Are you the master or slave of time? Do you feel like you’re destined to remaining an eternal prisoner of too much to do and not enough time to get it done? Can you imagine making overwhelm your best friend? For a “twist of the sublime,” read on! This article builds on my recent blog “Growth Through Struggle,” and provides a way out for those who feel like they’re held hostage by the evil fiend of “never enough.”
Embracing overwhelm – your internal smoke detector – put out that fire!
- Ugh! Overwhelm can bring up painful feelings that we want to ignore but we can re-frame those feelings.
Would you be mad at your smoke detector if it saved you from a fire? Of course not; overwhelm is the same. It’s a very effective warning system, a rude awakening letting you know that somewhere deep inside, something needs to change. So rather than resist it, resolve it. Let overwhelm do its job as a powerful “stress detector” by identifying the limiting beliefs, that left unchecked, will most definitely hamper your success. How? Take a moment to pause and acknowledge what’s really going on; a limiting belief will surface… ask it “what better feeling thought do you need in this moment?” That better feeling thought harnesses your emotional intelligence, realigns you with the integrity of your vision and reveals an immediate solution you would not have seen otherwise… follow it. If overwhelm persists, stop everything and take a 15 minute coffee break to relax – regroup and repeat the process.
- Use overwhelm to make better choices.
Seen as your friend overwhelm can be your best ally; make it your enemy however, and it’s guaranteed that you’ll fall into the sticky pitfalls of paralysis and procrastination.
- A “positive overwhelm mindset” will feed your soul rather than drain it dry.
Just as electricity exists with both a positive and negative charge; look at overwhelm the same the same way… it’s only negative is when it’s not being used positively. Keep choosing to find the seed of equal or greater benefit because struggle makes you stronger!
- Overwhelm reveals habits that need to change.
Is there too much to do and not enough time to do it? Course correct in the moment with those better feeling thoughts for immediate priorities and commit to taking time out as soon as possible to rethink your long term goals and strategies.
- Left unaddressed, overwhelm leads to chronic emotional, physical and psychological pain.
Overwhelm is an early warning system designed to help, not hurt and its sole purpose is to alert you to what matters most – the bigger picture of your life unfolding with the potential for enthusiasm, inspiration and faith to manage all uncertainty, adversity or struggle. Overwhelm is the amber light warning you to replace old habits with healthier ones. Raymond Charles Barker in his book The Power of Decision said this beautifully:
“Never judge yourself by what you have done. Judge yourself in terms of what you will do. You are not the past. You are the present becoming the future. You are a potential of Mind and this Mind knows only the now. It never sits in judgment on anyone, keeps no records and knows only the good of you.”
Embracing overwhelm to resolve the time struggle
- Overwhelm usually reveals a messed up relationship with time.
Gay Hendricks’ book The Big Leap stresses that a major cause of discontent and angst is in how we view time. He says “Quit thinking time is “out there.” Take ownership of time – acknowledge that you are where it comes from – and it will stop owning you. Claim time as yours and it will release its claim on you.” That’s a huge concept to wrap your mind around… “YOU” are where time comes from!
- If YOU are where time comes from, then what do you want to do with it?
When we take ownership of time, we must also lay claim to what we most want. What is your soul’s deepest desire? Robert Fritz in The Path of Least Resistance cautions us, “if you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable…you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all you have left is a compromise…the human spirit will not invest itself in a compromise.” Wow! Seen from this viewpoint, overwhelm really is your friend, alerting you to internal compromise that is inhibiting your success.
- When you lay claim to what you most want, you trust in the Universe’s ability to bring it to life.
Time and desire take on a whole new meaning…if you didn’t before, in the immortal words of Napoleon Hill, you begin to “cherish your vision and your dreams, for they are the children of your soul, the blueprint of your ultimate achievement”. Synchronicity begins to play a bigger role in productivity and trust in the abundance of life keeps you focused on what you most want and off what you don’t want.
- Your call to action – experiment! Try this out… print this blog and review it daily for a week and see what happens.
Does self discipline become exciting rather than onerous – do you gain clarity, become more open to change and committed to being your best? Are you willing to set aside time to plan, to begin with the end in mind, to set priorities by switching the creative, imaginative part of your brain to the side that’s practical and realistic and vice versa? Begin to eliminate low priority items. Identify your short and long term goals to resolve any “goal-conflict” and chunk projects down to doable tasks. Get coaching if you realize you’re spinning.
- Freedom without structure is chaos so get good at your time management structure!
Many of us resist structure, fearing it will limit our freedom and creative expression. But the opposite is actually true. Without good time management skills, all the optimism and positive thinking in the world won’t help us achieve the sustainable results we’re looking for. The secret as Gay Hendrick’s stressed, is to claim time as yours… to align with it as your faithful servant, not your heartless enemy. The result? Not only do you become good at time management, but your greatest enemy has become your greatest friend – overwhelm is here to help, not harm – how’s that for a “twist of the sublime?!” For extra bonus points…. use the visual below as a “juicy” way of remembering your claim to time… imagine a lemon slice, now pop it into your mouth and chew it… what happens? Notice how your saliva glands begin to work immediately even though you’re working with pure imagination?! That’s the power of our thoughts… now “choose” how you want to experience the next 24 hours… make it juicy! Create your day with deliberate intent, experiencing in advance what you truly want… remember, the human spirit will not invest in compromise!
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about working with Cheryl as a speaker on personal effectiveness, intuitive consults or coaching, contact her at 604.781.4022 or email email@example.com.
Fantastic article Cheryl! I had never thought about making overwhelm my friend instead of my enemy. It truly is an indicator that something isn’t quite right. Plus, love that time comes from me and I can control it exactly how I wish! Thank you for your brilliant insights!
Hello Penny, thanks so much…. it was an incredible experience to write this blog as it integrated so much learning… powerful tools that work, tested through time and experience. So glad you found value.