Everyone working on their own business feels overwhelmed from time to time. We get stressed out trying to do tasks that are outside our area of expertise, which for me, are the technical aspects of running an online business. Even if you're excited about learning new things for your business, watching a webinar or two on sales funnels doesn't mean you know everything you need in order to automate one that will actually add potential clients to your list or result in cash to your bank account. Or, maybe you're working within your zone of excellence, trying to get your new workshop finished and you can't seem to get it organized or figure out the last bit of material needed that will resonate with your tribe. Sound familiar?
Here are a few things that will kick overwhelm to the curb.
1. Switch tasks. If you're working on the business itself (website, ads, statistics, funnels, budgets etc.) which are logical, left-brain jobs, and feel like you want to scream and hit something, walk away from that task. Take a break from everything for 10 minutes. Then come back in and work on something in your area of expertise. Do a client call, write, plan a retreat, design a logo or whatever you create, but switch tasks to your artistic right-brain endeavors. If you're blocked and frustrated with the creative process, switch and focus on your conversion rates, market segments or some other business/technical task.
2. Take a break. When you are ready to switch tasks, take a 10-minute break to observe and be. If you can get outside in nature, better yet, but if all you can manage is stepping outside onto the sidewalk in front of your office, do it and observe people, traffic, the sky, and just be. No technology allowed on this break. Just be silent and observe the world around you.
3. Amp up. If you find yourself needing more than switching tasks and taking a break, access one of your mentors on YouTube or get their book on your phone (hard copy is good too) and listen to or read something that inspires, motivates and recharges you. This will up your energy level, possibly teach you something new, and most importantly, remind you why you are doing what you do and how excited you are about it.
4. Decompress. If you're descending down the spiral past frustration and overwhelm, into self-doubt and self-loathing, you know the thoughts I'm referring to...I'm not good enough, I can't do this, I need to find a day job... then decompression is needed. Decompression means stepping away all together, more than 10 minutes, and doing something that disengages your mind. Junk food tv, color a picture, exercise, clean the house, walk the dogs, phone a friend. Caution: give yourself a time limit before you turn on the tv or begin the activity. You don't want to get so relaxed that you don't return to work and lose an entire afternoon or weekend when you don't really need that and you will only feel worse afterward for not working all that time.
5. Find your like-minded spirits. Know where to find people who are having similar experiences, doing similar things and no doubt experiencing similar frustrations. Facebook groups are excellent for this as you will, on any given day, find someone expressing their own or similar frustrations and overwhelm, and then others who are on a high, who will motivate and inspire you to keep going. You will also likely find someone who can help you past the problem that caused the overwhelm to begin with and now you're calm enough to proceed. This support is available 24/7 since many groups have participants that work long hours, frequently look for support and are located all around the world.
We can't prevent frustration from occurring. It's the brain's way of saying "pay attention, something else needs to happen here." We can, however, control how we deal with it and how big it gets by acknowledging it, changing gears, and maybe even simply by taking a short break. Mentors, who have been where you are before they got to be where they are, and peers who directly relate to your experiences can often renew your mojo in just a few minutes. An episode of Real Housewives or a whirlwind cleaning spree may just give your brain the complete R&R it needs without taking a nap.
While frustration and overwhelm will occasionally pay you a visit, how long they stay is up to you. You are good enough and you've definitely got this!