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How to Banish Overwhelm From Your Vocabulary

Do you know that feeling of excitement when you set an intention to honour your promise? “This time, I will not spin too many plates. I’m going to take care of myself.”, you say to yourself.

Then the day goes by, and there are many commitments to attend to.

How on earth are you going to do less with your busy schedule?

You are sick of feeling exhausted all the time.

You fulfil your commitments, but the quality of your work does not meet your (or others’) expectations.

You are tired of feeling like you’re not good enough if you’re not “busy”.

You are in survival mode, and negative self-talk creeps in.

You want to feel more in control.

As a high achiever, I often feel pressured by time. As a result, I get impatient when I waste my time standing in a queue.

 

#1 Reason for overwhelm

I’m not going to tell you that over-committing, over-extending, over-promising don’t serve you.

You already know this.

You don’t know how to stop over-committing, over-extending, and over-promising.

Because if you had known, you would’ve stopped doing it by now.

Do you see the problem?

I was reading blogs and books on how to do less, achieve more, and set goals.

They were all evergreen advice like, clear your schedule, prioritise, avoid last-minute commitments, say no.

Yeah, that all looks fine in theory, but it didn’t work for me in practice. 

Sounds familiar?

Here’s the exciting part!

Let’s look at it from a different angle.

You can’t do less until you address the inner critic (negative self-talk) that forces you to over-commit and over-extend.

If you want to learn practical tips on doing less and achieving more, click here.

In this blog, I’ll focus on your drive to do more.

Let’s be honest; you can never be completely healthy if you don’t address the underlying cause of illness.

And the same stands for over-extending and over-promising. If you don’t address the real reason behind it, you will never be able to slow down and enjoy life without feeling guilty, ashamed or like a loser.

I used to feel guilty whenever I slowed down. I believe that being hyperactive is a blessing.

I believe that spinning 100 plates is a gift until I’ve got sick.

I’ve got adrenaline burnout. I’ve got hypothyroidism which escalated to hyperthyroidism and Graves autoimmune disease.

Feeling tired having a foggy mind forced me to slow down.

This was a fantastic opportunity to assess my lifestyle. I realised that taking on many commitments gave me a sense of accomplishment and worthiness. It gave me a sense of having a full life.

In other words, I liked to be crazy busy so that I didn’t need to face my inner demons (feeling unworthy).

What to know how a worthiness wound shows up?

Here’s how a worthiness wound shows up in our lives.

  • You are so busy that you don’t notice when you are tired.
  • You are tired but don’t take time to rest.
  • When you do less, you feel shame, guilt, unworthiness
  • You spread yourself too thin for others and forget about yourself
  • You undercharge your services
  • You are a people pleaser
  • You don’t know what fun means to you
  • You don’t know what self-care is
  • You have two pages long to-do list, and you feel the pressure to cross them all off.
  • Your negative self-talk is very laud. You beat yourself up for being imperfect.

 

When you feel worthy, you don’t need to do everything yourself.

So, how to do less without feeling guilt or shame?

How to find joy in life again by doing less?

First, ask yourself every day, “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself today?”

That could be having a nap, setting boundaries, asking for help, leaving the kitchen messy, going for a walk, enjoying coffee in the sun, playing with your kids, etc.

Second, notice how you feel about it. What’s coming up? Resistance? Not knowing what a loving thing is? Feeling guilty? Filling shame? Excitement?

Third, observe your feelings. If your negative self-talk (inner critic/ego) tells you that taking care of yourself is a waste of time or selfish, know that it wants to keep you safe. Thank the ego for it and do one loving thing for yourself anyway.

Fighting your negative self-talk and bad habits won’t help. Likewise, criticising yourself won’t help.

The only thing that will help is observing your thoughts and habits without judgement. Want to learn how to do it? Click here.

Be kind and gentle with yourself when learning new things.

Self-compassion will heal the feelings of shame, guilt and unworthiness. Here’s the Beginners guide to self-compassion if you are new to self-compassion.

I love this quote by Dr Shefali Tsabari:

“Release your attachment to how things “ought” to be and instead surrender to how they actually are”.

 

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