When you’re pursuing change, feeling overwhelmed is practically a guarantee. It’s damned near impossible to avoid running into a mental road block once or twice.
But that doesn’t mean you should resign, give up.. or move onto something new, there are steps you can take to avoid ever feeling overwhelmed again.
#1. Forget The Big Picture
A lot of the time when reading about self-improvement, you will hear “Begin with the end in mind.” And as much as I think that it’s a great sentiment, sometimes this kind of thinking can be the exact thing that overwhelms you in the first place.
When you research something properly, and you know all the necessary steps needed for success, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the task at hand. But step back for a second, retain the valuable information, but forget the big picture. Forget the overwhelming amount of different tasks that are necessary for you to succeed in the long run.
I remember when I first started blogging. I was reading everything possible about how to become a successful blogger. To the point where I spent more time reading about it, than actually writing. And there were so many things that I was told to do. Network, guest blog, get a following on social media, reach out to “influencers”, et cetera. So instead of doing anything I would just sit around, worried about what my next move should be.
Forget the big picture, allow yourself the freedom to move forward.
#2. Focus On The Immediately Possible
Instead of worrying about what you can do when you achieve “this” and “that”, focus on the immediately possible.
For me that became improving on my writing, producing and sending out guest posts… as well as my attempt at networking. Instead of worrying about what I would do after I had landed my first guest posts, I focused on taking the steps to actually get the first ones accepted.
Focus on the immediately possible, start moving forward.
#3. Spice Up The Process
When you first start working towards a new goal, it’s exciting. As you see the progress, you feel awe, and pride. But as it starts to stagnate, it’s easy to get bored with the process, which can then become a reason to surrender to the overwhelming goal.
Instead, find ways to make your daily efforts more interesting. Instead of listening to the same album every time you run, mix it up. Instead of playing it safe when you write, go for something controversial that you’re passionate about, but never wrote because you were afraid of the backlash.
If you manage to make the process something you enjoy doing regardless of the results, you won’t even need motivation to keep going. That’s the beauty of it.
Spice up the process to make the progress easier.
#4. Set And Accomplish Smaller Goals
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you look too much at the big picture, it’s easy to lose focus when you step away from goals altogether. So to get the best of both worlds, set smaller more easily achievable goals.
Instead of going for 100 push ups right off the beat, set a goal of 30, then work your way up as you get there. Instead of telling yourself to finish the novel, work on finishing each chapter. This way you get the motivation boost of goal setting, and the gratification of achieving them on a regular basis.
Set and accomplish smaller goals to keep focus and remind yourself why you’re doing this.
#5. Rinse And Repeat
If you haven’t noticed by now, history has a tendency to repeat yourself. So even if you manage to stop being overwhelmed this time around, it will most likely not be the last. When that time comes, repeat the process that already worked once.
Rinse and repeat, never accept defeat.
With every time, you get better at overcoming the obstacles you place in front of yourself. And at some point, you might even start doing this automatically, and never get overwhelmed again.
I have to admit, I’m nowhere near adopting such a mindset yet. But we can get there together, I’m sure of it.
#Bonus. Focus On Helping Others
Sometimes a great way to take your mind off things and put things into perspective can be focusing on helping others. If you allow yourself to truly appreciate the power you have to affect the lives of others in a positive way, it’s easier to feel confident in your ability to control your own life.
If you’re feeling a little lost and overwhelmed in general, and just want something to take your mind off of things, I am arranging a collective 30 day project in November where people try to do as much good as possible.
If you want to pitch in and contribute, you can check out Month To Make A Difference. After November, I will give up the administration to someone else, so even if you see this in December, or April 2017, you can hopefully still join in.
Ragnar is a student of life, and somewhat of a skeptic, who has taken it upon himself to break the mental barriers of both him and his readers. Plus, starting in November, he’s launching Month To Make A Difference, a project rooted in the “pay it forward” ideology, to see if one person and an idea can really change the world a little for the better.