Breaking It Down to Beat Overwhelm

I had a follow-up call with a former client today, and within the first few minutes he began describing a sense of being overwhelmed. It became clear to me that he had linked together a number of experiences so that when he thought of any one of them, he immediately pictured all of them and became overwhelmed.

I asked if I could offer some suggestions, and he consented. I told him to take the list he had made of everything he needed to do and use a pair of scissors to cut the list apart.

I wanted him to create distance between the items by separating them and positioning them on the floor away from each other. I mentioned that this might help him breathe better—given that his breathing had become irregular when he started describing his sense of overwhelm. As he laid the pieces of the list on the floor, he calmed down and said, “Oh, some of these really are separate.” He then added, “Now I can see what needs to be done first.” And he breathed easily.

Like many people, this person had a visual representation of what was overwhelming him—a bunch of things swirling around together in his mind, even though they didn’t necessarily go together. This exemplifies how every problem has a structure that keeps it in place.

It’s important to help people break their problems down into smaller components so that they can address them individually. I don’t tell people how to organize their issues or prioritize their problems, but I do help them chunk issues down into more manageable pieces.

Are your issues—or those of some of your clients—really as unmanageable as they seem?

P.S. Do you want to reprint this article? Please do. Just be sure that it remains intact and includes the following bio.

About Terry:
Terry Hickey, M.S., is a Certified NLP Professional Coach, Business Trainer and Consultant, a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the co-owner of NLP Advantage Group. Originator of the Belief Breakthrough Method™, Terry specializes in teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to rapidly resolve limiting beliefs about wealth and success. His tips and strategies can help you launch yourself into the future you want… NOW. http://terryhickey.com/

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