And more often than not what happens when you’re overwhelmed is that the ever kind and gentle you, turns into, as Debra’s kids used to call her, Monster Mommy!
Watch the video below to get the full story or keep reading…
What to do?
Well, today we want to share a technique that we’ve used for years and that is, when you feel overwhelmed or you’re about to put yourself in a situation that will inevitably lead to more overwhelm, stop and ask yourself the question, “Why am I doing this?” and once you have the answer, follow that with, “Is that really why?”
Asking ourselves those questions can lead to some powerful self understanding and free you from doing some things that you don’t really need to be doing.
For example, you’re at a meeting and you find yourself about to volunteer. Before you do, ask yourself, “Why am I volunteering again to organize the soccer banquet?” Your answer might be, “Because I’m so great at organizing parties.” Then you follow it with, “Is that really why?” To which the answer might be, “Well, really it’s because I don’t trust anyone else to do it as well as me.” Then ask, is this really worth putting myself voluntarily into overwhelm? The answer will almost always be no. Then you can make a different choice.
Here’s another example…
After working on perfecting a report, stop and ask yourself, “Why am I continuing to rewrite this report over and over for the last 4 hours?” Your answer might be because you want it to be excellent. Then ask yourself, “Is that really why?” To which the answer might be, “Well, really, I want my bosses approval. I want him to see how valuable I am.” Great insight. Is it really worth sacrificing your health and your sleep? The answer is usually no because the truth is that sleep and good health will put you in the miracle zone where the energy of miracles will support you in creating a brilliant report in a much shorter time – and really, your boss is not even going to notice all those fine tunings you’re robbing yourself of sleep in order to do.
I (Debra) used to use this technique when my children were little. I know that I’ve shared before that I took a 21 year break from my speaking and seminar career to be home with my kids but I also had a home based business and did a lot of non-profit work. I remember many times that I would be, working on the minutes from a board meeting of one of the non-profits and I’d be spending hours putting them in the perfect format with impeccable sentence structure and then I would remember to stop and ask myself, “Why are you doing this?” and my answer would be, “Because these are important legal documents,” and then I’d go to the next question, “Is that really why?” and inevitably the answer would be something like, “I don’t want the chairman of the board to think I’m incompetent or that I wasn’t paying attention.” And when I’d ask myself, “Is it really worth taking the time away from being with my kids?” the answer was always no, and only 100% of the time.
And not once did anyone, least of all the chairman of the board ever once think the minutes were deficient in anyway. But my kids sure noticed when they were wanting me to read them a bedtime story and they fell asleep while I was perfecting the indentation.
So not only does this technique of asking, “Why?” save you from voluntarily going into overwhelm but it gives you great insights about your motivations and an opportunity to question them and change them.
How does overwhelm affect your life? Leave a comment below…