start with a free guide and other valuable info at www.WorkAlchemy.com. This article was originally published at http://www.workalchemy.com/what-to-do-when-overwhelm-gets-overwhelming and has been syndicated with permission.