"I don't even know where to start!" How often have you said this right before you do....nothing. You have so much to do or the thing you want or need to do is just SO BIG that you are feeling completely overwhelmed.
Overwhelm is a state and that means it is something we get ourselves into. That is good news because it means it is also something we can get ourselves out of. A state is "the particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time." Sometimes we refer to it as a 'feeling' or 'emotional state'. Happiness, sadness, and anger are all states. They are conditions that you are in at specific times - they are temporary. We can do things to increase the amount of time that we spend in any state but it is not who we are.
That is an important distinction because often people identify themselves, they label themselves as how they are feeling. They confuse the temporary condition they are in, with the essential spirit or essence of who they are. That never changes. You may be in any feeling or state in this moment but it will pass. Even the happiest person will become sad at some point or at least less happy, and the saddest person will experience moments of joy. Life is made up of all emotions and by climbing the summit we can see the valley, and so on.
Our true or real self is able to take a step back from any state. Try it now. Close your eyes and take a breath. Ask your mind to picture yourself sitting on a chair in the centre of your head. See yourself sitting there. Now, open your eyes. It doesn't matter if it was a big chair, or a little one. What matters is who did the directing? Who put yourself on a chair in your mind and created a chair there? That self is your observer, your real self that is always present and always available and ready to be asked to do some watching on your behalf.
That tiny experiment was a mindfulness practice. It is a the briefest demonstration of your minds willingness to do what you want it to do. Do you want to be overwhelmed then continue to think thoughts like; "I'm always such a basket case", "I never get things done." "I'm going insane." "Life is too much for me." You will most certainly generate feelings that match the thoughts. You might feel tightness in your chest, nausea in your tummy, constriction in your throat. You might be paralyzed and unable to take any action towards your goals. It's totally understandable that you would feel that way. You have decided to be overwhelmed and ineffectual.
Instead, you can change the pattern. Try choosing to be excited by the options in front of you and the opportunities that are presenting themselves to you. Adopt thoughts like "I am ready for this!" ,"I am excited to see what I can do!", "I love the chance to make an impact!" , "It is my time to shine!" . Of course, you have to do your work. You cannot go into a meeting saying "I got this " if you didn't write the report that you will be asked to present. You still have to write the report. But, now report in hand, go in to the meeting knowing you are ready for anything.
Pay attention to the things you commonly say to yourself that put you in a state of overwhelm (or any other undesirable state.) On one sheet of paper make a list of the negative thoughts that arise.
Now look at each and every negative thought and on a separate sheet of paper begin to take control. Reframe each one acknowledging the benefit and gift. Here are some examples:
If a negative thought is: I am so scattered all the time. Re-write it in a true, and more positive way. What is another way of looking at being scattered? Are you interested in multiple things? Try re-writing it like this: I am curious and creative and interested in many different areas of life.
If a negative thought is: I am so stubborn all the time. Re-write it in a true, and more positive way. What is another way of looking at being stubborn? I am determined and resilient and not easily swayed by the opinions of others.
If a negative thought is: I am lazy. Re-write it in a true and more positive way. What is another way of looking at it? I have been unwilling to do things on my own. I am willing to take a step and ask for the help I need.
Get rid of the negative list you don't need it anymore. Keep the positive list. Highlight all of the "I AM" statements. I am...curious and creative, I am...determined and resilient. I am.. willing to take a step and ask for help. Your "I AM's" are powerful as tools to re-wire from your state of overwhelm to a state of action.
Begin to use your list every day. Write it out, say it out loud. Look directly in a mirror and repeat it with conviction and confidence. Impress on your subconscious how serious you are about what you believe and what you want. You are the one who gets to make the choice about what your life will be now, no one else. Your life can be happier, healthier and wealthier. You can get the promotion, have a harmonious relationship, write the book you have been dreaming of writing, start your own successful business and achieve every goal you set. It all starts here: with you.
I'd love to help you achieve your goals and live the life you are meant to live: an extraordinary life. Contact me today and let's set up your FREE 30-MINUTE CLARITY SESSION at firstname.lastname@example.org.