How To Pick Yourself Up From Overwhelm

Published: June 21, 2011
By: Faye Hollands

The last couple of weeks have been incredibly hectic and when I hit breaking point last week I realised something needed to change.  It’s all well and good pushing yourself harder and harder to get great results, but when it comes at a cost it’s important to know how to readdress the balance.  Here’s what I do when I feel overwhelmed and need to pick myself up and get moving again…

Eating Elephants

In a perfect it would be best to avoid coming to a grinding halt altogether, but we all know that at times things get too much, especially when you’ve taken on more than you can cope with in one hit.  That was me last week.

Overwhelm kicked in along with two bouts of sickness, a sure fire indication that I’d pushed the boundaries a little too far this time.  It happens.

However, what’s important when you feel like this is to make sure you have a plan of action to get out of overwhelm quickly otherwise the ramifications can be huge if you spend too long at a standstill and don’t know how to get going again.

The best strategy by far for escaping this vicious circle is simple – break the big things down into little pieces.  As I say to my clients, overwhelm is like trying to eat an elephant all in one go – not enjoyable and pretty much impossible.  However, if you break the big stuff down into bite sized pieces that are palatable and manageable, all of a sudden it seems realistic to pick yourself up and start again.  For example:-

  • Finding A New Job – Manageable Chunks: Writing a great resume, meeting recruiters, preparing for interviews, learning how to use LinkedIn, networking, submitting direct applications
  • Building A New Business – Manageable Chunks: Putting together a business plan, building a website, attending networking events, marketing using social media, regular business development
  • Losing Weight – Manageable Chucks: Writing out a eating/nutrition plan, shopping for healthy food, diarising exercise sessions

The point here is that every goal you have, regardless of what is it, is made up of different elements or chunks.  If you hit overwhelm and don’t want to waste time standing still and wallowing in your own self-pity, then pick one chunk from the bigger picture and focus on that until it’s done.

By doing this you’ll avoid inaction, and the success you’ll feel from continuing to move forward will help improve your motivation levels as well as give you a renewed sense of direction and focus.

Above all, remember that feeling overwhelmed happens to us all at some point or another, but if you want to continue to move forward it’s important that you don’t let it bring you to a permanent grinding halt.

Every goal, no matter how big, is achievable if you break it down into small enough pieces.

What pieces are you going to focus on this week? I’d love to hear your thoughts – please post a comment below and let me know…

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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting. Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.

To receive your FREE MP3 download of Faye’s popular teleseminar ‘How To Create A Career You Love‘ and weekly articles to improve your career and time management skills click here.

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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One Response to How To Pick Yourself Up From Overwhelm

  1. Yes, a great reminder to chunk things down! Many thanks Deborah

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