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Entries from December 2013

Overwhelm – What is your capacity?

5th December 2013

How often do you feel you are being inundated with ‘stuff’?

How often do you feel you are drowning?

How often are you faced with something that causes a strong
emotional effect on you?

These are all moments of overwhelm and the question is not
how do you stop them happening but how do you build your capacity to handle
them effectively. So take a moment to assess your current level of capacity. What
happens to you mentally, physically and emotionally when you are overwhelmed?
If these situations happen everyday then you have a great
opportunity to start today to build your capacity. If they don’t happen that
often then you have a very well developed capacity or, maybe you are coasting.
It happens to us all at different stages in our life. It may
be caused by a new promotion, an increase in responsibility, taking on a new
project or committing to something you haven’t done before. When you are faced
with it how do you respond? My guess is it’s more of an Oh *@*@! Moment than a
WOW this is fabulous! Moment.
We always have
choice. Doing nothing is a choice we make, whether consciously or
unconsciously, and often doing nothing is an unconscious choice we make. Until
of course we realise it……
Which of these do you do when overwhelmed?
Retreat: This may be you backing off and
relinquishing your responsibility, handing it over to someone else. It may
involve you not facing reality, in the hope that it will go away. Often this
results in the situation just getting ‘bigger’. This may be real or perceived
and the resultant situation is one of stress and may involve you working harder
and/or longer.
Invest: You decide that the only way to overcome
this is to learn more about it – it being the topic you are faced with. It may
be that you invest in resource, someone who knows how to deal with this or
simply ‘throw bodies at it’. After all there is safety in numbers! You may
decide to reorganise the work or streamline things or re prioritise what needs
to be done.
Reflect: This is often the most difficult thing
to do, to consciously step back from the situation and ask yourself some
searching questions:
How did I/we get here?
Does this support my/our longer-term goals?
Is this an invitation for me to personally grow?
How do I build my capacity in these situations?
How can I lead this differently?
Opportunities for
These situations are always opportunities for personal
growth and I know my own initial reaction is – I don’t know anything about
this!!!! However, I also know when I stop and reflect I begin to recognise what
I do know. I then begin to notice what I can do in the situation and where the
real opportunities may be for me to learn, practice and grow.
So where are your opportunities for growth?
“ Play for more than you can afford to lose, and you’ll
learn the game.”
Winston Churchill
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