How to Overcome Overwhelm

We live in a very fast-paced world. There is always something to do, purchase, volunteer for, and travel to. We are constantly told that we need more stuff or we need to do more. As a business owner, I am constantly feeling like there is always more that can be done to improve my business. There are an abundance of courses I could buy that would make me a better business owner. There are numerous systems that could be implemented that would help my business run smoother. The “shoulds” and “coulds” of business ownership (and life!) are endless. And quite frankly, they are overwhelming. As a people pleaser and someone who always wants to do her best, this constant buzz of “more” leads me to places I don’t want to be. I don’t like how I act when I am overwhelmed with the feeling of doing more. I don’t like the decisions I make when it’s based out of a place of feeling like I should do something. And I don’t like how ungrateful I feel when I constantly focus on what I should be doing.

Have you ever felt this way?

I have. And as much as I try to NOT feel this way, it still slaps me in the face sometimes.

There are countless ways to combat and fight overwhelm, but have you found the right system for you? Are you even trying to fight the daily feelings of overwhelm?

If not, then I encourage you to take a step back and see if overwhelm is invading your life. First, are you overwhelmed? Let me ask you this:

Do you feel:

  • Tired and unmotivated to work

  • Anxious while you work

  • Stressed about your to-do list

  • Scared to look at your bank account

  • Frustrated at the end of the day

  • Short-tempered with your family

If you answered “yep” to the above, then I can probably bet that you’re overwhelmed. My next question would be: do you have a hard time saying “no”? If you’re like me, then you probably do.

Alright, alright. Enough depressing talk about how we are all facing overwhelm and don’t know how to come up for air. Let’s talk about how to overcome it!

For me, the main source of my overwhelm comes from a place of trying to do too much. I say “yes” to too many projects. Or I say “yes” to working on too many parts of my business. When I have my mind and hands in too many places, I am unable to focus and feel empowered to do good work. So, I am constantly running at 50% and sooner or later I will hit my breaking point. My tip for overcoming this issue is by creating a list of what you will say “yes” to. This list does not have to be long! But think strategically about what you will do. Looking at your numbers can be helpful with this step. What projects and/or clients are bringing you the most revenue? What projects and/or clients are taking the most time? Think about these things when you decide what you will say “yes” to.

The next step is choosing what you are going to say “no” to. Often, this list can be longer than the “yes” list. And there is nothing wrong with that! Maybe it’s time to say “no” to projects what bring you the least amount of joy or revenue. Maybe it’s time to say “no” to clients who you KNOW are not ideal. Saying “no” can be your greatest asset!

The next step in overcoming overwhelm is learning to give yourself grace. You cannot compare yourself or your life to everyone else around you. You have to know what works best for you and your family and stick to that. Don’t get caught up in the comparison trap! Maybe you need more down time than other people. That’s okay! Maybe you aren’t able to be as productive as someone else. Don’t stress about that. Keep your eyes on your own paper and don’t worry about anyone else. You are perfectly equipped to do what’s in front of you and that’s all you can focus on.

Choosing to let go of overwhelm can be hard. But, we all need less stress in our lives. A few weeks ago, I let stress take over so much that I actually got ill. My body could no longer keep up with what I was demanding and it just gave up. I wish I would have been able to stop the overwhelm in the middle instead of having to endure illness for three days.

It’s not worth it.

So, take time to make your two lists today! And then shower yourself with lots and lots of grace. I’ll be over here cheering you on!