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5 hacks for overcoming your overwhelm

If you pop by my website often or have attended one of our Reinvented Today events, you would have figured out that I’m very passionate about helping individuals and entrepreneurs figure out what their “next” is, through helping them reinvent the methods by which they go at life, relationships and/or business. Meeting with one of my brand strategists the other day, he asked me what direction I wanted to take my business and coaching programmes. The usual questions came up:

“Who are you speaking to?”

"What exactly do you want to achieve?”

“How do you envision yourself getting there?

“Why, why is doing this so important to you?”

In that moment I realised that I needed to employ the same pieces of advice to myself as I do with my clients and mentees, especially when they are trying to figure out what they should focus on next while navigating a very noisy world and an all-round high-octane life.

Whether you are changing jobs, starting a new business, moving to a new city, establishing new relationships or working towards cutting costs so you can have a better handle on your finances, or in my case, figuring out what next to roll out with my brands – the transition phase can be quite taxing and downright exhausting.

Overcome the overwhelm Friend! The cluttered thinking, the questionable temperament, the rollercoaster of emotions that may make their entry – trust and believe it’s all part of the process. Managing your transitions successfully often requires grit and a daily dose of faith and action. If you find yourself toiling through your season of transitioning into your “next”, appreciating that there are some elements of the process that you simply won’t get around as easily as buying a loaf of bread will help you keep it together as you experience your cross-over. With this being said, check out my top 5 tips of managing oneself as you work through seasons of transition:

1. Feeling overwhelmed is normal, but don’t stay there. You aren’t a machine. You are a whole human with emotions, a host of thoughts and bucket loads of “feels.” You aren’t crazy when you start to feel overwhelmed however, the real test lies in what you do to channel any anxiety you may carry into something positive.

I turn to praying on the daily, but during the more hectic times, I’m intentional about what I allow through my eye and ear gates so as to stop the anxiety from taking a comfortable seat in my life. Whatever you must do, while you acknowledge the feeling of being overwhelmed, overcome it by making sure you consciously work towards neutralizing the stressors by doing something that you find cathartic. Praying, meditating, listening to some motivational podcasts, chilling in a neighbourhood coffee shop – whatever your fix, make time to squeeze that in.

2. Transitions build adaptive capacity. Change is constant. If you aren’t adapting to some kind of change, you may very well be dying a slow death. The more change you endure, the tougher your adaptive muscle becomes. I work in a pressure-filled environment that requires managing a lot of stakeholders, all of which want different things oftentimes all at once. Experience has taught me to roll with the punches, manage expectations and do my best to keep calm through seasons of testing. Everything always works out and so there’s no sense in allowing my blood pressure to rise when things go haywire (easier said than done I know – and I’m guilty for getting a little riled up from time to time). Know this though, with each item you remove from your checklist, you have likely learned a more efficient way of getting it done for the next time. Find the lessons in your transitional seasons of life and use them as foundational blocks for your “next”.

3. Know that the pressure shall pass. The pressure, the pressure. It won’t last long. How many of us know that the planning and pre-launch phase of any project is always the most pressure-filled. Life’s switches can be equally tension-ridden if you don’t accept them for what they are – seasons of working through some changes. As days pass on and you master the tricks required to streamline processes, better manage people and expectations, you become more efficient, dull moments become less dramatic and pressure points fade away. Whatever the hectic state of your days is, know that stresses will end. Take every day at a time and end each day content with the fact that you have done your best.

4. Learn your lesson. An integral component of developing capacity to achieve goals – yes, you guessed right! – learning the lessons. In your transitional phase, you will endure a varied mix of emotions, and you may very well question your abilities, knowledge and skill-set. Folks may act a certain kind of way as they adjust to you as you work towards as your new reality – and that’s okay too! Whether things are smooth-sailing or fraught with the drama, find the lessons to be learned. Stage-by-stage analysis will help you manage relationships, comprehend human behaviour, plan for future projects better, identifying your strengths and detect your areas of weakness along the way.

5. Communicate. I’m not a fan of operating in silos especially when I’m going through some things. It’s true, the enemy does his best work when he’s got you isolated! – never forget that! Personally, I’m super relational and so draw a lot of strength from a strong network of hardworking, focused people who happily sow seeds of reasoning in my life. It’s important that you too have varied groups of people you can trust in your moments of weakness or downright fluster as you work through the changes. You matter and need sounding boards. It’s also important that you understand that individuals in your life are all wired differently and will therefore respond to what you are going through differently. Communicate. Folk can’t work with you or extend grace where needed if they don’t know what you are up against. Manage expectations by communicating your position.

I can share a boat-load for other pointers I’ve discovered on along my journey. Relocating to four countries in the past 15 years, getting married, becoming a mother, making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and cutting my losses with some, starting businesses, navigating the professional landscape and a host of other transitional seasons as taught me many a thing about “overcoming the overwhelm”. I would be amiss to not end my list of top 5’s by mentioning that it’s important you keep going at it. Practice every day reinvention by pressing on with whatever lies before you until you are satisfied. Punctuate the tension with some fun, lighthearted moments with loved ones and very important - always take time to regroup and reclaim your energy!

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