5 Tips To End Overwhelm

Put the kibosh on chaos + get back to your creative flow

by Kris Ward

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Overwhelm is a bitch, isn’t she? She gets in the way of too many people’s dreams and visions.

She’s been mucking with my clients lately, and I’ve been noticing several friends and colleagues complaining about her too.

Step off, bitch! And move over. These dreams and visions are too important to let you rob the world of the gifts they bring.

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If overwhelm has you too stressed out or too paralyzed to move forward; if you have so much to do, it all feels equally important, and you can’t figure out for the life of you where to put your energy first…

Here are:

5 Tips To Put The Kibosh On Chaos And Overwhelm + Get You Back In Your Creative Flow

1) Take a reflective breather to pause and acknowledge that you’re stuck.

You’re utterly confused about how to make the leap from where you are now to where you want to be. What now?

Instead of trying to ‘fix’ the overwhelm, just notice it. It’s a sign that you’re trying to do way too much at once and your focus is scattered. That’s a poor use of your energy that will actually SLOW down your progress and reduce your confidence in your ability to get shit done. So stop that.

2) Hang out in the pause to tune into your deeper needs. Your aches, yearnings, longings, and truest intentions. Matters of the heart.

Ask yourself, “What do I REALLY want and why? What is the deeper need?”

Oftentimes, when we’re spinning off in overwhelm land, it’s because we’re dancing in surfacey desires and busying ourselves with the attainment of those desires before we’ve even realized and addressed our deeper needs. Needs like:

  • nourishment/nurture,
  • acknowledgment,
  • intimacy,
  • authentic self-expression,
  • self-confidence
  • autonomy/independence
  • clarity
  • connection/communion
  • contribution

What I’ve seen with my clients and in my own life is that all the doing, attaining, striving, goal-setting, measuring up, etc. that leads to unnecessary pressure and overwhelm can actually be an over-compensation‚ a coping mechanism‚ a band-aid for the deeper unmet need that isn’t being addressed. We may not even be awake to the need. But it’s driving us nonetheless.

What I’m suggesting here is that we get connected to that need. Be receptive enough to feel what we’re afraid to feel (that’s a hint, BTW – diving straight into what we’re avoiding feeling often leads directly to the unmet need).

Awake to the need, we can then recognize it as the core matter, the deeper driving force. Then we can check to see if the way we’re going about getting it met (perpetually adding more to do items, more pressure, more ‘should’s’, more deadlines, more ideas to turn into more projects) is in fact the most direct route. If it’s not, and yet we’re putting all that pressure on ourselves to get it all done YESTERDAY, what’s the point?

To be clear, I’m not saying that goals are a bad thing. I could riff for hours on the importance of creating a clear vision, having a solid lifestyle design plan, and regularly tweaking that plan every few months as you naturally evolve and progress in life and business. We’d never get anywhere if we didn’t first set a powerful intention to reach a certain milestone or destination. I’m just saying that the tendency to keep coping (going back into all the doing and all the overwhelm) will be 10X stronger if there’s a part of us that is withering because we’re disconnected from our deepest ache. So we must start there.

3) To create space, replace your TO DO list with a NOT TO DO, YET list.

Or rather, move everything over from the ever growing TO DO list to a NOT TO DO, YET list. Then, decide which items can be let go of, and which cannot. Here are a few pointers:

  • If an item doesn’t absolutely have to happen NOW (as in, this is highest priority‚ deserving of your precious focus, time, and attention within or over the next few days), it stays on the NTDY list.
  • If an item gets in the way of anything that absolutely MUST GET DONE and therefore deserves to be on the TO DO list, it stays on the NTDY list.
  • If it doesn’t absolutely have to happen EVER (as in, it doesn’t align with a deeper need or intention), just cross it off the list.
  • If it brings you more relief and creates more space in your life to address it later versus doing it now, it stays on the NTDY list. Trust that it will get handled, just not NOW. You can revisit your NTDY list weekly and move things over to the TO DO list when you have the bandwidth for them.
  • If it brings you more relief to go ahead and DO IT versus putting it off, leave it on the TO DO list (we’ll get to what to do with the TO DO list in the next tip‚ so read on).

Helpful hint: The belief that you’re going to get it all done‚ it’s a myth. Drop it like it’s hot.

True story:

I remember about a week after my son Rhythm was born, I had a paralyzing moment of clarity:

Never again would I feel that feeling of being on top of everything.

Gone were the days of an anally clean home, a zen inbox, and a clear to do list.

While one part of me was freaking the fuck out because of this realization, luckily, I was prepared. A few months prior to becoming a mom, I’d hired a coach to work with me in being supported and maintaining balance through this life transition. So there was another part of me that was learning how to be okay with unfinished. I was warming up to the idea that I didn’t need to be on top of everything, and not everything needed doing. It could hang out on my NOT TO DO YET list, and I’d get to it if and when it was truly a priority that would add value and joy to my life.

Since my moment of clarity, I’ve only worked 3-4 days a week in my business. And miraculously, business is moving along.

It’s different now. As is my body, my routine, my EVERYTHING.

But it works because it has been redesigned (thank you lifestyle design plan!) to work around my new life.

I’m actually having way more fun and loving the new freedom. I’m still enrolling new clients and students on a regular basis, but there is a lot less (self-imposed) pressure to perform. And because of that, there is a lot less overwhelm.

It also helps that I’ve been investing a lot into connecting to and meeting my deeper needs for support and balance lately, and that I meet with Amber, my beloved project manager, every Monday solely for the purpose of moving a buttload of TO DO items over to the NOT TO DO YET list.

4) As you tackle the TO DO list, do one thing at a time.

Important Distinction (DO NOT MISS THIS!): A project does not equal one TO DO item. A project will always go on the NTDY list. I suggest breaking down the project into action steps then, when appropriate, move those action steps to the TO DO list to be tackled one at a time.

5) Remember that when you play a high game (like you do as a conscious entrepreneur), nothing matters more than self-care, self-trust, and self-kindness. You gotta be your own BFF.

Always take precious care of yourself to ensure that you build up adequate immunities to overwhelm and other monkey mind dramas. When you’re precious to yourself – and your thoughts, words and actions align with that intention – you’ll be powered by faith, courage and grace… and you’ll be unstoppable.

With Love, Tenderness, and Massive Gratitude,

 

 

 

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Kris Ward
Kris Ward is a Lifestyle Design Coach™ Trainer and the president and founder of AbundantYogi.com. She has helped to educate and inspire over 100,000 people worldwide out of painful conflict around money, self-sabotage, and inhibited self-expression into having the freedom and abundance to do what they love every day, and ...read more

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Read 2 comments

  1. Caroline Frenette Master Intuitive Coach
    says

    I love these tips! Especially # 3) … with a NOT TO DO, YET list.

  2. Madea Rooks
    says

    Wow!!! this couldn’t have come at a better time for me! I do seem to fill my plate just a little too much… sometimes with shit I wont even really taste! And thanks for using real talk and everyday words! Not at all like reading yet another text book.