Overcoming overwhelm

Many important things to me get blown out of all proportion all the time. Projects, life situations and goals I really care about become constant daily nightmares stopping me from enjoying sleep and my day. I come to resent myself for having shown any interest in things and curse my stupidity for being so easily taken in by my own and other peoples’ ideas. I think I suffer from this kind of overwhelming shift of mind more than others but I have developed thinking tools to help me cope, like these written here to help me though the toughest of times.
When things are getting on top of you and you need to take back that seat, just think about why you are doing something and how you’ve come to do it.
  • Everyone starts from somewhere
You may have never done what you’re doing before so why should you be expecting it to be plain sailing, take the rough with the smooth and all the other sayings because you’re trying something new (again), so keep on doing.
  • Gain perspective and remember why you’re doing something in the first place – you have a choice!
You’re doing whatever you’re doing because you want to do it, but at some point you start worrying, but worrying about every detail of what might go wrong is just going to spoil the experience. Shitty things will happen and unexpected nasties will happen, but that’s the nature of the nasties, they’re un-fucking-expected, so why waste your time waiting for them to happen, take the proverbial by the horns and get on the bull and ride the mofo.
  • Stop taking things so seriously, you don’t need to suffer
You take everything seriously including yourself. You can still respect what you’re doing and have fun without being too serious, so keep having fun and understand that taking something serious doesn’t mean you must suffer too, it doesn’t add anything to the value of what you’re doing.
  • Failure is a great teacher
There is no need to be scared of failure. Our society hates failure, but what if you ‘fail’, so what? You will then know more about what fails and therefore what should and shouldn’t work for next time. Also, don’t stop because you can visualise a failure or can’t see success anymore, you’re thinking about something that hasn’t happened. You only truly fail if you stop trying, and who says how long that hiatus can be for so, technically, you can never fail at something.
  • Nothing is right or wrong
Trying something new can be tough when you don’t have anyone or anything leading the way. A lot of us just do our best and pretty much make it up as we go along. Life in general seems to have us fooled into thinking there is a specific way to do things when there really isn’t any correct way; we all just manage and get by as best we can. Which. Is. OK.
  • You’ve already achieved so many things, mostly mediocre, but some really good
There are all manner of things you have achieved and experienced in your life, things that just you made happen, from friendships and work relationships to new experiences and adventures. Sitting in an isolated box is pretty hard to do in this life and at some point we have to go out and ‘do’ something. We make things happen all the time. No-one can say what good things will come out of what you do next, mostly mediocre shit happens but sometimes good things happen too!
  • Try and be on your side and don’t think people are better than you or against you
It’s easy to think that everyone knows more than you when you’re starting out with something new, and it’s easy to say that ‘they were once new too’, but what people really like doing is telling you how much they know about something! Ask what they know, ask them to tell you everything about what you want to learn, you might not agree with them on everything but just listen and take it all in and think how you might choose to share your expertise with another ‘newbie’ one day.
  • You’re not a fake or an imposter
No-one is a fake. No-one is an imposter. We are all completely unique beings and no-one will ever contribute in the same way as another to anything in this world, so there’s no use even trying to fit yourself into an idea of what you think you should be, which is part of something you’ve made-up in your own mind!
  • Get on with it, cuz really, what is more likely to happen?
‘Get on with it; easier said than done. The best way not to stall is not to over-think things, which is the whole purpose of these motivational pointers. Worry is the biggest stalling tool and a tool best kept for risk assessment sheets. Worry is predicting the worst of the future, so ask this: 1. What is the WORST that could happen? followed by 2. What is the BEST that could happen, and then, 3. What is more LIKELY to happen? Answer these three questions, honestly, and you should have a more relaxed perspective about things and be less scared about taking that first step..
  • People want you to succeed
It’s true, people love a success story, so don’t think that people want you to fail. Try and remember that your friends and family are on your side and so too should you be. Think about what you would say to a good friend if they were feeling overwhelmed and maybe write them a few pointers… it’s cathartic.
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About Dr Jojo Scoble

Freelance Science Communicator. Microbiology PhD Oxon. Fiction Writer. Social Media dilettante. Ideas Factory.
This entry was posted in blogging, mental health, psychology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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