One reason clients hire coaches is because they’ve got a lot going on, they feel overwhelmed and notice they’re stuck and procrastinating, churning over the same thoughts in their minds.
It’s part of our shared human experience to land in these tight spots where the pressure feels huge and we can’t seem to get any space or let up. It can show up in many ways but often there’s a question that seems unanswerable.
- Should I quit my job?
- I think I need a career change but can’t see any alternatives?
- Do I have the strength to leave this relationship?
- Can I handle being on my own?
- How will I survive financially?
Acknowledge the emotional state you’re coming from.
Sometimes difficult emotions get marginalised. Who wants to feel anxious or inferior? But in pushing those emotions down you don’t suppress their physiology, you simply deny it and under the surface it’s still there.
Think about stress, it’s often a small stressor that breaks something in you. You drop a cup of coffee, you yell at the kids or you snap and criticise a colleague rather than give helpful feedback. It’s the accumulative effect of little stressors that have stored up and gone unnoticed.
When your thinking is stuck, pause, and get emotionally honest. What am I feeling right now. Operating from a resourceful state will empower you.
2. Notice how your body is communicating with you.
When you’re coming from an unresourceful state like anxiety, worry, anger or fear your body will be sending signals to you. A clenched jaw, tight shoulders, heat, knots in your stomach. The tendency can be to push through.
Instead, soften and allow them. Soothe them and send loving energy to those tight spots. A simple way to do this is as you breathe consciously extend your exhale. Make it nice and long and with it you’ll notice you start to release some of that tension
3. Pay attention to the quality of your thinking.
Are your thoughts new thoughts or familiar ones? When you create a habit of writing your thoughts down you start to see patterns in your thinking. If your thinking is familiar, it’s a mental signal to stop, surrender and do something different. It will feel counterintuitive because you want to push through to the other side. Resist that temptation and decide to let go.
Do something that moves your energy and restores you. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be as simple as getting up from your seat to take in a different view; looking up at the sky or out of the window. Remember when and where your best ideas have come from. I’d take a punt it’s in the most random of times and places: in the shower, on a dog walk or even when you’re tidying up!
The first two steps in the courageous living process are anchor and audit. Why? Because you can’t create transformation when everything is crammed in. It requires a change in consciousness. So next time you notice that you’re overwhelmed – try these 3 simple steps and see what shifts.