The Secret of (not) being Overwhelmed

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flickr photo courtesy puck90

Do you feel overwhelmed with your life of business? All of the things you need to accomplish? The meetings, presentations, emails, and reports? Are you putting off writing that presentation because you just don’t know where to start?

I often felt overwhelmed with the life of business until my business coach started me on a journey of understanding exactly what overwhelm is all about.

Last year I joined a group of entrepreneurs who wanted to work ‘bootcamp style’ on individual projects for their business. The facilitators were business coaches that set up the structure, accountability, and support for the members to succeed.

One of the first challenges we faced was how to deal with the feeling of overwhelm. We all felt it. It’s one of the things that brought us to the group in the first place.

With one statement, the facilitator started me on a path that would change the way I work and thus my business success.

“Overwhelm is not a result of having too much to do, it’s a result of not knowing what to do next.”

I heard the words and they made sense. So I used my super human planning skills to plan my projects, my weeks, and my days.

That solved a bit of my problem but I still felt overwhelmed as I looked at my project plan and the amount of work that needed to be done.

What I didn’t realize, the next level of understanding had to come from inside my head. I had to change my perspective of the work.

It wasn’t until I took on a client that needed me to be immersed in their project 100% that I realized what my coach was talking about.

During the week of immersion, I had to make some very difficult decisions. I had to look at my list of things to do and decide to NOT do some things. I had to question the importance I had placed on each of these tasks and some projects that had been going on for some time.

The result: very clear priorities.

Prior to this I thought everything was important and I only used the due dates as the priority. Finally I was able to make the mental shift to truly see what was important – to my client and to my business – and the rest became painfully clear that it was less urgent.

This is similar to what happens when I work with clients to help them clarify their messages in their presentations and conversations. There is the intellectual knowing of a clear, meaningful and precise message, but until you work through the presentationYOU approach you don’t actually experience the feeling behind the words.

There is knowing, and there is knowing from experience.

From this experience, I know how to address overwhelm when it appears again. Anyone that doesn’t appreciate coaching for business is missing out on a great deal of growth for themselves as leaders and for their business.

If you want to make that leap from knowing to knowing through experience – let’s work together and get your brilliance out of your head and into the world.