You have an idea or vision but no clue as to where to start. Or perhaps you have an endless list of things to do – work deadlines, school projects, family commitments, bills, chores, admin, the list goes on. Or maybe you find yourself so confused and can’t seem to make a decision and the more you try the more overwhelmed you feel.
Overwhelm and frustration are common feelings people face particularly in this fast paced, rat race world we live in. I for one struggle in this area, especially as I am such a doer, there’s always things to be done. Sometimes I find myself feeling so overstretched, that it makes me even less productive, and yet at times like that I still want to press on and do. During times like these the best thing for me to do is nothing. Check out 4 steps below to overcome overwhelm and frustration.
1) Stop. Like a car screeching to halt, just STOP
Time to stop doing, stop trying to fix, trying to do.
It’s easier to keep doing and running ahead of ourselves. It’s time to just STOP.
2) Start listening. Get in tune with you.
Whilst we spend our energy and time reading all the self-help and “how to fix you” books, looking for answers here and there, chasing this and chasing that, the answers lie within us.
The reason we do not look within is that we tend to focus on Doing rather than Being.
Doing is the easy part, being is tough. Looking inward means acknowledging and facing up to painful, uncomfortable feelings. So, of course, we want to run! Your defences will push you to run, to protect you from perceived pain. But facing up to those feelings, processing and owning them, will bring you liberation and deeper self-awareness. The more self-aware you become, the more answers you will find.
3) Ask yourself – What do I need?
When I ask my clients this question I am always amazed at the similarities in answers people give.
“I need peace”
“I need to be quiet”
“I need to shut out the noise”
“I need to be me”
Yet many times we do the exact opposite of what we need.
We tend to go with what “we should” do. I call it the “I should versus I need” challenge.
Should is driven by our perception of what others, society and the rest of the world expect of us. Words like “I should be strong”, “I should be able to handle this” “I can’t stop now” “I must”, “I have to”keep us striving in a perpetual and destructive hamster wheel. Asking “what do I need” helps to stop the cycle and allows you to tune into what you really need in the moment, and in your life.
A good question to ask yourself, Who or what drives your “I should” list? I always ask myself the question “who says I should?” “who says?” The more we lean towards “I need”, the more authentic, courageous and confident we become. I believe that for many of us, our purposes are hindered by the voices of our “I should”.
4) No woman is an Island. Don’t be afraid to seek help.
At BARE Life Class we believe that there is true strength in asking for help, no one is an island and vulnerability is not weakness. It is really important to seek out a network of trusted people who can help you work through problems and see life from a broader perspective, whether it is at work or in your personal relationships. These three words “I need help” can be an absolute life and game changer. We all have blind spots because we are all human and imperfect. That is the power of relationships, that people can see areas we cannot see and we can do the same for others. You do not have to frantically do everything yourself.
And if you are without a trusted support network, it is a good idea to seek external help to help bring some clarity to your situation whether it is a coach, therapist or cleaner! I have experienced the most profound changes in my life when I’ve sought help and I’m still doing so. I am self- aware enough to know that I cannot do it all and I was not made to.
Here is a warning note though: Be careful of people who will steer you back into the “I should” mode!!. Remember it is not about fixing or doing, you need to first stop and listen.
Wanna learn more? Check out our BARE Life masterclasses to help you Heal. Learn. Grow.
We are on a mission to change the face of mental health for black women so that they can show up confidently in every space of life.