Fight Overwhelm: How to Narrow In On Your Ideas

We’ve got a lot going on in our lives – a home to maintain, work appointments and tasks that build up, relationships to care for and more. In episode 048 of the podcast, I talk about how we actually allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed all the time… which only causes more stress.

Sometimes, when we’re feeling busy and overwhelmed putting out these urgent fires, we don’t make time for our priorities. We get ideas of what we’d would like to do – goals we want to achieve, big dreams we’ve put off, etc. – but we can’t seem to find the time or energy to work towards them.

Today, I want to talk with you about why we feel this way, and the solutions to make it stop. It’s time for us to fight our daily feelings of being so overwhelmed and narrow in on our big ideas instead.

Here’s the top six reasons why you may be feeling overwhelmed and can’t seem to narrow in on your ideas:

  • Your idea doesn’t feel complete. It’s a glimmer or spark, so it feels hard to explain to people because you worry your ideas might not turn into anything. Realize that all ideas start with a tiny spark. You have to nurture it in order of that fire to grow. Communicate your thoughts to others and get feedback. Put on your 2-year old thinking cap and start asking yourself ‘why?’ Even if you ‘fail’ you may just need to tweak your idea.
  • Your idea feels too hard. In the midst of challenging tasks as we’re working towards our big goals and dreams, it can feel difficult to see the end result when we haven’t completed many tasks yet. Understand that once you complete small mini goals, you’ll be motivated and much closer toward accomplishing your overall goals. I have a little saying… “Version 1 is better than version none.” It’s OK if tasks take you a while to complete – just give yourself deadlines so that you don’t get stuck in the analysis paralysis stage and only do research instead of taking action. If this is feeling hard for you, ask a friend to be your accountability partner!
  • You’re too focused on others’ ideas. By looking around at others, you’ll begin to feel paralyzed about what you want to do and that all the good ideas may be taken. Know that everything is a remix of ideas that have already been done. Most people are innovators more than inventors. Use things that are on the market as springboards for your own plans and ideas.
  • You’re too busy. We all have 168 hours in our week. Instead of saying, “I’m just too busy” try saying, “It’s not really a priority.” How does that feel? If an idea is truly important to you, you have to treat it as such. Don’t confuse urgent tasks with important. Focusing on your priorities is what separates the busy from the truly productive. Know that you can bank up your time in several ways, such as taking a break from your phone or using an extra hour of child care.
  • You have distractions. Many distractions, such as technology, are interruptions that you’re allowing into your space. Recognize what a productive distraction is (like walking the dog and clearing your mind) and what’s not – like checking social media. You’ll be able to generate better ideas and more effective work when you block out time to work without interruptions.
  • You feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Being a beginner can actually be an advantage for you. When you’re a beginner, that means you’re brave, inquisitive and interested. Know that even if you make mistakes, it’s OK, because mistakes make great teachers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what you don’t know. It will allow you to grow even further. Since you’re a beginner, don’t forget to reflect and assess on how you’re doing. Sometimes having a discussion with others will help you see what you’re doing right and what you can work on.

 

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You can see that each of these reasons why we feel overwhelmed has a solution. A big part of the solution is your mindset and how you move forward with your ideas even in the midst of struggling.

Comment below what big ideas you have for yourself and what you feel is standing in your way. I would love to start a discussion about this, because I know that many of us feel overwhelmed by our daily lives. It’s time we change our mindset, communicate our hopes and dreams, and be OK with beginning!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton