How to Deal with Overwhelm – Step 11 of 21 Days of Focus
Overwhelm – How do you deal with it? Your focus journey started ten days ago. Hopefully you are executing your plan one step at a time. While, this twenty-one days is meant to help you develop a focus habit, it is easy to become overwhelmed. There can be so much on our plates that we freeze and do nothing. If this happens to you, remember in Step 3 how not to fall into an all or nothing attitude.
Ask for help. I am a solopreneur. My solopreneur friend, JoAnne says that she is C.E.O. – Chief Everything Officer. :-O I can relate!
Running your own business and pursuing your dreams can be overwhelming. There is so much to do. That’s why you will need to ask for help. In Step 5 – Meditate on your Plan, I asked the question of what you would need to fulfill your plan. For me, I couldn’t live without technical support for my websites and my clients’ websites. Terry Anglin, who I talked about in the last step Listen to What Expands You, has been a main source of support to me for three years. His company is Virtual Technologies. There were MANY days where Terry has helped me to stop being overwhelmed. Terry is a huge member of my team. (I included the link to Terry’s company if you are looking for one-on-one technical assistance for websites.) I wouldn’t be able to do any of what I am doing on the Internet without him. He has been a true angel.
In Step 4 we talked about focusing on your strengths. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you are participating in activities that you aren’t strong in. For me, I am not strong in accounting. I hire someone else to create invoices and do my bookkeeping. My time is better utilized writing, creating products, consulting and marketing.
If you are between the ages of 40-60 years old, you may be dealing with taking care of a parent or parents. As of this writing, my mother is 92. It’s amazing that she still lives on her own. Another reason that I put my writing on the back burner was after breaking her wrists in 2008, she fell again December 9, 2010 and broke her leg. That was a really tough time. I am her only source of support. All of her friends are gone and all of her siblings have died. My brother lives out of town. It is easy to get overwhelmed emotionally and physically as a care giver.
Care giving is probably not on your focus plan. It certainly wasn’t on mine. But, Step 2 says to take small steps at a time. There will be some days that we won’t be able to take a step. The important thing is to not stop moving. If you allow overwhelm to overtake you, you will get stuck.
A few years ago I had the opportunity of attending a Stephen Ministries Leadership conference. Stephen Ministers and Stephen Leaders are lay people trained to provide Christ like care. My church had sent me and I joined over three hundred other people from around the country at the event.
I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Ken Evitts. We sat at the same table together. While I have been on a spiritual path, seeking, studying, meditating and learning, when the opportunity arises to be able to speak to a pastor, I always take advantage of it. After all, pastors spend years studying the Bible and leading through example.
My question to Pastor Ken was, “How do I know that I am on the right path?” His explanation to me was that being on the right path was like power steering in a car. He quoted James 1:22, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (I always struggle with just being instead of always doing!)
He said that it was important to “do” because in the doing it meant moving. Power steering doesn’t work very well when a car isn’t moving. When a car is moving, however, the power steering kicks in and makes it very easy to steer the car in any direction. When we keep moving and ask God to direct us, He will steer us in the right direction. And that is why I love talking to pastors! What simple yet profound wisdom.
The next time that you are feeling overwhelmed, stop what you are doing, close your eyes and take some deep breaths from your abdomen. Focus on the present moment. Center yourself and know that you can handle the situation. Stop thinking about all that you have to do and just take a moment to be still.
I am a journal fanatic. So, many times I will write out my feelings of being overwhelmed. Go back to your plan and if you need help (we all need help), write down all of the areas that you need help.
Overwhelm will happen, but you don’t need to get stuck. Continue to move towards your goal or dream.
This will bring us to Step 12 – Avoid Negative People and Surround Yourself with Positive People
Step 1 – You Have to Have a Plan
Step 4 – Focus on Your Strengths
Step 5 – Meditate or Think on your Plan
Step 6 – Get rid of Distractions
Step 8 – Lock Out Doubts and Fears
Step 9 – Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Step 10 – Listen to What Expands You
Step 11 – Coping with Overwhelm
Until next time…. Stay focused!