“Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.”
Norman Vincent Peale
I have not encountered anyone not having met a single difficulty or challenge in life. Even those who are born with silver spoons in their mouths and who seemingly have everything at their feet run into problems occasionally. Just because you are generally a good person means that you can be exempt.
Hence, there is no point lamenting, whining or complaining. The Universe can put you up with a challenge. You can get to meet with an unexpected situation every now and then. In fact, it is often said that problems often happen in threes (if not more).
And you can feel overwhelmed, especially when the problems seem like major ones. It is possible to experience your relationship falling apart, business failing, needing to declare bankruptcy all at once. I often encounter coaching clients cracking under pressure from having to deal with many issues in one period.
I used to feel extremely overwhelmed from having to deal with several nerve-wrecking issues all happening at the same time. It came from having to wear multiple hats. There was no way I can totally predict what was going to happen next, especially from the time my children were born. While I tried to instill some form of routine for them, a situation would arise that threw my meticulous plans off.
Also, there could be tons of things to consider from wanting to be a responsible parent. To top it all, I decided to become an entrepreneur at a time when I was changing diapers. It was not the best time to make such a big a decision but this was what had happened to me.
Then, over the years, I found out that being an entrepreneur means that I have to be ready to tackle all kinds of situations ““ from customer service to marketing to technical website issues, on top of my core business of life coaching, intuitive consulting and writing. I did not realize that it would entail so much. Maybe it was best that I did not in the first place. I would not have said yes to the adventure.
Luckily, I have learned to cope better.
Tips to Prevent Problem Overwhelm
Since there is no escape from having to encounter issues, you have to find a way to manage.
Here are some tips for preventing and conquering problem overwhelm:
1. Investigate the cause. If you merely solve the symptoms, you may have to encounter the same situation repeatedly. If this is the case, it is far better to investigate the root cause of your problem.
Retrace the steps. Sometimes it may mean recalling your childhood in order to understand why you are holding on to certain beliefs. By removing the beliefs that put you in self-sabotage, you would be preventing more problems from happening.
2. Deal with one issue at a time. No one is born superhuman with the innate ability to handle everything that life throws. If you try to do too many things in one go, you may end up with not accomplishing anything at all. It is best to spend enough time on one before going on to the next.
Hence, make a list. From your list, rank the importance of each issue and tackle one item at a time. Keeping a diary or planner helps.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. When something is not going to ruin the big picture, don’t sweat it. I had a client who used to complain about being stressed with having a bad hair day. She was the wife of a wealthy businessman. And so she had the conviction that it was her duty to be always looking good and presentable. I pointed out that she had got far more important issues, such as an unfaithful husband, to address.
You will feel overwhelmed if you have been accumulating a pile of “small” stuff. Step aside to see if you can discern whether it warrants that much time and attention. Learn to close one eye to issues that do not really matter in the grand scheme of things.
4. Be flexible. While it is good to stand for what you believe in, too much rigidity can cause you to narrow your choices. You find yourself being able to see only one solution. In certain cases, you may even believe that there is no way out.
Flexibility opens up options. It invokes imagination. There can be more than one way getting from point A to point B. No offense to animal lovers but there is also the idiom: there can be many ways to skin a cat.
5. Ask for help. You will be amazed how one simple tip of just asking for help can do. If you do not ask, no one knows that you are needing assistance. You do not need to be a hero or heroine when you are really crumbling under pressure.
There is no shame with asking for assistance either. Those who genuinely love and care for you will want to lend you encouragement. Friends, family and relatives can be a source of strength. They may or may not be able to help you physically but they can be there for emotional support.
Choosing to Respond Positively to Problems
Problem overwhelm is a common phenomena in today’s modern world. Stress has been named as the number one health threat. So if you find yourself weighed down by the multitude of challenges, know that you have a choice to begin with. You have the choice to viewing things positively.
By choosing a more positive response, you are less likely to view a problem as insurmountable. Often, when you are able to perceive a situation positively, you become mentally equipped to handle it better. You may even view the “problem” as a challenge that spurs you to improve yourself.
Just imagine if you are facing more than one issue at the same time. If you are able to respond positively to each, you are less likely to crack under pressure from having to address them all. You won’t feel as if you are carrying this heavy load on your back.
Choosing to respond more positively indicates a willingness on your part to be open to a myriad number of ways to solving your issues. It is the crack in the door that you need. It allows you to breathe.