If you are ever in a situation where you are experiencing overwhelm I want to offer that there are three simple P’s for why it is happening and how you can get out of it.
I simplified this into these three simple areas and they are : perfect, precious, plate. Let’s go through them:
Perfect: it has to be perfect.. OR, whatever the thing you are doing is very black and white, right or wrong, or done or impossible. When we think this way, tasks can feel even bigger, and therefore MORE overwhelming, so we are afraid to even start this big ‘must be perfect’ thing. The additional problem this creates that when emotions run high, intelligence runs low. So basically, the rational part of your brain can’t even see the opportunity for either taking a small step towards your task or goal, or where the gray area might be that will make it possible for you to complete. So when this happens, take a deep breath and focus on what the necessary outcome is, and what are other ways to get there. Evaluate if they meet your actual needs and wants. Focus on the results to filter out the perfectionist tendencies that might not serve you.
Precious: there are tasks that we do that we think no one else can do nearly as well. We hold them tight… we can be ‘too precious’ with these things. I felt this way in my baking business .. specifically about making pies. I love working with the dough, creating the perfect filling (sweet or savory) and then topping it perfectly so that it’s beautiful and delicious. And I’m fast. Like really fast. I believed no-one can do it like I can. And actually, that’s true. Still, no one works as quickly as I do, but pies made by my employees are just as gorgeous and just as tasty. I pay them for my personal time, which is incredibly valuable to me. When I want to make the pies for my business I can, but not being obligated because I’m being too precious with the task is priceless for creating spaciousness with my time. When this happens to you, understand that delegating things that you do really well might have a learning curve. Be patient with the hiring / delegating process, the training (it won’t go perfectly, that’s ok) and the results.. it will come and it takes a little practice for both you and the person to whom you are delegating.
Plate: I see you, putting too much on your plate. It can seem like we have a completely achievable task list one second, and in the blink of an eye , it’s way to much for one human to do! This is what can happen- you give yourself a list of things to do that you know would be easy to do in the, say, 2 hours allotted. But then a friend asks a favor, a kid stays home sick, and the spouse needs some help, and you readily add a few more things, because you know you have a bit more time to work with and it should be fine. You try to start and then realize you ran out of something and need to go the store, and then while you out you figure you may as well run the other 2 errands that you need to get done because they are close by. Now, you have a list 3 times longer and no time left. CRAP! This feels bad when it happens for sure. What to do? Hold fast to your boundaries, don’t be afraid to offer creative ways to complete your list. Give yourself less to do and hold the time to do it precious. Remind yourself that you actually have plenty of time for the important things, so evaluate which are the important (which aren’t always necessarily the most urgent for another) frequently and as things come up.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed, check yourself! Is is perfectionism or black and white thinking? Are you being too precious when you could benefit from help? Do all those things really need to be on your plate?
Let me help you! Overcoming your overwhelm to create a spacious a schedule and a sense of calm is one of the ways we can write your own recipe for life.
The fact is, when you manage your mind, you and your brain are capable of truly remarkable things. You have SUCH deep wisdom. I would love to help you with your very own business drama, mind drama, money drama, body drama and just plain life.. working with me as your coach will make ALL the difference.