Archive for overwhelm

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all that’s coming at you, all there is to do?

overwhelmed

I know I do. As someone with the inborn trait of High Sensitivity (or Sensory Processing Sensitivity, its technical term), I take in a lot more information than non-HSPs, and process it more deeply. Understanding this has hugely helped me to understand what’s going on, but I still have to deal with it all.

On top of that, there’s this tendency to “overthink” things. One of my gifts is that I can often see down the road to just how something will play out, for me or others. I’m usually right. However, I’m finding that you still have to walk through all the steps to get there. (I just want to leap frog to the end that I can see so clearly.)

So what do you do when you have to make decisions and move ahead, when there’s so much to sort through and it’s difficult even to know what’s most important to do so you can set priorities?

Remember that famous quote by Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind?  (“I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.”) That’s what we feel like doing, isn’t it?  There are times when we do have to just take a break, but you know the “mañana” attitude doesn’t get you very far in life.

Here’s what I’ve found helpful.

Step 1: Pray. I pray for wisdom, knowing that God desires to give it and to guide me.

Prayer also reminds me that it’s not all up to me, that there’s a lot I can’t control, and that a loving God desires to help me.

One of my favorite verses is, “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you’” (Isaiah 41:13). Such tenderness and kindness in that Word!

Here’s another one of my favorite promises: “The LORD himself goes before you, and is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be discouraged; do not be afraid” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

And finally, this: Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him, in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Reminding myself of these promises from God’s Word helps me to trust that he will guide and help me as I step out in faith.

mind map of tasksStep 2: List out all the things that I’m dealing with, all the decisions to be made. This is how I mind map. I do this on paper usually, to get things out of my head, where it can feel overwhelming. Seeing it all written out helps me look at everything more objectively.

Step 3: Triage the decisions. When I’m facing a lot of decisions and not sure what to do, I look at the probable outcomes of acting now, acting later, or not acting at all. The decisions that have the worst outcomes if I don’t act now get priority. The trick here is to make sure you take into account the not-so-obvious, and/or longer-term consequences.

Conversely, you can ask the famous One Thing question: What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

Between looking at the worst outcomes and the one thing that will yield the best results, it should become easier to prioritize. But there are other factors to consider.

Step 4: Clarify what I do and don’t want. I have a tool for this that I use with some of my clients, which helps tremendously to clarify my real desires and fears. It’s important to take these into account as well, because fears can block you and desires can fuel you into getting what you want.

Step 5: Tune in to my Heart and intuition. Having gathered all this information, I then pray again and tune into my Heart/Spirit. I know there are factors of which my spirit or subconscious may be aware, that my mind is not. I have learned to trust that vehicle of transmission from Spirit to mind, my intuition. I wait to things to “jell” into a Clear Next Step.

Once I get that Clear Next Step, I then have peace. All I need to focus on is my own Clear Next Step. Everything else is up to God and perhaps other people to do their parts.

Another important thing: I don’t proceed until I get that Next Clear Step. I continue to pray, and wait. I only act when I have a Clear Next Step.

step by stepThis is a process, a continual  process.

Often when I take one Clear Next Step, the next clear step presents itself. If it doesn’t, I wait and pray, or go through the above process again.

Try this with any decisions or tasks that tend to overwhelm you, and let me know what happens.

And if you would like help with this or any other “heart issue,” check out my coaching at https://HealingCodesCoaching.com.

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