Feeling overwhelmed is typically the result of finding yourself outside your comfort zone and having to process too much information with which you have little familiarity! Left alone and unaddressed this feeling or sensation of fear, frustration or even dread, call it what you will, can literally keep you from taking action of any kind! At this point clearly you have lost trust in yourself and it is this lack of confidence that tends to paralyze you from learning new skills or being more productive! So how do you overcome or control the feeling of being overwhelmed when taking on new challenges with which you’ve got little or no prior experience?
Here is a simple 5 step process you can use to control and even reverse any overwhelming feelings you may have when you have ventured outside your comfort zone!
Speak About It
By virtue of the fact that you are sharing your feelings outwardly with others demonstrates you recognize your ordeal, great! Firstly it is always good to seek advice on problems and/or situations with which you have little experience in, or knowledge of, since their input is usually of great value! Tips, suggestions and even simple anecdotes shared by ‘networking’ with others could very well be the key to the solution of what currently confronts you! Remember, you’re confiding in people you trust so you tend to remain in your comfort zone making it easier to comprehend, analyze and act upon advise given!
Identify the Source(s)
What is or what was it that made you lose the trust in yourself you need to succeed at accomplishing a new task or learn a new skill? Do you lack the ability to comprehend or understand what you need to do to successfully learn, or apply what you have learned, in order to master a skill or complete a particular task? Whatever it is that has ‘stopped you in your tracks’ or made you believe the challenge you’re facing is beyond your capabilities must be identified so you can focus on how to resolve the issue! How can you solve any problem without first knowing what it is?
Get Yourself Organized
Once your problem or issue has been clearly identified you can now determine what it is you need to do to find the solution! This may involve further education on the subject or perhaps consideration may be given towards adopting a new strategy that will help you overcome your challenge and dissolve your feelings of being overwhelmed! You MUST take control of the situation by organizing and directing your efforts in a way that will bring a resolution as quickly and simply as possible! If the problem stems from having too much information to process at one time, SLOW DOWN and address each new piece of information individually! Divide and conquer! Remember, once you take more control over the situation you’re facing the feelings of helplessness, despair and yes, even the feeling of being overwhelmed will all fade!
Plan & Prioritize
Now that you’ve brought a bit of organization to the chaos that has formally intimidated you, you can now plan your work so you can work your plan! Determine what needs to be completed first, whether it’s a task or perhaps it may involve additional learning, to help you reach your intended goals! Once you’ve got your plan or road-map established you’ll find yourself slipping back into your comfort zone because now you know what to do and how to do it!
Take Appropriate Actions
Now that you’ve got yourself a plan for ‘defeating’ the obstacles that have rendered you frustrated and confused, it’s a simple matter of taking action! When you know what to do and when to do so, you have now regained more trust in yourself that you can and will succeed simply because you are now in control, once again! Remember, if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you’re right, so set your mind to think in terms of success and you’ll always be facing in the right direction!
Feeling overwhelmed is NOT unusual when you find yourself trying to process too much information about anything outside your comfort zone! Although this feeling is actually quite common, especially for people who are NOT afraid to try something new, if left unaddressed it can slow your progress to a crawl! What typically happens is you begin to lose trust in yourself or your abilities to succeed at what you’re doing and this lack of confidence can undermine your willingness to even continue trying! Identifying and controlling these feelings of overwhelm is critical in your attempts to learn or master new skills that are currently outside your comfort zone! The simple 5 step process suggested above will help you ‘break down’ and systematically overcome the seeds of doubt or frustration that may arise within you when trying anything new!