Listening to one of my many training modules, I was reminded why so many of us in the online world give up or never try a different path at all.
Yep, you guessed it. Overwhelm and confusion are probably the biggest silent killers of creativity and the joy of investing your time in something else that actually makes your heart sing. In previous posts, I have talked about how I struggled (past tense) with the One Funnel Away Challenge because of all of the back end stuff that I needed to do to get my funnel operational. It’s this sort of stuff that can make you flee leaving the new venture behind in the dust!
I’ve been there numerous times and thought it was a good time to take a minute to remind anyone reading this, that eventually you break through the supposed barriers and can get on with the good stuff but there are some things you can do that can (if you are anything like me) instantly relieve the stress of overwhelm and confusion.
Instant Relief From Overwhelm!
Yesterday, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed trying to manage my partners business paperwork and also progress my business. It just felt like there were way too many things to do and I literally felt like I was drowning in paperwork. I have to admit, I had paper everywhere!
It is probably accurate to say that I was quietly losing my shit! After a fraught conversation with my partner (that talked me down a bit), I tried to regather my lost shit and get a plan. Gotta say, my poor partner probably left the conversation more than a little distraught because it’s not like me to be semi-hysterical!
Say ‘Bye Bye’ To 832 Emails!
A while ago I did the Lifebook Quest through Mindvalley with Jon and Missy Butcher and one of the things that stuck with me from that quest is to build your list of “No’s”.
Hopefully you know what I mean but ultimately, we should constantly be adding things that we don’t need, want or have to do to our list of No’s. It may go against every grain in your body if you’re the helping type (like I am) but it’s so important. If you do struggle with putting yourself first, be compassionate with yourself with the understanding that you have to fill your tank up before you can fill someone else’s up. Think of yourself as the adult on the plane that needs to put their mask on first!
So, going back to the 832 emails. The first thing I did after my phone call was to sit at my desk and literally delete 832 emails that were in my inbox. It only took seconds! But, wow! I can honestly say it had the MOST calming affect on me!
Obviously before deleting all of the emails, I checked to see that there wasn’t anything official that I needed to keep or get done but the rest of the emails that I had been saving to ‘check out’ when I had the time were now gone! Added to my ‘no’ list instantly! Not only was it goodbye overwhelm, but it also freed my head up to work on the next thing on my to-do list!
A few Christmas’ ago, my daughter was in a pretty bad way mentally and the state of her bedroom was a reflection of the chaos going on in her life then. So, I brought her the book ‘The lifechanging magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo. I am sure the book got lost somewhere in the mess that was her room but it got me thinking. I never really thought that I was much of a hoarder but after 13 years in the one house, it deserved a closer look.
For the past 20 months or so I have been regularly looking at all areas of the house to see what I no longer needed or used. I am surprised to say that I have probably emptied out a large truck full of ‘stuff’ and there still doesn’t seem to be a dent but it has felt good to off-load things that I didn’t want or need and give it to a local charity.
But, my decluttering efforts was not being extended to my office. Calming technique number 2 was to tackle the office. I sorted all of my paperwork into logical piles and threw away a lot that I was no longer working on but hadn’t gotten around to doing anything with.
Viola, more calm!
Pay The Bills
One of my piles was the bills. I usually pay the bills as soon as they come in but with the One Funnel Away Challenge, I had buried a number of them under paperwork that I was using for the challenge.
Calming technique number 3 – I paid all of the bills. Not only did this reduce the clutter, it felt good to have them out of the way.
Dealing with anxiety attacks over the past couple of years, I was highly motivated to put a stop to them. I read almost everything there was to read on how to manage panic attacks and/or avoid them altogether. My moment of overwhelm was an excellent opportunity to employ some of the breathing techniques I had learnt to ground me again. Box breathing is a good one. If it’s good for the Navy SEAL’s… Who am I to question it?
Grounding yourself is an excellent way to quickly bring yourself back to earth. Visualisation techniques are everywhere but learning an exercise to help ground yourself while breathing through whatever you are dealing with is a pretty quick way to overcome whatever it is you are feeling.
Here’s one that I do:
Stand (preferrably with no shoes) and imagine a beautiful yellow light coming down from above going through the top of your head, all the way through your body and into the earth through your feet and then spreading out like the roots of a tree in all directions and anchoring to the roots of other trees close by. It should only take about a minute or so but do it for as long as you need to until you feel grounded. Remember to breathe while doing it.
If you can, another exercise is to get outside in bare feet and put your feet on grass for half an hour. Works almost instantly.
The final nail in the coffin of overwhelm that day was to do a short meditation. It’s probably a no brainer for many of us but meditation is the best and most sure fire way to get you back in touch with your connection to spirit/higher power/god – whatever your deity is and break away from the monkey mind so well known in buddhist texts.
If you have a regular practice, you would probably only need about 10-20 minutes per day to get the benefits but if you’re meditating for an overwhelm situation, do it for as long as it takes to feel better.
I still like guided meditations the best as calming my mind down in absolute silence is no mean feat! Plus, the other benefit to meditation is that it brings you back to focusing on your breathing which also calms!
Overwhelm and Confusion
Now I am more than happy to advise that I have beaten the anxiety attacks but still suffer occasionally from being overwhelmed. But the good news is that there are tools available (free and paid for) that you can use to to help with all of the confusion and overwhelm that comes with learning new things or striving to set yourself on a different path that your family and friends may not understand or endorse!
Overwhelm and confusion are closely linked but often dealing with one helps with the other. I know that when I am not feeling overwhelmed, I am much more productive, creative and focused. Dealing with one often closes down the other.
Learning to deal with overwhelm is pretty simple (mostly) and very effective if you are consistent in your practice. Find something that works for you and resonates.