When Your Plate Is Too Full

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It seemed like everyone I spoke to this week was experiencing overwhelm.  The end of the year is in sight and we want to get things done before the holidays.

I recently started two huge projects in my business – a 10 Day Virtual Summit and a Group Coaching Program.  I’ll tell you, there is no better way to fire you into action than making some big commitments!

It reminds me of that cute saying, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.” First of all, I am not crazy about the idea of eating an elephant.  I use a different metaphor – “How do you eat a chocolate cake?  One yummy little piece every day.”

I am a chocolate freak, so any image of chocolate motivates me!

We know the way to tackle big projects is to break them down into manageable pieces.  But what happens when we are overwhelmed by the manageable pieces?  When we try to prioritize and everything is urgent?  When we get to the end of the day and feel like we got nothing done?

We procrastinate. 

We work so hard that we fall out of balance and become depleted. 

Our relationships suffer.  Our bodies suffer.   We feel anxious.  

We lose excitement, motivation and mojo. 

When we have an important task in front of us, stress and anxiety can cause us to experience a surge of negative energy.

All the things we have to do spin around in our head like snowflakes in a blizzard.

The picture we create looks like a lot of work, all at once, with no time to catch our breath.

It feels terrifying when you think of the whole thing.  Its like standing at the base of an enormous mountain knowing you have to climb to the top…. on a deadline.

What if we make a mistake?  What if we can’t handle all the work it will take to complete it?  What if it is not a success?

So we work on things that we can complete quickly, and then procrastinate on the larger projects.

Or we kick into high gear, working from morning till night.  We can’t shut off and we stop being present in our own lives.

How do we move past this overwhelm into a productive, high energy, happy state?

First we need to realize that it is natural to experience a certain amount of worry and anxiety when we have something big in front of us.

Do not mistake this feeling for a sign that something is wrong.  Just lean into the feeling and keep taking the steps.

Next we need to raise our tolerance for imperfection.

Don’t compare yourself to others who are ahead of you.  Don’t feel you should be further than you are… smarter than you are… or more experienced than you are.

Just be where you are.  You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.  If you were supposed to be somewhere else, you would be there.

You have to honor your learning curve and the struggle that comes with the process.   Nothing worth having ever comes easy.

Say positive things to yourself, such as…

“I choose to take one small imperfect step” vs “this is alot”

“I can be human” vs “It has to be perfect”

“I choose to” vs “I have to”

“I must take time for myself” vs  “I have no time for myself”

Eliminate the language of stress and overwhelm and fill your mind with positive thoughts.

I love the quote by Amelia Erhart –
“The most effective way to do it — is to do it.”

Get it out of your head and write it down.  Break it down into small steps and work on one thing at a time. Decide what is important and what is not.  Set boundaries and don’t feel guilty.  Keep your batteries charged and pay attention to your relationships.

Often, we get overwhelmed because there are personal situations that are stressing us out.  We are not robots… sometimes our personal issues spill over to other areas of our lives.  When we are experiencing emotional turmoil, we turn that stress into overwhelm.

Life is meant to be full of challenges and there will be no time when everything is in perfect balance.  When one issue is resolved, another one is there to take it’s place.

Nothing is wrong….This is the way life looks when it’s working.

Start by accepting yourself and honoring your challenges.  They are here to teach you and take you to the next level.

You are in charge of your own peace and happiness.  Overwhelm is just a word and has no power over you.  Rise above the chaos to a place of gratitude.  Your blessings far outweigh your challenges.


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