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Session 4: How To Deal With Overwhelm

Undoubtedly you are going to feel overwhelmed as an entrepreneur and it’s completely normal. If you never feel overwhelmed, then you probably aren’t far enough outside your comfort zone. However, there is a difference in pushing yourself to get uncomfortable and being so overwhelmed that you jeopardize your creativity or no longer enjoy what you are doing.

 
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As high-achieving individuals, you can reach a state of overwhelm before you even realize it’s happening. Take a deep breath and remember what’s most important. What do you want your life to be about and who do you want to become? What will actually cause you to grow and what is just keeping you busy? Besides, after a state of overwhelm, we often realize that it’s never as bad as it seemed. Things usually work out either the way you planned or a new path is created. Here are a 2 things to consider:

1. Slow Down

It’s ok if you’ve arrived at this place of panic and overwhelm. You might feel stuck and unable to move forward, or that all of your creativity is gone. As entrepreneurs, our tendency is to overachieve and operate at an incredibly fast pace, however this actually allows our work to consume us.

Have you ever experienced the days where it is hard to focus and feels like you are in a fog? My advice is to close the laptop and take a step back. There will be another day where you are more organically productive if you give yourself that down time.

Take a look at everything that is currently overwhelming you. We often overcommit because we have so many ideas we want to achieve. It is important to first focus on the most critical tasks that are pertinent to immediate goals. While everything else might also be important, it could be that crowding your brain space is creating a barrier to move forward. Get rid of the clutter so you can create momentum and progress in one area at a time.


Activity

Make a list of everything you currently have on your to-do list.

How many of these items are self-imposed stressors? Can you distinguish between tasks that are “musts” and ones that you think you “should” do?


2. Be Aware and Avoid Overwhelm In The Future

It is important to keep your resource tank full and identify warning signs of overwhelm to help you set boundaries, prioritize self care, and keep your inner critic quiet. The inner critic is the voice or thought bully that perpetuates the feeling of overwhelm by making you think you need to do more to be better. Another way we deplete the resource tank, is by spreading our energy too thin which causes anxiety to soar. The things we do to to take care of our mental and physical health keep this tank full, such as sleep, nourishing our body and even laughter.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, there are a few questions you can reflect on. Follow along in the activity below to bring awareness back to the cause of your overwhelm.


Activity

What have the past few days looked like?

  • For example: excessive multitasking, less than optimal sleep, eating really fast because you have no time, elevated anxiety, working on your phone or laptop late at night.

 

What warning signs might you have ignored?

  • For example: eating to avoid working, not sleeping enough, skipping activities that bring you joy, feeling moody or exhausted.

 

Are you allowing yourself to be mentored?

  • For example: are you utilizing your support system and those with more experience than you?