The stock market crashing, losing a job or a good friend – can all be a significant events in our lives, significant change and they can all trigger a sense of overload or overwhelm.
Change is one constant we can all depend upon. We may not always know the time variable of change, but we can be certain of it. A potential outcome of change is a sense of overwhelm.
Overwhelm as I am using it here refers to a sense of emotional overload. We are experiencing so much change or information (e.g., grief, sadness, fear) that we feel overloaded or overwhelmed.
Experiencing a sense of overwhelm does not need to be a lasting feeling or much less than a fleeting feeling. There are things we can consciously choose that help us move through overwhelm. Here are five (5) suggestions for shifting out of overwhelm.
- Focus on the facts versus a story (making up one or buying into that of another).
- Stay in the moment, where we work best (versus getting worried about what might happen).
- Identify steps you can take (if any) to better the situation.
- Create a plan if there are several steps you can take
- Focus on the 2-3 highest priority action steps you can take and tackle those first.
Ted Mersino works with individuals and groups to develop the skills and abilities to create more of what they want in their life. Contact Ted today for a free consultation ted (at) pivotalgrowth.com or 541-515-4133.
Enjoy Achieving Goals by Releasing Attachment. When I first came across this idea I was in a bit of disbelief. In my mind, you set a goal and then you pull out all the stops to achieve it. It may cause pain, it may even cost you relationships – but if you are worth your salt you achieve your goals.
I would talk to my one time mentor about this pain I had in my chest. I felt run down, sad and depressed. I was achieving plenty in my life and, at the same time feeling empty. The analogy he gave me was that a bow needs to be unstrung periodically or it will loose it’s potency. It will have nothing left to give.
What I came to see is that I held goals as things “I had to achieve”. I had become so attached to them that they defined me, my happiness and sense of self. It was not a choice, but a must. I needed them, had to have them, should be achieving them or – I FAILED.
What I want you to get, you can have a goal and pursue it with all the same zest but without the possessiveness. Set your goals and let them go. Follow your intuition and do those things that you feel in the moment will move you the most in the direction of your goals (but without the stick that says I am so attached to achieving this goal I will need to flog myself if I don’t achieve it).
Allow their to be flow, the natural up and down movement forward of the waves in the ocean. If you find yourself stopped in the movement of your goal it might be time to move on to things that do inspire you.
Does this concept make sense to you? Have you held goals in a similar or different way? What is your story?
Ever have that thought, “they’re getting ahead of me”, “they did what I was thinking about doing”, “they are better at it than me”, “I’ll never be as good as them”…the list goes on. You may not say these things, but do you have some parallel thoughts of your own?
So someone is already doing what you thought about doing, great! They are doing it better than you judge you could do it, great! They are way ahead of where you are at – GREAT!
What I experience in my life is continually expanding opportunities. There are so many facets to parenting, to running a business, to growing roses, to making love – the list is endless. Some of those ideas might be an idea that changes how the world works, others may not or may not in a big bang way.
My point is – don’t spend a lot of time comparing. Do a little homework and then follow your intuition. The world is always expanding into new frontiers, from the pony express (days, weeks, months, years?) to electron mail that is in (milliseconds, seconds, minutes).
Move forward. Take the risk. Copy if you have to – but get out there and then really listen to your intuition so you can make course corrections if beneficial to you and the world.
So, what exciting things are you intending for 2012? What really sounds good to you versus what you “should” or “have to” do? I know, you may have things you don’t want to stop doing because of the impact on your life style. But what about the incremental steps you can start taking today to move you in the direction of what you really want to do and experience in your life? Dig down and dream, feel the excitement that comes with putting your ass on the line. Dream big and then take it step by step.
Go for it!
Last week my 2 daughters were in a play at school called Nanny Claus. Our older daughter got the lead role and our younger daughter got a total of 9 words to say. Our younger started with 3 and she was proud when she was able to get more.
In addition to the entertainment, or maybe because of this it was entertaining, I saw something in how both of my daughters participated in the play. They both had presence. Not only were they there on stage, but they showed up. You could see a playful intention and commitment in the participation.
I can see this being the case with our older daughter who had the lead role, but it would have been easy enough for our younger daughter with the 9 words to check out. She could have dismissed her contribution because of the number of words she was able to say. And yet she did not, she was engaged just as much as her older sister – and I could see how that impacted the play. She was on and she had enthusiasm to do her best and it was obvious. She added to the energy, joy and entertainment of the play.
I write about this because we all have a chance to show up. Regardless of our part in the play of life – we can all add to the energy, joy and entertainment of each others lives.
Stand. Step forward. Show up – fully. Let others see you. Let you see you.
What can you do today or tomorrow to show up? Make it simple and easy. And then do it again.
When we continue to hold onto the thought "I don't want", we are investing energy in what we don't want. In affect, we are increasing the likelihood that we will create what we don't want (by focusing our energy there versus focusing our energy on what we do want).
We have a choice to either focus on what we do want or what we don't want, knowing that our focus will move us in the direction of our thinking. If you continue to focus on what you don't want you are choosing to want what you say you don't want.
Below is an exercise to help you become more aware of what you are creating that you say you don't want.
1) Start by listing ten (10) things that you think you don't want (i.e., don't want to do, don't want to experience or don't want to happen). For example, I don't want to miss the date for getting my newsletter article written.
2) Now rewrite your don't wants statements replacing "don't want" with "want". For example, I want to miss the date for getting my newsletter article written. In this way you are taking ownership for the existence of these "don't wants" which are creating more of what you don't want in your life.
3) As you rewrite each statement bring your awareness to what you are feeling in your body. Typically when I fully take ownership of these don't wants in this way I feel them in my chest, a heaviness or sense of self criticalness. After I fully own what I am creating and feel the impact of the associated feelings the need to hold onto my "don't want" thinking and feelings subside.
As I go through these steps, taking ownership for keeping these don't wants in my life, I have found I am much less likely to notice myself thinking in terms of what I don't want. And when I do I can stop and take ownership of how I am creating what I don't want. At that point I can shift to focusing on what I do want – creating more of what I want in my life!
What might this list of thoughts have in common? I don't want to look foolish. I don't want to fail. I don't want to miss the deadline. I don't want to lose money. I don't want to lose my client. I don't want to stay stuck in this job. I don't want to have my kids talk back to me. I don't want my kids to fail. I don't want to hear my neighbors lawn mower. Etcetera.
When a thought is reoccurring we have an investment in it. These thoughts continue to occur because we continue to focus our energy on them. If we had no attachment to them they would cease to come to mind. In reality we are choosing these thoughts by continuing to focus on them. Given we are choosing to invest energy in them one could argue we want these thoughts in our life.
When we focus our energy on what we don't want we are missing opportunities to focus on what we do want. Yes, we want to make room to acknowledge what we don't want. Once we acknowledge what we don't want we have a choice. Do I continue to focus on what I don't want or do I focus my energy on what I do want.
What if there is a correlation between what we get in life and the energy we invest in thoughts of what we want and what we don't want? What could you be focusing your energy right now?
When a "I don't want" thought persist take time to see if there is a feeling below the thought that you could explore. There is a process of exploring and releasing the feelings that anchor these thoughts. I have frequent webinars and teleclasses that cover these issues. Check my up and coming Events page.
We make a plan based on our vision, our high level approach, milestones and time estimates. And then we begin to execute against our plan. Some of us will move ahead taking action and some of us will avoid taking action. Why might some avoid taking action?
When we take action (or don't) we get results. For some, those results can be perceived as failure by using mistakes, missed dates, unwanted outcomes, rejection, lack of support, cost over-runs, etc. as evidence (of our failure).
Perceiving results in this way can be painful, diminish our energy, lower our confidence and even be used as an indicator of our value as an individuals. What is the outcome? We avoid taking some or all of the actions we can to realize our vision.
How might we view the results of our actions and our plans that will allow us to move forward unencumbered by the fear of failure?
By viewing our results as information. Information that does not define success or failure, but information that we can use to determine how we move forward. I can be disappointed or excited, but it is not a reflection on me as an individual. I get information, I decide how I want to move forward.
I can sell them on my ideas but am I all talk with no substance. I think too highly of my capabilities so it is bound to fall apart. Ouch. Not a real pick-me-up dialog with one's self in the morning. And yet this type of self talk can be so old, subtle and unconscious we do not even realize we are saying it to ourselves.
Do you know what is so intriguing to me about this self talk? We have chosen it and we continue to choose to keep it going. How?
Our negative self talk comes from our beliefs. If you did not believe what you tell yourself why would you continue to repeat it?
So how do we change our beliefs? First, by owning that it is our belief – no matter how we came to develop the belief, it is ours. No one can force us to create or keep a belief.
And second, by challenging the validity of our beliefs. If your beliefs are punishing you, don't you owe it to yourself to challenge the validity of them?
Who does not want more success – in relationships, business, income or in a more “balanced” in life. We set goals, intentions, make commitments and start in the direction of our goals.
And then the city calls to tell you your new commercial property needs a runoff pond which you did not budget for, the money you had planned on for the project is not there or your sister calls to tell you your mother is in the hospital.
Situations like these happen in life. We set an intention and things come up. Life is a creative flow rather than a linear formula.
The big question is how will we respond.
I was reminded this past week by Julie Colwell about the impact of our thoughts on our energy, our openness, our view of ourselves and ultimately our ability to succeed in achieving our goals.
I am the most creative, see the most opportunities and possibilities when I am seeing the best in others and myself. It is one of the fastest ways I know to shift into a frame of mind that brings me success. When I open my mind to what is possible my energy goes up. When I start down the path of critical thinking everything begins to slow down and my vision narrows.
When you find yourself stuck or making slow progress toward your goals, stop and check out your thinking habits and if need be, shift your frame of mind from critical to possibility.