Feeling Overwhelmed?

When I first meet with someone a common problem I often hear is that they feel “overwhelmed” and they don’t know where to start with a project.  Sometimes the smallest of projects can look “bigger and badder” than they really are and this feeling of not knowing where to start can be the beginning of big problems for anyone.  So why does this happen?

First of all, anyone can get stuck.  Even the most highly motivated, driven people can get stuck or derailed from time-to-time.  In most cases, it is not about a project or task itself that causes the overwhelming feeling to shut the door and run.  Many times it can be a sudden shock or loss that triggers reactions that make life, in general, feel overwhelming.  For other people, it can be that the situation in question has been growing for a long time and now it truly is a mountain.  The longer we let a problem or task go undone, the bigger it gets and the bigger it gets the more it feels like we can’t do it.  

When feelings of panic and fear grip you when you look at your big project, realize that there is no perfect way to get it done.  People often feel that there must be a “right” way to organize.  The truth is the right way is the way that works for you.  If you need to shut the door for 3 days and work the problem, that will work.  If you need to work on your problem 15 minutes a day for 2 years, that will eventually work too.  The point is to get started.  Nothing in life happens until you take the first step, however small it may be.  

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