It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog post. I have been struggling a little bit with overwhelm and bit of stress for the past few weeks so to be honest I haven’t really had the inclination to write too much. But seriously, it is probably the thing I should have done in order to get some thoughts out of my head.
I have had a lot going on within my business with some heavy deadlines I was struggling to meet and this coupled with late nights and lack of sleep has created some stress within. I found myself getting frustrated, negative thoughts abounded about many aspects of my business, and I began to question myself a bit. The fact that I was overwhelmed also led to procrastination because I didn’t know which bit to look at first.
I had a chat with my business coach Tim, and he listened intently to what I was saying and how I was feeling. The end of that conversation left me feeling better, having had the chance to get it off my chest and to have him validate the fact that the way I was feeling was understandable. But, he also didn’t let me indulge myself in it. In very practical terms he asked me to think about ways to fix the problem rather than talking about it. He asked me ‘what advice would I give to one of my Goalworks members if they came to me with the same problem?’ This changed my thinking…
It is common that when we struggling that we get caught up so much in our problem, that we can’t see the solutions. Others can see answers because they are looking at the problem from different perspective. But, because we personalise the problem so much, we sometimes don’t want to hear those answers from other people... we don’t want to hear ‘simple’ fixes to the problem that we have been struggling with so much. When someone comes up with a simple fix to problems we have been struggling with, it’s almost like a smack on the back of the head... right? Like... if it was soo simple, don’t you think I would have thought of that by now??
But in fact, a lot of the time the answers to your problem can be simple fixes. In my case, I did what Tim asked me to do. I pretended that someone else from Goalworks was asking me for some help with the same problem. I wrote down what the problem was, and what I would say to them…
In short, my answer to the question was to revisit their goal, get connected to the purpose… the reason why they are doing the goal, what it will mean for them and their family when they have achieved it, how they would feel about achieving the goal. I would also to tell them to revisit their goals planning sheets where they identified the potential obstacles that would prevent them from achieving the goal, and the solutions that they came up with for overcoming the obstacles. In most cases these obstacles and solutions would have been identified when the person was thinking a lot more clearly about their goal.
So, I took my own advice. Because I had been overwhelmed for a few weeks and had a lot on, I hadn’t been following my own advice and revisiting my goals on at least a weekly basis. Consequently, the obstacles and solutions I had already identified weren’t at the front of my mind. I re-read my goals, and lo and behold, there at the top of the list of the obstacles I knew I would encounter was overwhelm and stress. My solutions to this problem included;
- realise that this is a cycle I am going to encounter many times during the growth of this business. Revisit my purpose and my outcomes
- Realise that because it is going to occur a number of times that I just need to get determined and hang in there. I will get through it!
- Take some time out, even just for an hour or so to go and clear my head (I did this with couple of long walk, and by going for coffee a couple of times at the beach during the week)
- Draw some inspiration from others… (I got some inspiration from a guest speaker at a Goalworks meeting this week)
Take things one step at a time.. think about and work on the next step. Prioritise. Just start.
I got determined (latest personal facebook status update reads “Screw you stress and overwhelm… I am going to beat you to death with a big stick”). The answers were there in front of my face (I had already come up with them!!). I feel great and more determined than ever! If you are struggling with overwhelm and stress, try following the advice and tips I have outlined here...
Have a great weekend guys!!