How to stop feeling so overwhelmed

Very rarely do I wake up in the morning when my alarm goes off feeling refreshed and well rested. Immediately my brain kicks into gear and starts telling me to hurry, get up, get the kids ready, get to work, there’s so much to get done.

I’ve noticed that I’m always telling myself there’s so much to do and I’m hurrying through things to get it all done. I think that if I can find a way to get my house chores done faster, then I can go to bed sooner. Or if I can blow through my unread emails quickly, then I can move onto my next project.

I think this is one of my hidden powers. I can do the dishes faster than anyone I know. I can skim a long email like a champ.

Then Monday night happened.  I crawled into bed around 1:00am exhausted from a long day. Around 2:00am, one of my kids woke up because she was not tired. After trying to rationalize with the “not tired” 4 year old, she finally went back to sleep around 3:00am. 3:30am rolls around and she is up again and this time everyone is up. We try getting everyone back to bed and around 4:30am, but realize it’s not going to happen and give in. I turn on the TV for the kids and get in the shower to start my day.

Taking the day off to sleep was not an option so I just decided to cut myself some slack. I was not going to pressure myself to get through everything. I just told myself to do your best and something was better than nothing.

You guys. The craziest thing happened.

I got SO much more done than I usually do.

I was not constantly thinking about my to do list, or the next things, or how I needed to hurry up and get it done. I just got to work and was so much more effective at it.

One of my coaches uses the phrase I love to “run the mile you are in.” I love this and constantly tell myself it all the time, but this belief that I have so much to do has been winning out lately.

The next night I caught up on sleep and found myself slipping right back into the slightly panicked frenzy of plowing through the day. I’m practicing cutting myself some slack and just focusing on the one next task at hand.

There will always be more to do, but the way to do more is not by focusing on the amount to be done. It’s by doing what amounts to something.

If you are tired of feeling overwhelmed about everything you need to do, I can help you feel more on top of things. Grab some time on my calendar and let’s connect. 

You got this,

LB

How to confidently respond when your work is being scrutinized

If you had the option to reach a goal all by yourself or with the help of an entire team, which would you choose and why?

Most people would choose the team because more people equals more ideas, more help, and more skills that can help you get there faster.

So why is it that when it comes to people giving feedback or asking questions about your projects, you tend to get defensive? 

I was watching Shark Tank the other night and the person presenting and asking for money was so defensive I had to turn it off. It was painful watching him repel investors and seeing him refuse to listen validated their concerns.

When someone starts digging into your analysis or asking questions around why you chose a certain path forward, how are you responding?

You know the “right” way to respond and try to respectfully listen and respond to questions. The problem is, deep down, you are probably also defensive about why you are right.

You know how to respectfully disagree or justify your work, but when it’s coming from a place of defensiveness, it always shows through.  Even in small and subtle ways.

Getting defense about feedback can sounds like:

  • Yes, but…
  • But you have to keep in mind that….
  • I don’t think you understand…
  • Then why did we…

Brene Brown says defense is the first act of war.

I think defense is a sign of immaturity. If you are  truly confident you don’t believe you are always right or know the best way. You would encourage and seek out feedback.

A mature leader does not get defensive when people ask questions, they get curious. They try to genuinely understand where the other person is coming from and truly listen and consider what they are saying. They also don’t make it mean anything about themselves. They honestly try to find why the other person might be right.

Learning how to do this requires skill and practice. Humans are amazing at reading each other so while you know the right way to respond, we are also picking up on your defensive vibe.

The next time you feel yourself getting defense, just acknowledge it and instead of trying to prove yourself right, let your brain go to work trying to prove the other person right. Ask questions to better understand their point of view.

You might actually be right in the end, but a confident and mature leader is always willing to be wrong. 

If you find yourself constantly defending yourself and want to start responding in a more confident and helpful way, I can help. Let’s jump on the phone and talk more about it. Grab time on my calendar.

Have you ever cried in front of your manager?

Have you ever experienced something like this?

Manager: How are things going?

Me: Well, I’ve been better….and then the tears started.

Often people run a bit ragged trying to cover for multiple open positions, do the job you were hired to do, manage a team, and hire multiple people. You hate having to say no when someone asks for something, but sometime you just hit your breaking point.

You give so much for so many weeks, but feel like you can’t get ahead. Each day you just continue to get further and further behind.

When you feel the frustration finally surfacing, you probably don’t love when it happens in front of your manager, but sometime you need to let it happen.

Once you are willing to just give in and feel all the overwhelm, it comes and goes in a matter of minutes.

You’ll feel better if you let it happen. You’ll still have a long to-do list, but you won’t feel as overwhelmed anymore. Learning to let your emotions come and being willing to experience them is how to start feeling better. Turing into them and not pushing the stress and anxiety further down make it less intense.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and at your breaking point, just let it happen. Feel it. Don’t try to tell yourself it’s going to be okay. Just be not okay for a few minutes.

It’s okay, to not be okay.

This is what makes us human. Living a full spectrum of emotions is so much easier than trying to live on one side of that spectrum.

You got this.

If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed and nothing is helping, let’s jump on the phone and figure out what’s going on. Grab time on my calendar and let’s chat.

The secret to letting people judge you

One of the key elements to being confident is learning to let other people judge you because no matter what, they will.

What other people think about you is none of your business.

Some of my clients push back on this because they think it sounds aloof and arrogant, but that’s not what I’m saying.

It’s kind of like going paintballing. If you get hit in the leg it hurts. You will probably get a bruise and if you get hit enough times, you might need to sit out for a bit. But if you get hit in the chest where you have protective gear on, you notice the impact and feel it, but keep going. You make sure you aren’t hurt and go back to playing the game.

It is the same with people’s judgements of you. If you are not confident and lack the gear to have your own back, it’s going to hurt. What they think about you is going to impact you. You are going to take it all in and use it as evidence to believe your already crappy thoughts about yourself. If the judgment gets back enough, you might even bow out and stop trying.

But if you are confident and know how to trust yourself, they are still going to judge you. You’ll notice it, but it won’t leave a lasting bruise and stop you from moving forward. You get to decide if you want to take that judgement and learn something from it or leave it by the wayside because it’s not true. When you know how to trust yourself, you are all in the game, but fully prepared to keep moving forward no matter what others think.

What would you have done differently today if you were truly confident? What would you have said no to? What would you have said yes to? What would be different if you really knew how to trust yourself?

Learning how to let people judge you is one of the most liberating skills you can learn. If you want help figuring out how to do this with your specific situation, grab time on my calendar and let’s figure it out.

You got this.

What happens when things aren’t fair

This past week I was working with a client who was frustrated because their promotion was being held up until the product launches.  They’re not able to control when it launches and were so angry. It’s so not fair. 

Another client joined a team to work with certain leaders and literally 4 weeks after joining, their team was reorged and all the leadership left. It felt like they made a bad choice and were getting screwed over. It was not fair. 

One of my other clients told me about a manager that kept canceling and no showing their 1:1’s and then started giving them negative feedback about not prioritizing 1:1’s with them. How is it fair to expect an employee to chase down a manager that keeps canceling and no showing on meetings?

There’s a lot of things that go down that aren’t fair.

But you can’t control what other people say or do. You can’t force your promotion through or stop teams from reorging or make people show up to meetings. It’s rude, frustrating, and not fair, but it’s how it goes. 

So now what?

Now you get to decide what you want to do about it.

This is when you get to advocate for yourself and wait it out or decide to move on and find something else. There’s no right or wrong answer, but the key is to fully own your decision.

Don’t change jobs out of spite or tell yourself you had no other choice. But also don’t tell yourself you were stuck and have no other options. You always have a choice.

You might not love it, but you get to choose. You choose to come to work every day. You choose to work while you are there. You choose to deliver on your projects. You choose to have integrity in your work. No one is making you do anything so you have to stop telling yourself you have no other choice.

Stay and know you are choosing to stay because you are worth it. Or leave and know you are choosing to leave because you are worth it. Either way, own your choice.

It won’t ever be fair, but owning your choice feels so much better than living from helplessness because that’s not fair to you.

If you feel like you are stuck in a position that’s not fair and want some help figuring out what to do, let’s chat. Grab time on my calendar and let’s figure it out together.

You got this.