Lately I have been a tad overwhelmed. A tad? Is that a bit of an understatement?
I have had so much exciting stuff alongside personal c*** going on at the same time that I found myself bouncing balls twice, dropping some, catching other people’s balls, throwing away some of my own and bursting a few! The bursting bit was actually quite cathartic!
As I step into this new and incredibly exciting chapter of my life where I am flying solo and growing my business as a Life Coach, I am at times floored by overwhelm. I battle the ‘am I good enough’ self-comments and stare at the imposter in the mirror daily.
In my now chosen career, which I have studied and worked hard for, I am putting in the hours as I design and write courses, put myself ‘out there’ with blogs and social media posts, show up positively for my clients, build my on-line presence, learn from some amazing people, network and then learn lots of techy stuff. Wearing lots of different hats in my business, which is challenging, fun and daunting all at the same time.
Alongside flying solo, I still want to be a good friend, be a great mum, be a supportive and loving wife and run a home for 6. All of the things I love and don’t want to give up. All those balls. Surely, I can juggle them all?
And then there is the c*** stuff. It doesn’t fill me with joy, it fills me with dread and adds to my overwhelm.
With all my self-development of late, working with my own coach and reading and growing I have found myself reflecting. Reflecting on who I am. Reflecting on what I have learnt and from whom along the way. Reflecting on my childhood and my young adult years and more recent years.
I have been soul searching, understanding where my limiting beliefs come from and unlocking some rusty padlocks on some incredibly painful and emotional traumas. To ensure that I am the best Coach I can be I am putting in the work on myself too. I am self-coaching as well as working with my own coach.
Of course, the work on myself adds to my overwhelm, because I am unlocking and working through some real c*** like surviving childhood trauma, horrendous school bullying, limiting beliefs, a violent and mentally abusive relationship to briefly throw a light on some of what I have been working through. There is more, and I know that one day I will share my story, my journey, because I know that I need and want to, and I know it will help other women see that it is alright to step into their amazing and magnificent selves.
I realised I have survived a lot. You might well have too and for today, I want you to know that I care and you are most definitely worthy.
Clarity and Calm
As I do work through it all though, all my c***, and stepping through my overwhelm I have found clarity and calm. I continue to embrace peace. I find that my soul hurts a little less than yesterday. I have clarity around what my amazing future is going to be. I can see it clearly. I feel the calm as I let go of what has held me back, as I set myself free.
I could call this my C*** stuff and get angry. Will that serve me?
No, I know it won’t.
On the days when the overwhelm of going solo, growing my business and everything that goes with it and unlocking another rusty lock has paralysed me and I lose belief in myself that I will ever grow a business to be proud of, I have learned to STOP!
I reflect some more. I evaluate. I learn.
But, most importantly, I grow, and I find even more clarity and calm. I stand a little taller and I proudly acknowledge myself as a survivor and gently caress my hidden inner mental scars. I tell myself I am enough, I am worthy, I can do this.
A Teensy, weensy bit overwhelmed!
So, back where I came in at the start of my story, I found myself getting an eensy, teensy, weensy bit overwhelmed, I say with tongue firmly in cheek!!
The overwhelm has, in the past, had a nasty habit of taking over. And that is not a pretty sight!
I end up staying up late, get more tired, am craggier, eat rubbish food, don’t exercise or meditate, say yes to everything and everyone, then don’t achieve a great deal of anything for anyone, talk to myself in a way which I wouldn’t even talk to my worst enemy, add some extra bricks to my comfort wall (that wall which I built years ago and have been taking it down, yes I start adding to it!) and then I implode!!
Like I said - NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!
The good news is, having experienced serious panic attacks a few years ago, from extreme overwhelm, exhaustion and stress, I have learned, through the tough past experiences, my overwhelm doesn’t serve me. So, to avoid heading down the path of previous unhelpful habits I have been able to implement self-care habits.
Through some trial and error I have found some things which have greatly helped me overcome overwhelm and introducing them again now, as I find myself heading off-track to the overwhelm path, has been a life saver.
I have picked up lots of great tips, hints and help along the way from many varied sources, self-help books, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, friends, colleagues, coaches and mentors. I can’t and wouldn’t take credit for these, I have merely put them into an order that works for me.
My 6 Self-Care Kit
1. 3,2,1 & STOP – cease what I am doing, pen down, computer off, phone away, hoover away, legal stuff left – whatever it is I stop. This is when I need to get out of my own head.
2. CHANGE STATE – I get out of the situation and I take Barney (my big brown Lab) for a walk. The most important
thing is I change my state of mind.
3. SELF LOVE - I allow myself some self-love talk on my walk. I make sure that I am in nature though because nature calms me. I speak my words “It is OK to stop, it is OK to let go, you are amazing, you are enough, and you are doing a great job” and I just repeat these. I sometimes open my lungs and shout. I can’t even begin to tell you how freeing a feeling that is.
4. WRITE – When I get back from my walk, I dump it out of my head on to paper, when it rolls around in my head I stay stuck in overwhelm because my head is too crowded. If I can’t get outside to nature, because of children, I grab a drink and sit at my kitchen table because I can watch the birds in my garden and I write. If it is late at night, I find some really good calming playlist on Spotify and write.
5. PRIORITISE – Often I have dumped a lot of nonsense on my piece of paper. However, within the nonsense are the things that need to be accomplished and once pulled out from the jumble are easier to see. Tasks, jobs, goals, actions and so I put it all in order, remove anything that is just nonsense, and then prioritise what is left. I can then see clearly what I have on my list of importance and what will help me step towards my goal for that day, week, month. My overwhelm starts to subside. I just use some letters to help prioritise:
a. B – BIN it, it is not serving me, and it is probably nonsense, so it goes
b. O – OTHER these items are important, but not a win item
c. W – this is my big WIN and needs to be done
d. E – EVERYTHING ELSE these are items that I’ll see if I get to but aren’t critical
e. D – DELEGATE to someone else, a friend, husband, someone who can help
6. FOCUS – Once I have done this, I find my head is clearer, the overwhelm is lessened and I am calmer. Before I get going though, I have a bit more self-love I have a drink, say my words, either the same I use when walking or one of my own affirmations and then I am ready.
I am not letting overwhelm win anymore. I am much better at recognising the signs and nipping it in the bud before it takes me into panic. I have found my way through it with clarity and calm and my self-care helps me win the day!
So, how about it, let’s kick Overwhelm in the butt!