The question came in today how can I make changes in my life when I feel so overwhelmed? How can I get unstuck? When I feel so down? When I don’t have a clue where to begin? I mean, I want to make the changes, yet week after week I find myself in the same place. What can I do? How can I get unstuck?
This is an excellent question. And quite honestly there are many people who are stuck and overwhelmed and ask, “How can I change?” Now, the first thing to look at is the feeling of being overwhelmed. We live in a society where MANY people are overwhelmed. Stress is at an all-time high level.
Beware the barrenness of a busy life
There are many people who think that being busy means being productive. That it means being successful. I hardly think so.
Sometimes it’s more like striving, striving, striving to get a “happy” feeling, but that happy feeling never comes because happiness is an inward thing people. You don’t get it by doing a whole lotta stuff!
Do I think that we need to be doing something? Absolutely. I am a firm believer that we should have active goals and active action plans to go after those goals. I believe the daily responsibilities of being a parent, student, partner, employee…all do take some time and effort.
We ought to be “doing”, but in balance, and SMART doing. Not “overly” doing.
Step 1 Get alone with your “self”
If you’re wondering, “How can I get unstuck?”, the first thing I want you to do regarding this feeling of being overwhelmed is to go to a quiet place with a notebook/journal and a pen. Not your phone and not a computer. Go the old-fashioned route. Show up at your local coffee shop with your darling notebook or journal and watch how people gawk at you!
Now, I want you to grab your favorite coffee drink and open to a blank page. Write this at the top:
Yes, you’re going to make a list of things that you absolutely do not have to do each day. The things that you do not have to do each week or month.
What are you doing that is a time-waster that you really don’t need to do?
Be completely honest with yourself. Resist the urge to think about what others think, including your partner or spouse. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are things in your life that you’re doing that you do not have to do or you are not taking time for yourself. You may neglect stress-reduction time. Taking deep breaths and relaxing. Letting go. If you are caretaking or people-pleasing all over the place and not spending quality time with yourself then you’re likely to feel overwhelmed.
I know for me when I made one of my Not-To-Do lists, scrolling Facebook was on that list. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the occasional scroll to see what’s up, but I really wish people would cut back on their Facebook time. Most people are checking Facebook multiple times each day and even if their intention is only to stay there for a few seconds, often times 10 or 20 minutes will go by and all they’ve done is scroll and look at pictures and words. Add that up 4 times a day and there’s a whole lot of time that you could have been doing something productive, investing in yourself, your relationship, working, or doing all those things you say you would do IF YOU HAD MORE TIME.
Now, get to making the “cut-it-out” list.
- What areas do you want to work on?
Turn the page of your notebook and decide on one area of your life that you want to work on. For example, mine would be my relationship. I’ve had some triggers recently in my relationship and instead of projecting, I’m taking time to work on my stuff. How can I get unstuck? Be honest with myself and make an investment in my relationship with myself and with my partner. So, on this page of your notebook or journal, write down what’s going on in that area right now.
Be completely honest about how you feel. If you feel like crap or if you’re angry or scared, write it down. Then write down the things you’re doing to contribute to that. If you’re afraid you can’t make rent next month and you feel like crap about that, write down what you’re doing to contribute to your financial lack. Or rather, what you’re not doing to contribute to your financial lack. Are you being lazy? Are you settling? Are you giving it your best shot? Be honest here.
If your relationship is not where you want it to be and you’re sad or mad about it, what are you doing to contribute to that? What are you not doing to contribute to that?
What areas do you want or need to work on?
How can I get unstuck?
- Create a solid plan
Now turn the page and create an action plan as to how you can take that part of your life to a new and better level. I want you to write what you want and be specific. If you want your relationship to be magical and deeply intimate, write it down and create an action plan as to how you’ll go forth doing your part to achieve that. Don’t point fingers and leave it all to your spouse or partner. You take action and do your part and watch what will happen.
If you want to make more money, what are you going to do? What are some concrete steps that you can take to increase your finances and or decrease your expenses? Do you have a budget? Is it in written form? Do you track your expenses? Are you being irresponsible? Write down all that you can do to change it up! Be honest and deliberate here.
- Write a new story
Now, I want you to turn the page and write a present tense story about how you want your life to be right now. What would your life look like if you weren’t stuck ? If you weren’t overwhelmed? What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Be as specific as possible and write it like it’s happening right now.
Write down what time you’re getting up each day, what kind of breakfast you’re eating, what kind of exercise regimen you are doing. What job are you going to? What kind of paycheck are you getting? How magical is the bedroom intimacy? How much laughing are you doing? How do you feel? What friends are you hanging out with? How are you adding value to people?
Listen, happiness and success don’t just fall into your lap. When you’re asking, “How can I get unstuck?” and overwhelmed, there are past thoughts, beliefs, and actions that have landed you right in that spot. If you’re going through life unconsciously and not giving much thought to what’s going on under the surface, you’re more apt to get stuck, sad, anxious, and more.
- Repeat this as necessary
This isn’t just a once and you’re done thing. You may have to do this regularly throughout your life. Pay attention. Invest in yourself by taking time regularly to sit down and get real and raw with yourself and your life. If you find you cannot do this on your own, please consider getting yourself a life coach or some sort of mentor. Accountability can go a long way and often, when you are willing to invest money into something, you’re more apt to follow through.
This is especially helpful for those of you who find yourself year after year in the same scenario, wanting to change but not really ever changing. Granted, change takes time and it’s baby step by baby step.
Can you do it on your own? Absolutely, but sometimes it does require a little help. So, don’t be afraid to throw down a few dollars to make some pretty significant changes in your life that will affect the rest of your life.
I’ve been stuck and overwhelmed before, but I’ve learned some valuable principles when it comes to doing something different in order to get different results. I want this for you too. Know that I am rooting for you to have the kind of life that you want, free from suffering and full of peace, joy, and magical times.
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”
– Jim Rohn