Overcoming Business Overwhelm:
4 simple steps to get you unstuck
aka The Worditude De-Overwhelment Process
When was the last time you felt overwhelmed?
It’s an ailment I come across a lot, and I experience it plenty myself too.
That trapped, panicked feeling that you don’t know what to do next.
I’ve helped so many mentoring clients and course students through moments of overwhelm, I thought it made sense to put some of the de-overwhelment process I do with them into a blog post.
So here’s my totally made-up, not at all backed by research, hunch about what’s going on when we feel overwhelmed and what we can do about it.
What even is overwhelm?
To be overwhelmed I think these three things need to be true:
😩 We have more options than we can rate or prioritize at a glance.
😩 We believe that making the ‘wrong’ choice will impact us negatively - we’ll miss out, be disappointed, or won’t get the outcome that we want.
😩 So we get stuck - unable to make a decision or take action.
If that seems about right to you, then would you like to try my totally free, rapid, and easy 4-step cure for feeling overwhelmed in your business (might work in the rest of your life too).
Worditude De-Overwhelment Process
#1 What do I really mean by ‘I’m overwhelmed’ in this moment?
What do you mean when you say you’re overwhelmed?
That you know what you need to do but you don’t know how to get started?
That you can see a to-do list or action plan unfurled in front of you that’s so enormous you’ll never accomplish it so what’s the point in even starting?
That there are far too many options to choose from?
That you have a goal in mind but it seems so impossibly far away you don’t know how to even take the first step?
That you’ve taken onboard so much training, advice and other people’s guidance, that you’re buried under what you should do and have lost touch with what you want to do?
I don’t like the use of ‘overwhelm’ in marketing because it’s bland and meaningless and it’s possible to get way more specific.
The same is true when describing your feelings.
Yes, you feel overwhelmed.
Now dig a little into what that means for you.
#2 Empower yourself by shifting your choice of words
Being overwhelmed by too many options makes you the victim and the options (or the supplier of them) the enemy.
Overwhelmed is buried, trapped. Please stop saying ‘I’m overwhelmed’ over and over…you’re cementing yourself into your stuck position with your words.
Do you feel the same way when you have a pizza that’s too big for you to eat in one sitting? Are you overwhelmed by the pizza? Or do you trust yourself to eat what you want and leave the rest?
When you’ve had enough sunshine, do you stay outside slowly melting because you’re too overwhelmed to move? Or do you go inside?
What if instead of being overwhelmed, you shifted your words to be ‘I have more ideas / options / opportunities than I can make use of right now’.
Or ‘I have an abundance of ideas / options / opportunities and I will be able to make good use of some of them’.
Doesn’t that feel better already?
#3 Find a way to rank your options
Think about the other times in your life when you are briefly overwhelmed and then moved on.
Like choosing the next film to watch from Netflix/Amazon/Disney+ (or all three).
How do you approach it?
Trust your gut reaction when seeing the synopsis?
Check the scores in IMDb?
Do you know what kind of genre film you’re in the mood for?
Or want more from a particular actor?
To make a decision you feel good about, you construct an informal system for sifting, sorting and ranking through your options.
You feel overwhelmed because you couldn’t pick an option at first glance.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to pick an option ever.
It means you’ll need to create a simple system to help you consider the options, then pick the first one you want to try out.
So what do you care about?
Is there a goal you’re working towards?
Are any of the options an easy ‘no’?
Are any of them an easy ‘yes’?
#4 Don’t pick a winner - have an experiment
What do you WANT to try out?
What would a good enough experiment look like?
How can you try before you buy?
Can you give yourself permission to experiment for a while?
Can you make a decision for now, not forever?
You can choose a date in the future when you will reconsider this decision and the signs that it might be time to change your mind.
The vast majority of decisions you make in your life and your business will be temporary or reversible. So be real with yourself - is this a forever decision, or a for-now decision?