In a recent conversation, I was hearing about a business owner’s steady growth, addition of another baby and the realization that the plate had passed the “full” mark quite awhile ago. Something needed to change, but where to begin?
Before someone gives you a formula about what worked for them, take a moment to look inside, read some internal clues and understand how to shift your own energy.
Recognize you’re there
If you feel stress, friction or overwhelmed, STOP and admit it. Simply saying that you cannot sustain the current workload or pace for the foreseeable future allows an inner honesty to begin with yourself. It’s like releasing a pressure valve that immediately lets off steam.
When we insist on “powering through” and prolonging the stress, it can actually do more harm. High-stress releases hormones that were originally designed to be helpful in a fight or flight response, like running away from a bear. These hormones are fine in short bursts, but if continuously released over long periods of time, these can cause damage to your body.
Stop the madness and realize that it’s OK to say, “Enough, something has to change!”
Identify the energy drain
Get out of your head and onto paper everything that’s on your mind. I call this a Brain Dump.
When it stays in your head, you’re using energy to simply remember and it can feel like an exhausting job keeping track of everything. If something appears to have power over you, it’s important to bring it into a more neutral, manageable state. Simply getting it on paper begins that process.
Once it’s written down, ask yourself, “What specifically about this is draining? And, what is really true about this situation?” You may start to see that something marked as “call ALL my customers back” is truly just 45 minutes of work. Not as big of a deal as it felt like.
Find some energy
In order to find forward movement, we need to lighten the load. Take a look at what was written through different eyes.
What’s not important to get done right now? Forget it.
What needs to be done, but doesn’t need to be done by you? Delegate it.
What’s always on the list and you’re sick of seeing it every week or month? Create a system for it.
Making the list smaller will reclaim some energy.
On the flip side, maybe something could be added to the list. Taking a break, a walk or a nap. Enlisting a fresh set of eyes. Or, carving out time to first learn a skill that makes subsequent steps easier. Feel free to get creative in a way you’ve never done before. Many people stay stuck because they believe things “should” be done a certain way.
Small steps forward build momentum
The simple act of completing something, gives energy! Think about it - big or small, when a project has moved over to the “DONE” column, you feel lighter, right? Take the bigger project and break it down into smaller bits. What is the first small step you can take to move forward? Do that step, cross it off the list and notice how you feel. Do two or three of these and you’ll build some momentum to tackle bigger parts. Eat that elephant one bite at a time.
Knowing how to shift energy drain into energy gain is a lifesaver. And the more you do it, the more automatic it becomes. However, if you’re unable to walk yourself through these steps to find clarity, it might be time to enlist the support of a Coach. Click here to schedule an exploratory session, I’d be happy to help!