I was overwhelmed recently.
(Maybe you remember?)
Or, at least, I felt like I was. I had convinced myself that everything was important, everything must be done perfectly, and I wasn’t really doing anything well.
Does that sound familiar?
Of course, I had to “rewrite” that feeling for myself. I have worked hard these last few weeks to remind myself that I am capable of success. I am capable of doing great things. I am capable of doing a lot of things, and managing all of the wonderful things that I have manifested in my life.
But I’ve also learned something new; something just as valuable—and I’d like to share that with you today. When I saw an article on Forbes titled “How To Shift From Overwhelmed to ‘Practical Perfection’”, I was understandably intrigued.
In the article, contributor Kevin Kruse references Kelly Exeter’s new book, Practical Perfection; and, more specifically, her formula for overwhelm.
It’s really quite simple: Overwhelm = Passions + Productivity – Priorities.
One look at that equation and it’s easy to see how so many of us are quick to fall into the trap of overwhelm. You see, our mental self-talk is part of it. And I still believe it’s incredibly important to remain aware of our own mental conversations and self-sabotage.
But Kelly Exeter has provided another perspective:
We become overwhelmed when we’re doing all of the work we’re supposed to do (we’re being productive) and all of the work we want to do (we’re pursuing our passions), without giving any weight to our priorities.
And when I say “work”, I don’t just mean the reports you email to your boss or the services you provide to your clients. The work you’re supposed to do and the work you want to do could include showing up your kid’s soccer game, launching a new group program, or even having a quiet conversation with your partner.
And all of these are great things!
It’s certainly not bad to be both passionate and productive. The problem arises, as Kelly points out, when everything is a priority—when there’s no distinction between what is really deserving of your time and attention . . . and what isn’t.
So, how can you shift from that perspective into “practical perfection”? Well, Kevin offers some great tips in his article, and I’d like to share a few more:
- Shift Your Perspective
OK, we’ve talked about this before, but it’s important, so I’ll remind you: the first step to overcoming overwhelm is to rewrite your feelings.
If you’re doubting yourself, sabotaging yourself, talking down to yourself, I ask you (beg you) to flip the script. Shift from the perspective of lack (“I’ll never get it all done”, “I can’t be a good wife AND mom AND entrepreneur”, “There’s never enough time!”) to one of competence, boldness, and trust.
You WILL get it all done, especially when you know exactly what to prioritize.
- Identify Your Non-Negotiables
Not your boyfriend’s. Not your client’s. Not your mother’s.
What are the absolute non-negotiable activities in your life today, tomorrow, next month, next year, five years from now, and so on? Give yourself the space and time to think clearly about the things you actually want to be doing, manifesting, and pursuing in your life.
Too many of us are chasing down tasks and activities because we feel like we have to; we should. You don’t and you shouldn’t—unless, of course, it’s what YOU want to be doing.
Make sure you know the difference.
- Imagine Yourself Without It
A lot of things seem like a priority—until they never get done or they get taken off your plate or plans change . . . and the world doesn’t fall apart.
Test that idea. I hope you’ll really think it through. We feel overwhelmed when everything seems important, but inevitably, plans will change or something will fall off the list or you’ll forget to do something, and everything will be just fine. Even better, perhaps.
Consider that possibility before it happens. As you review your to-do list, ask yourself: Could I live without doing this? Could I take this off the list? What’s the worst that could happen?
I guarantee you—something’s gotta give and something will definitely go.
- Remember the Truth
Remember what I told you last time?
You were meant to shine.
You are (more than) enough.
And you and I are meant to do magnificent things.
THAT’S THE TRUTH.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we’re meant to do it all. The trick to overcoming overwhelm is to first truly believe everything I just said. Then, you must take action by identifying what is most worthy of YOU and your time and your attention and your energy.
What deserves your productivity and your passion? What deserves your shine?
Keep that in mind, and your true priorities will always stand out from the pack.
P.S. Looking for support turning your priorities into reality? My new coaching program Mindfulness, Money and Men sounds like just what you need.
Click here to set up a FREE, 20-minute convo with me—and together, we’ll discover how to make every area of your life practically perfect today!
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–Laura Frances Merin