I’m planning a big project, one that perfectly fits with my core values and is aligned with what I want to do in the world. It’s the night before we take the first crucial step and suddenly I feel overwhelmed.
It’s warm and humid. I lie in bed tossing and turning as I contemplate all the tasks I have to do to bring this project to completion, all the things I don’t know how to do, all the things which could go wrong. Eventually I drop off but not before I’ve had the niggling thought that maybe it would be a good idea to get out while I can, avoid all this discomfort which is just so … well …uncomfortable.
OUT LOUDERS do you experience those horrible moments when a big project or piece of work which you are thoroughly invested in both intellectually and emotionally, which maybe you even initiated, for some reason starts to feel like a thoroughly bad idea?
Regardless of the fact it’s been a breeze up to now and you’re excited. Regardless of the fact that everything’s looking excellent. Suddenly WHAM … You’re about to press the green button and that old, queasy feeling of overwhelm starts to hit. Your mind’s working overtime. There’s so much to do. So much required of you. Perhaps you’re worried about the visibility that may suddenly come your way. Perhaps you feel panicky. Anxious.
And all of a sudden you’re asking yourself, ‘How the hell did I get myself in to this? Is it really worth it? Wouldn’t I’d be much better off avoiding all this stress and going back to that nice, safe bubble which even if not very exciting, at least makes me feel ok?’
And finally the killer question; ‘How can I get myself out of this and make all these unpleasant feelings go away?’
OUT LOUDERS, you’re not alone. I know what it feels like to want to pull the plug on those big, brave ideas that will get you noticed but feel risky and overwhelming to bring to the light.
To look at those other bolder creatures out there who seem to sail through life taking on challenge after challenge and actually seeming to enjoy it.
You tell yourself you can never be like that. That maybe it’s your destiny to stay hidden –at least that way you’ll feel safe. You may not be living dangerously but at least you can sleep at night.
Well, what if I was to tell you, that it’s within all of us to confront our fears – even harness them, take on the challenges that will secure our rightful place in the world AND sleep at night?
OUT LOUDERS, this is possible AND it will only be your destiny to stay hidden, if you choose it.
So let’s look at some of the ways OUT LOUD Coaching helps our clients find a route out of the shadows even when they’re in a state of fear and overwhelm;
1. Awareness. Let me repeat that – AWARENESS. You can’t know what you’re feeling if you don’t know you’re feeling it. So what do I mean by that? When we’re feeling something unpleasant – like overwhelm or fear – a lot of the time we’re conditioned to either ignore the feeling or resist it. It can feel just too uncomfortable to experience – hence the very understandable desire to get rid of it altogether by simply putting a stop to the thing that’s making us feel bad in the first place.
Tip number one: Do not suppress that unpleasant feeling – go with it, in fact, allow yourself to feel it more, STAY with it. You may be surprised to find that the feeling’s not as unpleasant as your head’s been telling you it is.
2. Stay. You’re being really brave just to stay with these feelings. Acknowledge your bravery. Because I want to urge you to stay some more and as you do, if you can, ask yourself, what are these feelings really trying to tell me? Your body knows so much, sometimes even more than that brilliant brain of yours – by listening to what your body tells you, you can gain some incredible insights.
For example when I feel anxious and worried, it’s usually because my ‘gremlin’ or ‘saboteur’ (my negative self talk) has come out to play. These gremlins have a nasty way of playing on our fears – for example fear of failure, or fear of not being good enough and they often materialise when we are stretching outside our comfort zone.
Tip number 2: when our bodies are feeling anxious or worried, it’s usually because our gremlins are trying to keep us in our comfort zone; that’s a signal that we are doing something big and brave – HURRAH!
3. Re-Connection.It may just be that knowing you are doing something big and brave has triggered a feeling of excitement in your body. See how clever your body is. Again re-connect with that feeling – this is the perfect time to remind yourself why you are taking this action in the first place. Do yourself a huge favour and take the time to hang out here – this is the real you, this is the person who knows what’s best for you, what you really want.
Tip number 3 – your feelings of excitement about your project are more valid and true than the negative feelings your gremlin can provoke in you.
Now that you’ve connected with your motivation you may still be experiencing some uncomfortable, although not necessarily overwhelming feelings– from this more rational place, ask yourself what these uncomfortable feelings may be telling you – for example they may be telling you to seek help from others about things you don’t know or perhaps you need to play with some deadlines.
Tip number 4: integrate and work with your body and your mind to work out what you need to make this project run more smoothly for you.
5. Take action. Press the green button. Yes, really. When my clients find themselves at this point, on the verge of taking daring action, I will often challenge them to act. It’s amazing how this simple challenge will clarify things for them – deep down they know what they want and they know what to do. And once that button is pressed, somehow like magic, the fears evaporate and there is an incredible feeling of release and courage.
Tip number 5: GET IN TO ACTION, it’s one of the best ways to see off those pesky fears and it gives you a wonderful feeling of ‘can do’ – not to mention the heady euphoria of now being one of those people who take risks. Only in your case OUT LOUDERS, you are even braver, because you’ve confronted your fears and gone for it.
(PS … in case you’re wondering, yes, I did go through all the steps I’ve described to you above and yes I did press the green button and yes, it does feel great).
I’d love to know how you deal with feelings of overwhelm when you are embarking on something big and bold. Have you taken brave steps even when you’ve felt frightened – how did you deal with your fears? Did you ignore them? Repress them? Resist them? Or got to know them? And an even braver share – have you been deterred from doing something big because of overwhelm – how did that make you feel? Please leave a comment below – by sharing we can all help each other step out from the shadows.
If you’d like to be coached through your overwhelming feelings so that you can go forward confidently with the work you’re born to do, email me at . Tell me a bit about yourself, what kind of fears are holding you back and from what and we will then set up a free half hour consultation to discuss your needs.
We offer one to one coaching programmes of six sessions over a period of three months either face to face or by phone or skype
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