How often do you get the feeling of overwhelm? What causes you to feel overwhelmed? How does it manifest itself? How do you behave when you are overwhelmed?
Of course overwhelm can be a positive thing - we are sometimes overwhelmed by unexpected generosity, commitment or achievement. We may respond by laughing, thanking enthusiastically or even crying tears of joy. Such responses will more often than not generate positive flows of energy around the body and may have the impact of making us want to do more - spurring us on!
Negative overwhelm may have the opposite effect. Overwhelm caused by too much work, repeated poor performance, shortage of resources, too many requests for things to which we can’t say no are all common phenomenon. But what about the unexpected ones - you have practised your presentation for weeks in front of the mirror and then go to pieces when you get in front of the real audience because you are suddenly overtaken by a feeling of overwhelm. Is it the room, is it the people or is it something you suddenly remember you have left out of your presentation? Something has triggered it - you may not even be aware of what it is.
Maybe you have had an idea about which you are very excited and you prepare to share it with your team. However, when you get into the meeting you fail to raise your idea. What happened? Was it the seemingly negative vibes in the room, was it a sudden realisation? Did someone say something to put you off? You leave the room feeling frustrated and inadequate.
Perhaps you have gone to a networking event with every intention of speaking to people, finding out who they are, what they do and where they come from. You dress in your ‘confidence clothes’ and make sure you have a goodly supply of business cards but when you get there you stick with people you already know or sit in a corner and say nothing. Something happened between making up your mind to do it and the overwhelm you experienced on entering the room.
How many potentially great relationships are never formed, creative ideas are there that never see the light of day and job applications that never feel the weight of the ‘send’ button due to overwhelm?
Overwhelm is just a state of mind that keeps us stuck in our comfort zone - learn to control the state of mind with some simple techniques and people achieve amazing things. They step out of the comfort zone to where the magic happens and, in the words of a very good friend of mine, move from the ordinary to the extraordinary. With success comes happiness!