Being overwhelmed keeps us in a frustrated mental state and we become stagnant. How often have you felt stuck in your business? How often have you felt like nothing ever gets done because of the never-ending to do list? I have prayed, bargained, and whined for God to give me 4 more hours in my day.
Yes, I am a person who needs 28 hours to reach my standard of excellence. However, God has continued to send me to voicemail with a full inbox. The overwhelm game has become a rite of passage for most. I bought the t-shirt and the matching socks to display the amount of chaos I was enduring. So the question now is, what can we do about this? How can we overcome overwhelm?
Now, let me start off by giving this disclaimer: overwhelm is not a bad feeling. It is the CONSTANT overwhelm that gets us into trouble. Overwhelm is simply a symptom of a much larger issue ranging between unrealistic expectations, surrounding ourselves with too much noise, lacking appropriate boundaries, a lack of self-care, and a lack of mindfulness and self-awareness.
Now that we have uncovered some of the basic roots to the problem, let’s get to the solution, shall we?
NIX THE PERFECTIONISM & THE SUPERWOMAN SYNDROME
Just because you can do all of the things, does not mean you should. Every time you overcommit yourself and fail to follow through on your word, a part of your brand dies. You need to cut that mess out. For some this may be your “Year of Yes” but it doesn’t mean you can’t say no to some things that are justifiably inconvenient. No is a powerful and complete sentence. One that you should be using to remain respectful of your time and your energy. You can also free up your time to doing things that you genuinely enjoy. Your best bet will be to do one thing at a time. Take each priority one at a time and remember that your brand depends on this.
SYNC WITH SILENCE
Every notification, alert, email, text message, etc. is not so emergent that you must stop what you are doing. Every time your ‘smart’ phone chirps or beeps, it creates a time warp and sucks you in. You can go from checking your email to watching giraffes fight in the Serengeti on Facebook (trust me, I’ve done it). Then there is the noise that we experience when it comes to comparison. We go through our routine of checking what’s going on in the lives of those we admire. We scroll and scroll, compare their highlight reel to our day-to-day living, we get sad and frustrated, then we sing the “Why Not Me” act. You know, the one where you’re trying to figure out what you are doing wrong and how come you can’t get anyone to join your mailing list, buy your product, or watch your livestream. It’s all a mind game. One that you have to learn to play and play to win.
You control your mindset and your habits. You determine if it’s worth it to compare what someone is doing to what you are doing (even though no two are the same). Remember that everyone has their own journey. You also need to decide if that alert is more important than what you are focused on. Ask yourself, “What is at stake if I get sidetracked by this notification?” and decide, if you can afford for that to happen. Some of the resources that you can help you with syncing silence include completely silencing your phone while you are doing focused work, downloading an app that gamifies your ability to leave your phone alone, or leaving your normal location of work and changing the environment.
STOP SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE AND CREATE BOUNDARIES
Everybody is not going to like you or the way that you do things. Everybody will not understand or care about your vision either. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I had to get tough skin…quick, and understand that what others thought of me was none of my business. I just needed to focus on my mission. We have to stop our people pleasing tendencies. As moms, wives, sisters, aunts, etc. we tend to take on a lot and we want to make everyone happy. It will not happen. That is a pipedream and I am here to shake you out of it. You can’t say yes to everything. Every time you say yes to one thing you are saying no to something else- most of the time it’s to you.
When you set boundaries, you allow others to learn how you want to be treated. You give them the opportunity to respect your time, space, and energy. Set your office hours and stick with it. Close down the laptop when you are spending time with your significant other. Go to bed at a decent time. Schedule your day in a way that allows you to operate at your highest level.
STOP TRYING TO POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP
The multiple all-nighters that you thought were a good idea, the hustle & flow of “no days off”, the constant plugged in status that you uphold… IT HAS GOT TO GO!
It is important to give yourself a break-and not feel guilty about it. You are not a robot and you require breaks. God rested on the seventh day and so can you. We tend to remain in the go-go-go state when, in reality, we need to rest, refuel, and recharge. In order to give value to others and care for them, you have to care enough about yourself to take a time out. If you are not filled you can’t pour into anybody. We will not be a part of the burnout club any longer. Rest.
BECOME [MORE] SELF-AWARE
Do you really take the time to listen to your mind and body? Probably not as often as you should if you are feeling overwhelmed. So, here’s the tea…
We talked about creating boundaries with others. We must create boundaries for ourselves. Without self-imposed boundaries, we continue to feel overwhelmed, guilt, and anxiety from the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves. The anecdote is simple: begin with your why. Why are you doing this? Why is it important? When you keep your focus on your why, things begin to get much clearer. The no’s become much easier to say. Your cup is easier to fill, and you save your brand.
Gaining clarity in how and why you operate is the key to success, you just have to learn how to use it.
Looking to overcome some of the limiting beliefs that have been holding you hostage? Join the FREE Limit Less 4 Success Mindset Challenge.