Guest Blog by Diane Dye Hansen
Have you ever felt overwhelmed, stuck, or unable to move forward? What happened? If you are like most people, you stopped what you were doing. Or, you distracted yourself with something else, in hopes that it would help you get unstuck.
Getting stuck happens to everyone. It’s how you get unstuck that makes the difference between long term success and getting caught in a perpetual loop of “stuckness.”
Here are five ways, if you are stuck, you can start moving forward again.
1.Bite size your goals. Realize it’s not about climbing the whole mountain. It’s about taking the first step.
Think about hiking. Do you wake up one morning and summit the tallest mountain? No. You start small and work up. You might take a trail. Then you take a trail with some elevation. Regardless, you complete each trail, each hill, and eventually each mountain one step at a time.
2. Learn how to bring yourself into the moment.
When things get too overwhelming, our bodies join in on the party. We might get headaches, chest pains, muscle aches, or stomachaches. Our bodies are trying to tell us the overwhelm is creating unhealthy stress. To combat this, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Pretend your belly is a balloon. Let the air you take in fill up that balloon. Allow the air you breathe out to deflate it. This calming breath will bring you into the moment so you can address the situation at hand.
3. Understand how to structure your day.
To get out of overwhelm, mix fun or relaxing activities with the activities you don’t enjoy as much. Alternate the activities to reward yourself with the fun or relaxing stuff.
Warning: Set a timer for all of it! This way, you don’t start slogging through the tough stuff and taking more time to do it because you feel you should “put the time in.” It’s not about time served.
Working is about pointing your hours toward productivity. If that means that you spend an hour on fun and can get a lot of unfun done in 30 minutes, do that. When you structure your day to how you work best, you get more done.
4. Stop playing the comparison game.
It’s not about keeping up with others! You learn at the pace you learn. You work at the pace you work. Stay in the practice of your own work and you will be less likely to experience overwhelm due to comparison. Move at your own pace, keep your eyes on what you are doing, and you will move farther faster than looking at how everyone else is performing.
5. Be nice to yourself.
At the end of the day, it’s about being gentle with yourself. When you encourage yourself, celebrate your successes, and remain humble, you open yourself up for more success. It’s hard to move forward when you are busy being your own worst enemy.
Ultimately, if you are in overwhelm, know there is a way out. The pathway is as simple as knowing yourself and having the courage to just do the next right thing. Yes, the end game exists. But you don’t have to play at the goal line.