Have you ever felt a bit overwhelmed? Like life’s dealt you a card that you’d rather not have in your hand? Life has a way of periodically doing that, doesn’t it?
In the past few weeks I’ve found myself feeling exactly that way. I felt like my already full plate didn’t need one more thing. My “one more thing” was a shift requiring me to change to a gluten free diet. Overnight my choices needed to change. Challenged to rethink my everyday food choices, I was reminded of how I’ve successfully faced other mountains in my life. Maybe these tips can help you the next time life throws you a curve ball.
Resist the urge to focus on the entire mountain all at once. Sometimes it’s easy to want to solve the “whole thing” whatever it is in one fell swoop. I’m reminded about the Couch to 5K training program that so many people use. When we face a problem, we want to reach the finish line overnight. But just as that program starts a person slowly running in very short bursts, the consistency of taking the steps leads to achieving a goal of running a 5K that once seemed impossible. I can be freed knowing that I don’t need to become a gluten free master chef overnight. Instead I need to focus on one meal, on choice at a time. The same is true for you and whatever you’re facing.
Resist the urge to focus on the “bark.” Equally paralyzing to progress, we can get caught over analyzing the minutia. Don’t get so lost in the details that you only see bark and don’t even recognize trees or the entire forest. We can over google our symptoms. We can over research our challenge. Step away from the internet! Find a balance of being informed but still living day to day life.
Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t do. I have to give credit where credit is due. This was a reminder from my son Ryan last week. I found myself listing all the things I couldn’t eat. We can get so stuck focusing on the limits we have, we forget all the possibilities we have. What can you do? For me it was ‘what can I still eat?’ Brain storm a list, write it down, and focus on your possibilities.
Start. You have to start a race to win it. You have to start up the mountain to reach the summit. Whatever you’re delaying doing, just do it. Start. Jon Acuff says it so well, “You don’t need to go back in time to be awesome; you just have to start right now.”
Take reasonable incremental steps. Once you’ve listed what you can do, and you’ve started, keep going! Take one step after another. Resist the urge to make your journey harder than it needs to be. Take incremental steps. Even baby steps in the right direction are bringing you closer to where you want to be. My incremental steps were finding a few go to meals and snacks. Pinterest has be wonderful in giving me ideas… maybe it’s a source for whatever you’re facing too. Whatever the challenge, keep going!
If you’re faced with a mountain, my hope is that these tips will help. Friend, please know that you aren’t alone not matter what you face!
A few other blog posts that might help as well if you’ve missed them:
- Overwhelmed – What you can do about it
- 6 Practical Tips to Get Unstuck
- Clean Up on Aisle 10 – 5 Ways to Support a Fiend in Need
What do you do when life puts one more thing on your plate and you feel overwhelmed? Or, was there a reminder here that you needed too? I’d love to hear from you.
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