GUEST BLOG: STOP BEING OVERWHELMED WITH EVERYTHING! BY JEFF SPIRES
I am Jeff Spires, an author, Confidence Coach and Motivational Strategist who has a deep-seated passion for helping people to create a new and inspiring identity for themselves. Using the latest research from the world of evidence-based Cognitive Therapy, Positive Psychology and Neuroscience, I am dedicated to helping each of my clients become the person that they know they are from within. I not only do one-to-one personal coaching, but am also an active online trainer, and speaker that runs group workshops to help the wider audience create a positive impact on their lives. Working with individuals, entrepreneurs, CEOs and celebrities, I know exactly how to get my clients on purpose, aligned with their values and motivated towards achieving their dreams.
If you have hopes, dreams, ambitions or desires for your life, then the feeling of overwhelm is something that you must learn to deal with. We all want to live a life of freedom as we want to be free from fear, worry and self-doubt. Also, free to be who we want to be and to spend it with the people that we choose. Yet for so many of us, overwhelm will kill our dreams as instead of doing the things that we know we should be doing in order to achieve the things that we want the most in life, we find ourselves doing the following: endlessly scrolling through social media posts, binging on nightly Netflix marathons, or even worse, relaxing in a bath daydreaming about all of the things we should be doing - instead of getting on with them!
But if you want to become a high achiever and turn your dreams into reality, then you first need to remove psychological resistance and take back control of your brain’s process. Overwhelm is the precursor to anxiety and anxiety is the precursor to panic attacks, meaning that overwhelm is rooted in fear. As soon as data is received by our brain and our brain interprets that data as something to be fearful of, our Fear Response System kicks in and takes control of our brain. Our reptilian brain, (the fear response system) is responsible for our base instincts. Its job is to help us survive by activating 1 of 3 strategies: Flight Fight or Freeze:
Flight: Adrenaline rushes to our legs and we want to get out of the fear-provoking situation as fast as we can.
Fight: Adrenaline rushes to our arm and we become hyper-focused so that we can fight our way out of the situation
Freeze: We shut down and minimize our appearance so that we can go unrecognized and hope the threat will simply pass us by.
When we are in Flight or Freeze mode, it means that fear is causing us to move away from the challenge. The only trouble with this is that most of the time, your Fear Response System (Just as everyone else) is set on high alert!
Have you ever been in a safe environment with friends and family, having a good time when all of a sudden someone starts having a conversation that makes you feel uneasy, uncomfortable or embarrassed? You know that you are safe, yet for some reason, your Fear Response System kicks in and you are left looking for excuses as to how you can remove yourself from the conversation. Your brain takes in all data and tries to make sense out of it. Unfortunately, your brain can be terrible at this job! As your brain’s primary function is to keep you safe, it is always on super high alert and as a result, a disproportionate amount of us struggle with Worry, Self-doubt, Overwhelm and Anxiety.
Smashing Through Your Goals!
So what can we do about this? If, as humans, we are prone to living a life of fear then what chance do we have of changing our lives for the better? As previously mentioned, overwhelm, anxiety and panic are all linked to fear:
> The Fear that you're not good enough
> The fear that you're not worthy of success
> The fear that you might fail, be judged or ridiculed for trying.
> Even the fear of success itself can be enough to throw you off track.
So basically if we want to overcome procrastination then we must learn how to fly under the radar of fear. After all, if you want to challenge yourself by taking on a MASSIVE overwhelming task that will move you closer to your dreams, then your reptilian brain will take control of your brain and before you know it, you're back on the couch eating chocolate and watching trash on TV. To do this, we need to adopt one of my favourite methodologies that will allow you to consistently move towards your goals WITHOUT triggering your fear response system.
I Give You Kaizen:
Kaizen is basically a methodology that focuses on breaking down your tasks into ridiculously simple steps so that you have no excuse but to act upon them. In doing so, over time you'll start to activate massive results! This methodology has been proven to work in Clinical Psychological studies, High-performance training, Corporate Environments and even with athletes. It’s simple, yet very powerful, for instance, if you're thinking of going to the gym for the first time, it can become quite overwhelming. You start to think about the exercises, getting out of breath, not being able to keep up with the other people in the gym, looking stupid or even embarrassing yourself.
Overwhelm comes from focusing on every single step. We turn lots of little steps (that are manageable on their own) into one massive task! Then before you know it, you've talked yourself out of going to the gym altogether. You keep on making the lame excuse of “I'll start tomorrow.” Kaizen works because it focuses only on the next smallest step. We put all of our focus and energy on achieving this one minimal step. Once we have completed that step, we can then focus on the next step, and then the next one.
We shift our focus from the enormous to the tiny details in this case:
> Take T-shirt off
> Put gym top on
> Take jeans off
> Put gym bottoms on
> Put gym trainers on
> Walk to the door
> Leave the house
> Walk to the gym
> Go to the gym and so on.
Even some of the above tasks can be too big for some people, so you might want to break it down even further. The smaller the task, the less likely you'll trigger your Fear Response System.
So, give this a go! It's so simple yet it has had the most profound effect on my productivity levels and the productivity of the people that I coach. As the famous saying goes: "How Do You Eat An Elephant?... One Bite At A Time"
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