March 13, 2019 by Joe Kiedinger
I recently visited our cabin up north in Tomahawk, WI. This is a picture of the old outhouse (now a tool shed – thank goodness). The snow in the back of our cabin came up to the bottom of our windows. We truly felt “overwhelmed” (in a comforting way) with snow.
It got me thinking about being personally overwhelmed. Are you aware that the feeling of being overwhelmed is like a narcotic? Yeah, it’s like taking a drug. So are emotions like guilt, worry, anxiety, self-righteousness and defensiveness. All of these negative emotions hold us back and yet, comfort us is an unusual way.
This is when people look at me and go… “Huh?! How can I possibly be comforted by worry?” Answer: when you worry you feel you’re at least doing something. You’re not just sitting around “not caring.” Unfortunately, like all drugs, worry has side-effects like ripping meaningful relationships apart. Now, let’s better examine the emotion of feeling overwhelmed.
As stated by Larry Bilotta, relationship and emotional health expert, “being overwhelmed has a strange mix of rewards. It creates the feeling that everything is a priority. We are busy, productive and getting things done! Secondly, there is a feeling that you are needed, important and valued. Finally, there is a feeling that you actually can get everything done in some wizardly way. You will come out victorious over all these pressing demands, making you the champion!”
Here are the lasting negative side effects:
– not thinking straight
– believing that everything must be done right now
– being very unproductive
– worrying that you are letting others down
– maintaining high stress levels
Now that you know you are serving no one but yourself when you feel overwhelmed, how could you see it differently? How could you share your burden by practicing humility? Humility brings people together. We are all programmed naturally to want to help!
Assess the situation, share the burden, delegate and move on.
ACTION PLAN: If you’re overwhelmed in an area of your life. Share it with those who can help! You’re unproductive and ineffective if you don’t.