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How to Get Out of Overwhelm, Fast 3 powerful questions to take back control when life feels out of control

“What matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure.” Ryan Holiday,

Just like that I’m drowning again.

I’m thrashing against the current of my life, feeling consumed by the torrent of daily demands on my time, energy, and attention.

My kids’ ever changing schedules (oh, practice is starting an hour later, in a different places, and requires a piece of clothing that is undoubtedly at the bottom of some stanky laundry pile? Cool)

The dog’s bullshit (what’s that? She’s hyper-reactive and now needs expensive drugs, 3 times as many walks, constant vigilance and training, and twice weekly baths to combat her allergies?  Fine.)

The never ending list of banal, homeowner to do’s that consume way more of their fair share of mental energy and time (Where the fuck is that dishwasher I ordered 8 months ago? Why doesn’t the shower door close anymore? When was the last time we had the chimney cleaned? Who’s going to take that box of shit to Goodwill?)

The challenges of running, growing, and scaling a business while feeling pulled in a hundred different directions at the same time, all while wanting to make time for myself in my own life, workout and meditate more, yell less, and get better at feeling good, high vibe, and calm amidst the chaos so I can manifest clients and money out of thin air.

Just me?

Despite knowing and teaching how to handle overwhelm, right now I am drowning.

What used to work, isn’t.

I’m bombarded with so much, so fast, that I can’t seem to catch my breath before another wave comes crashing over me. I’ve lost my wits. My strategies are failing me.

The last few months I’ve reacted, rushed, freaked out, cried, and lost my shit more times than I care to admit.

I started believing that old “once I get through this rough patch everything will settle down” story

Biggest lie ever told.

Here’s what’s actually true.

I’m getting exactly what I need to prepare me for what I’ve asked for.

I don’t want less kids, to sell my house, or give up my dog, I want to better handle whatever life throws at me.

I don’t want less success in my business, I want better systems and structures to handle more clients.

I don’t want less, I want to BE more…more capable, more calm under fire, more clear headed, more resilient.

I want to be better.

So how does one get better? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall…practice.

I’m at a point in my life and biz where I’ve reached the limits of my power, strength, and skills to handle all that’s coming at me and fuck, I am feeling it.

But I can make it mean all sorts of negative things about me and what’s possible, I can continue to fight against it and chose overwhelm, or I can decide it’s the exact resistance I need to grow.

This shift in perspective doesn’t change anything and yet, it changes everything.

Think of it this way, if I want to bench press 100 pounds, but my current strength only allows me to safely bench 65 pounds, 100lbs is going to feel really, impossibly heavy.  In fact, I’d probably seriously injure myself if I tried to move that kind of weight before I was ready.

But if I build up my strength, consistently and intentionally through resistance training, eventually, I will be able to bench 100lbs and not only will I be able to handle this heavier weight, it will feel as light as that 65 pounds once did.

It feels heavy until it doesn’t.

What are you easily handling in your life right now that felt impossibly heavy or terribly hard just a few months or years ago?

You got stronger, NOT by accident.

Strength grows through resistance training. You got stronger because you did hard shit.

In fitness, resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance.  

In life, we can define resistance as anything that causes us to contract against unwanted obstacles with the expectation of increases in resiliency, mental stamina, emotional intelligence, fortitude, and just plain bad-assery.

Resistance training is carrying (or pushing or pulling) that which is heavy a few seconds (or reps) longer than feels comfortable. It’s going BEYOND our comfort zone. The last 3 reps is where change happens, the place where you are struggggggggling to finish but can still maintain good form.  

This is where I’m at in life right now.

The truth is, it’s not more than I can handle because, I’m fucking handling it. But it is uncomfortable, just like those last 3 reps. I’m in the sweet spot, the place where the magic happens, the place where the force against me is actually making a difference.

So what to do when it feels like you are up against more than you can handle, when it feels like work and biz and laundry and sleep are all competing for the same 24 hours in a day?

1. Decide that this is an AMAZING opportunity for you to use this resistance to strengthen and prepare you for your next level.  The story we tell ourselves about what is happening is always more powerful than what is actually happening.  Only you can decide if everything happening around you is an obstacle keeping you from what you want or an opportunity to prepare you for it. The choice is yours.

2. Ask the question, “if this where to last forever, who would I need to become or what would need to change for me to not only survive, but thrive?” and then work to become her.   Maybe it’s time to delegate or hire support. Perhaps you haven’t learned how to say no yet. Are you doing things out of obligation instead of genuine desire?  Are there systems, structures, and organization upgrades that are overdue?  What does the next level you know, do, or have that you don’t?

3. Trade short term gains for long term success. It’s not only okay, it’s necessary to stop doing some things in the interim so you can build a strong foundation upon which to grow. We’re often afraid if we slow down for even a second that things will suffer, but this is simply not true. You can do anything, but only when you stop doing everything. 

I’ve been intentionally working on my growth long enough to know that times like these are a fucking gift, even though it feels like anything but. I know my next level is waiting on the other side of this. 

I know that what got me here, won’t get me there, which is why my old strategies aren’t working in the way they used to.  It’s time to grow baby. 

Right now I’m frustrated, overwhelmed, and impatient for change. I’m human. But I’m choosing a different story, one that just plain feels better. A story that the mere act of choosing, has already helped me take back control when I feel I have none.  

I’m getting a lot of clarity around what I don’t want, what needs to change, and how the next level version of me will show up for these challenges and increased demands on my time and energy.  I’m realizing that my old strategy of just knowing what needs to be done and doing them when it’s time, is no longer working. I’m creating schedules and having conversations with my husband around household and children division of labor. If you want to get an idea of how much energy you might be leaking, make a list of everything you are responsible for doing or managing in an average month. I’m getting them out of my head, onto the paper, and into a system that I hope will free up much needed mental energy.

I’m doing what I need to do today, so I can grow, tomorrow. Instead of continuing to add clients into an on-boarding processes that has become clunky, overly manual, and duct taped together, I’m prioritizing creating new solutions ahead of sales.  It’s scary and hard to intentionally pump the brakes. but I know my success depends on it. 

I’m here for the long game. I’m in it to win it, and by IT, I mean my entire life.

That means there’s no going home or giving up when it gets hard. There’s no throwing the towel in and declaring my dreams just too big for me. That is not an option. I’m here to do what it takes, until it takes, as along as it takes. 

Ryan Holiday said, “the obstacle is the way.” I couldn’t agree more.

Stop seeing challenges as impediments to your big goals but instead, the very things that lead you towards them.

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